the incessant drone of the people around combined with the rat-tat-dub-bub rhythm, is slowly crawling into the recesses of the mind. the constant milling of the motley crowd of young and old alike, up and down the compartment, slowly fails to draw much attention, after the initial curiosity dies down. is this what they call settling down to the comfort of the environs? it is early evening and the view outside presents the dark horizon, when we are not passing by lands that have already been occupied with human settlements, that is. I wonder why the moon rise isn’t spoken of, as much as the sunrise is, or if it is, and I haven’t come across it as much. the glowing red moon, just above the horizon, is a picture of serenity.
as the train chugs along, I sit here, contemplating, now looking out of the window, now humming a song, before I decide to write. not that there is much to be written. this blogger pal had asked me if nothing significant had happened that I had considered worth writing about. I do not know if my posts are solely driven by incidents. if they were, I’d have written a lot more – considering how every passing moment unravels a new mystery, throws in a new adventure, for us bum kinds. to find something to write about, with all the esoteric eccentricities of the mind, has never been a problem. so what is it that drives the pen to the paper – or the hand to the keyboard as is the case more often, and sadly so – it is hard to say. it is probably the moment, an impulse, so to say. if it passes, the thoughts change course, the words that were remotely beginning to find some form, melt away into the void. the attempt of the mind to crystallize the abstraction into words – however limited – fizzles away. but seize the moment, and here you are, writing, just about anything, or even nothing. after all, it is quite possible that everything came from nothing. if it did, then where did nothing come from, I wonder.
it is a small world, after all, and in a while, a familiar face pops in with a surprised look, to receive an equally surprised response. surprised, and somewhat uncomfortable, I must add, if I were to be perfectly honest. after all, I hadn’t expected to see anybody, least of all an old friend. as I nudge and make room to seat another, I am – with a certain amount of guilt – a little uncomfortable with the idea of making conversation at this point of time.
“just go with the flow”, a bum I had once met on one such journey told me. I’d seen him in the middle of the night, when I was traveling ticket less, and was asked to get off the train, or tip off some people. grease their palms, so to say. the latter wasn’t an option, for I had just enough money to manage a meager diet, and some beedis – the cheaper and somewhat nicer version of cigarettes. so there I was, in this small railway station, in a god forsaken town. I saw him in a corner, to himself, smoking what smelt very familiar to me. it was, in fact the smell that drew me to look around and find this man – tiny gait, minimal clothing and a little bag – sitting in a little semi lit nook. I quietly sat next to him and he offered me the chillum. he wouldn’t talk much, but asked me where I was going, and I woefully narrated my story to him. we would then sit there for a few hours, not talking much, and he would later take me along, on another train headed towards where I had originally intended to go. he had told me that I wouldn’t be troubled, and neither would anybody ask me for the ticket. and as long as I was with him, nobody did. when my station came, I thanked him, gave him a few beedis, and left, when he said that to me.
the thoughts race back to the present, as I had this friend narrating some of the happenings in his own life. then there are the usual questions. how and what the work is like now. and how the family is. and what the plans were – plans in life I mean. it was proving to be hard, even this simple instance, of going with the flow. he was apparently traveling with a group of young men and women – all on a spiritual tour of sorts. after a while, we seem to have run out of things to say, and so sit there twiddling our fingers. he invites me over, to join them – they were apparently going to sing hymns and chant and what not. I politely refuse, and notice the disappointment in his face. he doesn’t say much. if he knew me as well as he did a few years ago, he’d figure. the time alone is precious these days, what with the constant drama of being thrown amidst people during most waking hours of the day.
“from the alone, to the alone, all alone is the way of life”, swami chinmayananda has said.
I am reminded of this statement as I turn my gaze back to the moon, a little less red and somewhat smaller than it looked a while ago. a full moon, nice and round – not really, but as round as it can get. perfect imperfection, I wonder how it has worked out that way, the moon I mean. it is even more special today, as it is guru poornima. it is believed to be the birthday of the sage Vyasa, one who is supposed to have authored one of the greatest epics known.
there is nothing in this world that isn’t in it, they say.
what is less known is that the man is also credited with having strived to preserve the Vedas, which is in fact what gave him the prefix to his name. at an era when they were vanishing, he is supposed to have sent disciples all over, to learn and document a wealth of information – from medicine to art to astronomy to astrology to spirituality. and he is then supposed to have collated all this, into what now is accepted to be the 4 vedas.
and today, seekers renew their energies on the path, to continue seeking that divine grace that keeps the clock ticking. may we all walk our paths, and seek that very grace, and never cease till we find what we look for.