Meera and I studied together in college. We met, we looked deep into each others’ eyes, and fell in love – hook, line and sinker.
Meera was a sensitive girl. She would cry very easily. The sight of a beggar on the roads would bring tears in her eyes. If she saw a crying baby, she would go and pacify it, no matter whose kid it was.
When we had kids, she was the best mother.
Our kids grew up and flew away. Amazing they turned out to be. But once they went away, the loneliness and the empty nest syndrome struck her in a way I never thought would ever happen in life.
She withdrew completely. She wouldn’t even talk to me. A chance invite from a friend to a satsang at the ISCKON Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple, took her to the cult, and she was absorbed. She realized she found peace there.
Her attendance at the temple went high and her responsiveness towards me nose dived. Slowly, she had started treating the temple as home, and the God there as her ‘saathi’. She was so much in bhakti that she fell in ecstatic love. Just like the legendary Meera.
Her Krishna would be everywhere. At home, I found each of my rooms being decorated with life size posters of Krishna. All the other Gods found their way out and Krishna found himself being absorbed into every atom of the house.
saanson ki maala pe simrun main pi ka naam 1
apne mann ki main jaanun aur pi ke mann ki Ram 2
yahi meri bandagi hai, yahi meri puja 3
ek tha saajan mandir mein aur ek tha pritam masjid mein 4
par main prem ke rang mein aisi doobi ban gaya ek hi roop 5
prem ki maala japte japte aap bani main Shyam 6
1 – On the garland of my breaths, I weave the name of my beloved
2 – I know of my heart, and God knows of the heart of my beloved
3 – This is my devotion, this, my prayer
4 – I found one lover in the temple, and another at the Masjid
5 – Immersed in the passionate color of love, I found both the same.
6 – Chanting on the rosary beads, the name of Shyam [Lord Krishna], I become him.
As I kept hearing the beautiful prayers through the speakers in the God’s room, I recalled the days when I was Meera’s Shyam. When I was the cynosure of her eyes. Suddenly, I felt a stab of jealousy in my heart. He is the invincible Lord. I agree. All respect for that too. But He had no right to take away my love. I only saw him for now, as someone who had made me devoid of love at a stage in life when companionship is so important.
As I struggle with the strong loneliness that comes, not out of being alone, but out of being in the presence of unrequited love, I see her swaying to the beats of her lord, singing,
“Saanson ki mala mein………………………………………..”