Friday, May 06, 2011

Such a long journey...

He's a young man with curly hair, soft eyes and there's this girl with him. They're inquiring about meditations and I'm at the information counter at Manasa on a Sunday morning, telling them the usual things. Soon he joins the weekly meditation classes, one among many others, and forgotten.

A month later, he's again in the news and suddenly in the spotlight when we come to know that he wants to join Manasa and work as a full-time volunteer. There are a few others too who've decided to join but they've been students for quite some years and are intimately involved with Manasa. This guy is a newcomer, hardly a month old into our spiritual organization and his decision to jump in totally creates a flutter and awe in us.

That evening, a few of us volunteers are chatting and he joins us. His name is Lokesh Chandra Das and he comes with an illustrious background. 'I was at Infosys,' he says. 'Now I'm doing my doctoral studies from Pennsylvania University. I've to submit my thesis next month. I'm on a short leave to India.' He has plans to go back to US, submit his thesis, get his degree, come back and jump into the spiritual work.

Those are heady days of idealism and we're young, unmarried, without additional family responsibilities, and totally gung-ho about taking big leaps into the unknown. Lokesh is a hero for us (for me, I guess). That evening, we drive a mile away to Antar-manasa, and sit chatting late about all things sundry. Lokesh opens up about his background, about his dreams, about what drove him to spiritual studies and sadhana. Someday, I reflect, I'll be like this guy and like others here. I'll dedicate myself completely to spiritual sadhana and work.

Just a few days later, the dream bubble bursts--probably one of the first bubbles. I've yacked about it, a bit foolishly, here. Lokesh is sent away unceremoniously, after he makes an ass of himself and chickens out when he's asked to make a small commitment. We're told that he had selfish designs and personal motives in joining our spiritual organization. He exits as suddenly as he'd appeared and is not seen again.

Cut to three years and suddenly, he's there, on the day of the Light Channels World Movement. And this time, he looks like a sadhu, with an unkempt beard and long, matted locks--totally unwashed and smelling awful. He's standing there, in the huge auditorium, along with the thousands who'd come to attend the launch of the Light Channelling event. And there's a girl with him, probably his wife-- both of them are wearing saffron-- and he's carrying a small kid, a two year old, his daughter. 'It's a long story,' he smiles. 'I'll tell you some other time'. I'm overwhelmed with emotions at seeing this guy after so long, and in this condition, but more so, thinking about the little child he's brought into this world, and the future it'll have with this recluse.

I meet him once more after a couple of days.

Today, two years later, we have this terrible news about him. That he killed his Israeli girlfriend and stored her body in a freezer for a month before surrendering to the police!

Just shocking and unbelievable. This dude.....