The golden rays of the rising sun began to penetrate through my window. I pushed aside the blanket I had covered myself with to see my messed up room glittering, beautifully by the deep yellow rays. I am too tired and it is too early to leave the bed, I believe so, and lie on the bed, thinking if I had had any dreams. I couldn’t remember any, so I begin my prayer for Lord Ganesha, a song seeking his grace and blessings to bring success in all our endeavors.
Thiruvakkum sei karrumam… A man, whom I saw two days before at railway station, was nearing me. Thiruvakkum sei karumam kaikoodum… My mind slips away from the verses and goes behind the man.
It was the rush-hour of a Monday morning. Sun was scorching to its best. Unmindful of the heat, people; people walking, people travelling, even people who were waiting, were seem to be in a hurry. The honking, squealing and screeching sounds of cars, motorcycles, buses, auto-rickshaws and even that ‘tring-tring’ of bicycles were reaching their crescendo every now and then. It was a disharmonic symphony to the bustling atmosphere. I was remembered of James Whitmore, in the film The Shawshank Redemption, saying “The world went and got itself in big damn hurry.”
I was new to Chennai and, excuse me; I was also in the hurry to catch a train. I was late to my office. My brother accompanied me since I was a newbie to this fast-paced city life.
After standing in a long queue, we got the tickets and rushed to the platform. The platforms were crowded but there were no trains. To make sure that we hadn’t missed the train, I asked a man nearby me, “Sir, has the train for Nugambakkam gone”. He just nodded his head. I had to assume he meant -‘no’ - so again I questioned, “At what time will it arrive?” He glanced at me and said something which was not audible to both of us. Before I could make sure what he had said, he bolted from us, gesturing - please, don’t disturb me - and stood a few yards away. Another man nearby him (who may have overheard our anxious queries) replied, “Time to come”. So we waited.
While waiting, I saw the man who moved away, thinking what made him to do so. Was there no time in this world to repeat a simple answer? Or, as my grandma says, will gold spill if he talks? But as I watched him closely, I understood he was sincerely uttering a prayer, to be exact, chanting a mantra. So I regretted for both: for disturbing and for my thoughtless grumblings.
I just wondered in a crowded place like this, with lots of people hanging (flaunting?!) around and making all efforts to get them noticed, what made me to go and interrupt a man, whose presence can hardly be noticed. Before I could arrive at a conclusion the train arrived. Everybody battled to get in.
The compartment was fully crowded. The man whom I interrupted was standing close to me; his eyes were closed. He was wearing white dhoti and khadi shirt. A long bag was hanging on his shoulders. His lips alone were moving slightly toward left and right, may be, because he was chanting a mantra in his mind. It was very peaceful to see a man relaxed and undisturbed from all the anxiety, tensions and commotions of this jam-packed train, and meditating as if he were in a shrine.
The words of Lord Krishna echoed in my mind, “With all the senses absorbed in Me and seeking Me as the only refuge, he withdraws all his senses from the outer world.”
I am seeing a man living those words, spoken five thousand years ago, amidst the crowd and chaos. Like a water drop on lotus leaf, he was untouched by the commotions and tumults of our fast forward life.
The train reached my station. Along with the hastening crowd, I got down and started walking. People were rushing to get in. Suddenly, I had an urge to see the face of the man. So I sprinted to the crowded compartment, hoping to have a glimpse of his face. He was not there. Desperately, I peeped through the windowsills. I turned and saw the moving throng, I couldn’t find him anywhere. The train began to move and slowly picked up its pace. In disappointment, I closed my eyes; there! to my surprise, I saw the calm, tranquil face of the man with his eyes closed.
I'm really *sorry* for not visiting your blogs. For the past few weeks, I was hard-pressed for time. And was in no mood to read or write anything :( This story was written a year ago. Since, I couldn't come up with anything new, I thought of sharing this with you all, my beloved blogger friends. Do leave your comments...I will soon catch up with your posts :)
*hugs & wishes*