Saturday, 31 January 2015

Soul mate- Who?



           This IndiSpire idea really raised a typhoon in my heart. Do or did I really have/had a soul mate at any time in my life so far? I still doubt. No I am not talking about anything spiritual. I am absolutely mundane in this aspect. I am trying to fish out something significant from the deep ocean of my memory. It is not necessary that your life partner will be your real soul mate though our society assumes it. Your soul mate may be somebody whom you have never seen, with whom you have never exchanged a word, but still you feel he or she is near you always, inspires you every moment. She could be purely in your imagination, she may not be physically existing any more but still you cannot forget her. All these idea have been translated into very successful bollywood movies like Mohabbatein, Sirf Tum and many more.
           My personal feeling is that one does not expect anything from one’s soul mate. It is love in its purest form. No desire to spent time with, no intension of physical proximity and nothing of that sort. The only desire that exists is just to see her happy and feel her presence to get inspired. I know I am sounding too much theoretical to all the practical people of this universe. But still I maintain that true love is something where there is no give and take business. Marriage in a true sense is a purely give and take agreement between two individuals. (Or else how does one explain the increasing trend of divorces in the society?)
          It was early 1970s. I met a person in a stage of my life when I did not know the definition of love. We met for a very brief period. We were class mates in the village primary school. We were normal children sharing Tiffin box, exchanging home work notes competing with each other in the class, playing hide and seek and doing all that which normal primary school children do. In the Class V annual examination I marginally scored above her to grab the topper’s spot. She congratulated me with intense feelings. But I was not elated. In fact I wanted her to be the topper. Since there was no school in our village at that time for further studies I took admission in a school in a nearby village about three kilometres away. Most of my class mates also went there but not my best friend and competitor. Somehow this tormented me. I went to her house to ask her why she did not pursue further studies being such a bright student. Her parents explained to me that a girl did not need any further education as she would be married off in a couple of years and needed to learn household chores. Not satisfied, I argued with them but they simply asked me to ‘get lost’. I was dejected and tears well up in my eyes. She could sense my plight and told me, ”I know you are hurt. I know you wanted me to study and do something in life. But our society does not give that liberty to girls. Do not worry about me. But you study hard and become something great. That will give me pleasure.” I looked at her expressive eyes which were overflowing with tears. I did not know what I saw in them but for a moment I felt like breaking all social norms and taking her away with me so that she could study further. 
          I have had no contact with her since that day. I have never met her again in life. I have never tried to keep any news about her at any time. I am leading a normal mundane life of a responsible householder. But I can never forget those expressive eyes. Even today when I see a girl child being neglected in any sphere of activity a feel a sense of revolt in me and those expressive eyes of my childhood chum flashes in my mind. Whenever I feel a sense of low I remember her last words “You become something great. That will give me pleasure”. That puts me back on track again.

         What will you call this? I do not know. I think this is perhaps what a soul mate is.

PS: I do not know where she is now. Whether she remembers me or not. But if by any chance (which is very remote) she happens to read this post let me confess that this the first time I am telling this to the world. Thanks to Indispire for instigating me to open up the secret chamber of my heart.

PS2: This piece has been put together in response to IndiSpire Edition 50.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

ODE TO DEATH



O Death! You are supreme.
You are the only truth in this turbulent voyage of life
You are eternal, nothing can make you perish
You are that Everest none can ever conquer
You are nature's supreme messenger.

You're the ocean of love that nothing can fathom
You're the harbinger of peace and hope
And you're the dearest one to me.

My bereaved heart pines for your coldest touch
In dream and reverie
In reality and wakefulness
I pine to get lost in your
Supreme timelessness.

Come on, my beloved chum
Squeeze me in your tight embrace
Free me from this abysmal ditch
Of mundane relationships.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Millennium’s Foggy Sunrise



It was past midnight on the New Year's day of the year 2000, the new millennium. We were driving back from Puri to Bhubaneswar after having a darshan of Lord Jaganath. My wife, children and parents in law - all of us had been to the Sri Mandir to be with the Lord at the moment of the advent of the new millennium (i.e. at 12 midnight on 31st December 1999). After offering our prayers at the wee hour and having the prasad we were returning to Bhubaneswar. It was past 2 A.M. We had never imagined that a thick fog would greet us on the way.

            The fog was so thick that the head lights of my Maruti 800 could not penetrate even a few metres. Nothing was literally visible as the wind screen got covered with the dew. I had to stop in that bone chilling cold night as driving became nearly impossible. As I opened the door of my car a  gush of chilled wind rushed in. The inmates who were dozing shrieked. "What happened?" asked my wife. "Nothing is visible." I said. All woke up and  we had no other way but to wait till the fog cleared out.

            As the dawn approached the fog began to thin out. We could see the crimson red in the eastern sky amidst the thick cloud of fog. The first sun of the new millennium was about to come out. The soft sunrays began to tear through the thickness of the fog. The sight was something unique. Thanks to the fog but for which we would have been deprived of seeing the first sunrise of the new millennium. As the age of the dawn advanced the fog began to clear out. We resumed our journey.

            The experience of the fog was unique and I can never forget it. Although it took us more than five hours to cover a distance of 60 kilometers we never felt exhausted. We had really enjoyed the night’s vigil floating in the fog and looking at the millennium’s sunrise. 

The following poem is based on this experience: 

Millennium’s Foggy Sunrise

The head lights failed miserably

To penetrate the thick cloud
Of water droplets, forcing
Me to apply the brakes.
“What’s the matter?” cried my dozing wife
“Nothing”, I said, “I just can’t see through
perhaps we will have to wait
till the fog clears out !”

The new millennium’s maiden day break
Just a few hours away.
And we just had a communion with
Lord Jagannath, when the clock struck
Twelve.
But why has He put us
In such quandary, challenging
Our faith in him?

The bone chilling sweep of the December wind
Inspired awe in me, as I came out
Tiny droplets of the mist
Moistened my inner self.

All others were having siesta
Inside the match box body
Of my Maruti 800.

The watch ticked on … and on
In the eastern sky I could see the crimson sun
The maiden sunrise of the new millennium.

The warm sunrays tore through
The thickness of the fog cloud
The sky became clearer, and
I could now see the road.

I drove at a snail's pace
Enjoying the foggy sunrise
The night's vigil was worth
A millennium's prize.