वह कहाँ खो जाया करती थी, दिन कहाँ गुज़रा करते थे, उसके आंसू सूख से गए थे कब के, पर वीर को एहसास तक नहीं हुआ, शायद.
एक हलका सा एहसास, उसकी आहट की याद सी जिसके आसरे वो जी लिया करती थी ज़ारा थी वो वीर की, बस इतना ही समझा करती थी.
सदियों से वीर हैं, खेलते आ रहे जो कहलाते तो वीर हैं पर झूठ पे जिया करते हैं खिलौने सा दिल, उनके क्रूर हाथों में टूट कर बिखरने की आदत ही डाल देता है करता भी क्या मासूम सा दिल, बहलाते इतना जो हैं वह.
ज़ारा तो नहीं थी वो, मगर ढाला था वीर ने उसे ज़ारा के सांचे में यह सोचकर कि जैसे चाहे वैसे खेल लेंगे उसके साथ पर वो नहीं जानता था, कि बेटी थी वो स्वयं देवों की सोचने तक की देरी कर दी, हज़ारों फ़रिश्ते उतर गए थे ज़ारा को दलदल से निकालने, उसकी हिफ़ाज़त खुद करने
चाहे हज़ारों ऐसे वीर क्यों न कोशिश करें, नहीं तोड़ सकते वह ज़ारा का दिल, स्वयं देवता करते हैं उसकी रक्षा हर युग में रहा करेंगे वह उसके साथ कभी साथी बनकर, कभी दोस्त, कभी अदृश्य परी बनकर, कभी फरिश्ते
कल तक उसको एहसास नहीं था उनका आज वह जीती ही उनके प्रेम में है
The year gone by has been brutal to say the least. Doctors, nurses, healthcare workers are holding their forts bravely, counseling, leading, consulting, treating and guiding caregivers on their kith and kin. They have been through the entire cycle – from the point a concerned family member approaches them with the first symptom, to the point they have had to share the “news” that the patient is no more. Some are holding up, some lost hope and gave up on their lives, some are hanging on by the thinnest strand of hope, love, patience, whatever they can.
Life has given up a million times in this last one year.
Almost every one of us are, or were, a caregiver to someone during this period.
We have never ever felt more helpless, more powerless and more desperate than today. The sights of graveyards and cremation grounds on TV channels is nothing less than an apocalypse. The thought of so many people in grief – wrenches the heart in fear.
The apathy of those we entrusted our lives to;
The cold blooded, ruthless stare of the self-centered soul wreaks heavily of hands drenched in blood.
But that is not what comes to the mind when caregivers hear screams of their loved ones. Not the shrieks but the silent screams of helpless eyes searching, looking, knowing that something dreadful will happen. These screams, silent screams, if one were to translate, would have just one question – Why?
Why did we allow someone to gag us silent, to bully us into servitude, to convince us that suicide is the best route to salvation?
Why did we allow someone to convince us to hate our brothers, to choose a path that would lead us to devastation?
Why did we not see it coming, when human life was being squandered on the roads leaving blood red foot steps of those wanting to return home, but no one to hear their pleas.
Why did we not see it coming when lifeless men were erected to be worshipped as those who laid its foundation – alive, hungry, struggling, surviving, were ignored?
Why did we allow such huge eons to creep up between the affluent and the common, that the common had no other way except to embrace crime so the pangs would stop?
More questions – but maybe, one day, maybe we all will breathe free, talk free, express free and live free, without fear.
Maybe we all will breathe free, talk free, express free and live free, without fear.
Maybe one day, we all will remember how many of us donned angel wings and tried to help unknown souls, some successful, some not, some punished – but maybe one day, we will all remember what kept us sane is the little bit of humanity that we clung on to, for one another.
Life, in reality, is very beautiful – each cell inside the various forms of nature – tress, oceans, waves, rivers, wind, breeze, birds, bees – throbs with the testimony of life’s relentless pursuit for happiness. Man has complicated everything with fear, expectation, pride, jealousy, greed and rat race.
In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.” “Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”
The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”
The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”
The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”
The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”
“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”
The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”
The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.”
Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”
To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”
~ Authored by Útmutató a Léleknek, a Hungarian writer
Me: I’m falling apart. Can you put me back together?
God: I’d rather not.
God: Because you’re not a puzzle.
Me: What about all the pieces of my life that fall to the ground?
God: Leave them there for a while. They fell for a reason. Let them be there for a while and then decide if you need to take any of those pieces back.
Me: You don’t understand! I’m breaking!
God: No, you don’t understand. You’re transcending, evolving. What you feel are growing pains. You’re getting rid of the things and people in your life that are holding you back. The pieces are not falling down. The pieces are being put in place. Relax. Take a deep breath and let those things you no longer need fall down. Stop clinging to pieces that are no longer for you. Let them fall. Let them go.
Me: Once I start doing that, what will I have left?
God: Only the best pieces of yourself.
Me: I’m afraid to change.
God: I keep telling you: YOU’RE NOT CHANGING! YOU’RE BECOMING!
Me: Becoming, Who?
God: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light, love, charity, hope, courage, joy, mercy, grace and compassion. I made you for so much more than those shallow pieces you decided to adorn yourself with and that you cling to with so much greed and fear. Let those things fall off you. I love you! Don’t change! Become! Don’t change! Become! Become who I want you to be, who I created. I’m gonna keep telling you this until you remember.
Me: There goes another piece.
God: Yes. Let it be like this.
Me: So… I’m not broken?
God: No, but you’re breaking the darkness, like dawn. It’s a new day. Become!! Become who you really are!!”
“Please help me out, bete. I have got a new laptop, and it has Windows 8. They have installed the softwares but I need to arrange everything so that it’s easier for me to find it. I had Windows 7 before this.” – So saying, Raghav Uncle expressed his distress in having to fumble across the extra hi-fi user interface of Windows 8.
I personally don’t like Windows 8 so much. Cumbersome and takes time to adapt to.
I could imagine how Uncle would have struggled for 3 weeks. I told him not to worry, and that I would set everything for easy access.
As I entered his humble abode, I see a room filled with a history of memories in the form of photographs, mementos and awards. A feeling of pride emanates just in the mere presence of the room.
“How is my grand daughter doing?” was his first statement to me. I told him I am doing well, and that I was here on a small project. It was my privilege to be able to meet him. First of all, he introduced me to his wife, who looked back at me serenely from the photograph. How many people honour their spouses in this way after they have left for God’s abode? Very few. I don’t know of any. Uncle has dedicated a whole section in his dining room to his late wife, declaring that this is my commitment and love towards her – it will always be there, so what if she is not with me today.
In my fruitful life of 86 years, I have no faults – except one. Just one fault. Just one regret.
I was taken aback. I asked him, Uncle, what regret do you have? He told me, “Beti, my wife loved me so much. The only regret I have is that I did not obey her. She wanted me to learn Sanskrit. She wanted to teach me Sanskrit. She was an expert in it. But due to my work commitments, I could not do that. Bas, that is the only fault I did.”
The simplicity of his words struck me.
Then he introduced me to his great grand children (through the pictures adorning the walls) – one of them had received a token of appreciation from Mr. Barack Obama, and had done his Great Granpa and parents proud. Ah, what kids, of course they have carried the genes of their smart thatha.
To see the room filled with relics of a life lived with great honor and principles, is an experience worth savouring.
What best to describe the same than to post this picture – which commemorates his contribution of ‘Highest Professional Standards’ to the Andhra Pradesh Police Department, in 1982, when he was awarded the President’s Police Medal for distinguished service.
And then, as I understood with what kind of difficulty Uncle was trying to share his wisdom with all us Sulekhaiites, I could see the will power of a man who had lived a life of strong principles and who wished to keep the enthusiasm alive, no matter how difficult and no matter how tough it got, with stomach cancer and low visibility in the eyes.
He showed me the video of his felicitation when his book ‘Reminiscences’ was launched. Late Mr. Y S Rajasekhar Reddy spoke a amazing words and really eminent personalities were present on the stage, remembering what service Uncle has done for the country.
There were anecdotes that he amused me with, especially the one in which he said,
Kamzarf Gar Daulat, Zar, Zan, Zameen Paa Jaye
Maaninde Hubaab ubhar ke Itraa Jaaye
Which in context, meant that, if it so happens that a man of low character suddenly acquires great deal of wealth, gold, land or woman, he takes pride and loses it just like a soap bubble, which flies for 3 minutes before it bursts.
What should be my fortune to be receiving wisdom like this straight from the noble grandpa himself!
As I set his laptop to make it as easy for him as possible, he blesses me with gratitude and wishes well for me, sharing with me, that he is completing 5 years on Sulekha on 2nd October.
At this age, he has been the most active member on Sulekha, and has written almost 550+ blogs.. What an achievement!!
Here’s congratulating him for his 5 years’ completion and wishing that he enlightens us always with his sher-o-shayari, life’s anecdotes and just plain blessings.
As I was leaving, Uncle stoops over a small plant in his balcony, and tries to pluck a leaf. He criushes the leaf, inhales and checks for aroma… and breaks another leaf and hands it over to me. I am not sure what to do with it. It looks like Tulsi. I ask, “Uncle, should I taste it?” Uncle said, “Bete, smell it first.”
As I smelt the crushed leaf, I felt the the most most most wonderful aroma I had ever smelt in life. And I exclaimed, “Uncle, This looks like a combination of Mint and Tulsi!!!”
And what do you know??? Uncle nodded and smiled, saying, “Yes, bete. It is. It is called…..” I think Mentha Arvensis.. (I don’t seem to recall the exact scientific name, but I am sure Uncle will correct me.
Here is a gallery I am proud of sharing with you all: