Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Between here and there!

'It's like this', He said. 'I wanted to just travel north. Stay at a place. Teach those around me something that I know, something I've learnt. Then after a while move again. Stay at another place and teach. Again move ahead. This was the ideal. We were thinking of this possibility....'

Somehow we're excited. I jump up, almost interrupting him,'It happens in a movie sir, Japanese I think. There's a govt. official--honest and incorruptible. The higher ups cannot put up with him and his sincerity, so he's frequently transferred. What he does is--wherever he goes, he educates the simple folk around him, spreads a kind of awareness to resist corruption and to stand up to one's rights, so on. He's shunted from place to place but with that, he goes on spreading a movement....'

'We used to do small experiments,' He continued after listening to me keenly. 'We'd set out, without any money. Just board a bus or something like that, and with a firm faith that God would somehow take care. And actually it would happen. Someone would help us, give us something, take us to the place where we wanted to reach, etc. The thing was, we were experimenting with our faith....'

I have a distant relative who set out like this from my native village, travelling all over the country by foot, visiting the sacred sites of piligrimage. One morning he woke up and said that he had a divine inspiration to do so. When the news came of his impending departure, my dad rushed to persuade him to stay back. I was a kid then and I remember wondering why anyone should stop him. What was wrong in going away like that? The fact that he was in the thick of a family life, with grown up daughters never occured to me as a cause of worry. After all it was his life and if he felt it right to live it like this, why should anyone bother?

Eventually that guy went away, paying no heed to anyone's advice, threats or pleading. He left without a penny, travelled on foot far and wide, and returned nearly after a couple of years--probably much mature, wiser....Or maybe he was just escaping the drudgery of family life, we never knew. But whenever he came to our place, he'd narrate stories of his travels, all the fascinating stuff he encountered, the dangers he had to face etc. That was also the period of my growing aloofness and Dad worried that I too would follow suit someday. To top that, an astrologer had warned Dad that I'd leave home and go away; and Dad would've to travel north to find me....

The urge to do what pleases you against the obligations-responsibilities you've agreed to shoulder-- and balancing this in a short span of life--this theme fascinates and haunts me. How we crave for security, for the status quo! How we fear change or any upheavals! Not even daring to think beyond our boundaries, worried about opinions, secretly hankering for validation even
in our daydreams!

All these disjointed thoughts come flooding after reading this in Sun Magazine.

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Many thanks to Val for passing on this hat. The kind words and enthusiasm shown by friends like her have made these two years of blogging worthwhile, enriching and more enjoyable! A lesson from childhood--food that's shared tastes better than when eaten alone! Isn't that true always?


  1. Your post, Vishwa, rather reminds me of Siddhartha which reminds me of how I dreamed of spending my elderly and declining years.

  2. Awesome post Vishwa!
    Reminds me of young Yogananda.
    "Experiment with faith..." hmmm...
    Shall try that :-)

  3. Nick....I remember you wrote a post on 'Siddartha' and I was inspired to search for it online. Thanks for reminding, I shall read it.

    Karan :-)