Prophecy for a wanderer

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As we were still there, she was curious to know about you, your destiny, and your future as desperately as I was. She suggested we consult a fortune-teller in the vicinity.’ Mother continued in one of her relaxed agony confessing sessions with her son, Girish.

‘And I agreed. One afternoon, when your father was away chasing jobs and who, eventually, preferred to remain jobless; I and the pious-land-lady-in-love went to see an astrologer. The astorloger lived in the temple premises around two miles away from our place. As we reached the temple compound, we noticed there was his name ‘Pundit Ballabh Joshi – Astrologer and Palmist of World Repute’ written on the large billboard erected on the wall of the temple. His fee was very high, as high as eleven rupees for a single session of horoscope reading. Don’t be surprised, son. It was long back when Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru had just died of the aftershocks of a Chinese invasion and a bruised India was hardly able to pay salary to her civil servants. At that time the monthly salary of a babu used to be around fifty bucks. You might be wondering how I paid his fee, son. The astrologer was known to the land-lady and arranged to see you on complimentary basis – alms – something started right from your birth. The astrologer was a multitalented fortune-teller. He read horoscopes, he read lines on the palm, he read lines on the forehead, he calculated things based on the numbers in a persons’ date of birth, he guessed results based on the letters in one’s name etc. etc.’

‘So, there was no chance of misleading predictions or untrue prophecies. As we entered his room, Pt. Joshi was sitting across a large table, as big as a table for table-tennis game. He was wearing white kurta and an immaculate white dhoti, and a red scarf loosely hung over his shoulders. A thick layer of artificial sandalwood-paste was smeared over his forehead and red vermillion dot decorated the centre of his forehead. He gestured to make us sit across the table, you on my lap, and the land-lady smiling besides me. He donned a pair of thick glasses as he tried to read the obscure tiny lines on the delicate palms of one year old baby. Still unsure, he picked his magnifying glass and put over your both hands. And, another glance on your tiny forehead. He asked your name and wrote ‘Girish’ followed by date on the top of a page. He jotted down few lines on that piece of paper. Then he asked the time, date, and place of your birth. He drew some more lines on yet another piece of paper, some rectangles and some triangles. And wrote single syllables on each cell created by drawing of these rectangles and triangles. He mysteriously looked at me and my forehead, and you and your forehead. He again hastily jotted down some illegible phrases on the piece of paper.’ Mother explained each moment spent with the fortune-teller.

‘Then, what the astrologer said I couldn’t follow that time and can’t follow it now. You can decipher it if you want and if you can and if you must. He read from the piece of paper he had then scribbled. He wrote smoothly, but he halted when he spoke. So the prophecy became as unintelligible in hearing as it was in writing and more difficult in comprehending.’ She opened her old rusted worn-out green tin trunk, pulled out a dilapidated piece of paper, which had turned yellowish, and the ink had turned as blurred as the rhyming prophecies themselves. Mother dictated the words of the astrologer…verbatim. Now the astrologer’s words follow:

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Blurred Prophecies

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Excerpts from ‘Some Mistakes Have No Pardon’

‘Son, this is the paper that the astrologer wrote. I kept it in the bottom of my trunk and it still is with me, unmoved, unread, untouched for decades. You can see this son, if you want and if you like to understand the prophecies.’ She handed over the page to Girish. Enigmatic words of an esoteric science by a still unintelligible fortune-teller. The astrologer’s story was one among many stories his mother told him and repeated many times till Girish had his own stories to tell. Better, mother Parvati did not understand then the obscured language of an ambiguous sounding astrologer. But Girish, when he grew young and bit more than young, understood the prophecy; word by word, phrase by phrase, grammar by grammar. He understood the words and understood the gaps between the words…and he understood the dotted lines and he understood the lines between the lines.

As the lines on the palm and forehead of Girish turned darker and thicker, as he matured along the highs and lows of life-wave, the hazy and blurred phrases shook off the dust of time and dried the moisture of pain, thus being vivid like an image on a carved glass. The incidences in his life ahead sharpened the blunt edges of diamond and the hitherto blurred prophecies found meaning…found reflection…like that in a mirror.

Souls

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Excerpts from ‘Some Mistakes Have No Pardon’

‘How can they come and vanish at will? Take a shape and then melt into nothing?’ Girish asked.
‘Son, you have studied in science books that everything in this universe is made of three particles namely, protons, neutrons, and electrons. Haven’t you?’

“Yes, I have.’ Girish looked up to Dadu in anticipation of what he was going to discover next.

‘The electrons are moving around the neutrons and protons. Everything inside the object is shaking. An idol may seem static to you and to me, but every bit of it is in continuous movement, shaking, shivering, and rotating. If something is in motion, it is not static. It is in a state of vibration. As such each atom is vibrating. If each atom of an object is vibrating, the whole object can said to be vibrating. We come across electricity, telephone signals, etc. which are nothing but energy in the form of electronic waves. Each object in the universe, including man, woman, animals, trees, air, water, sound etc. can be broken down into atoms. These atoms are vibrating. Thus they are waves. Go further…. as sound travels in case of radio and telephone signals, thoughts can also travel in the form of waves. One day, there will definitely be an invention that will transform thoughts into electronic waves that can move an object. Therefore, everything in this universe is a vibrating object, a non-physical energy.’ Pt. Bhatt explained with great details.

Soulmate

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Excerpts from ‘Some Mistakes Have No Pardon’ by Girdhar Joshi

………‘You could find your destination, your ultimate goal. But everybody is not fortunate enough to find that. People like me would hardly get it, as they are always crying for love.’ Girish spoke his mind.

‘Yes…exactly, I cried for love too. But I got it…because He being the ocean of love. Only He can quench any thirst, which a mortal person on earth can’t ever do.’ Maya spoke about her soulmate, the Almighty.

‘Maya, you have found your soulmate. But I haven’t yet.’ Girish said.

‘Soulmate! What is soulmate, Girish? What is your definition of soulmate?’ Maya asked in just one breath.

‘Umm…well…One who understands you and one who accepts you as you are, one who loves you, and one who is a kind of support centre for you. And, one with whom you have a mental, physical, and spiritual relationship. That’s my definition of soulmate.’ Girish elaborated.

‘Hmm…’ Girish heard Maya just humming on phone.

‘So, my dear friend Maya, a soulmate is everything for me. Shall I find one?’ Girish probed Maya.

‘Yes… why not. Soulmates find each other. They naturally get attracted to each other. One has to be receptive. Let all the good waves enter into you.’ Maya replied.

‘Okay…fine. I will.’

‘And… to let the good waves enter, you need to clean you of all bad instincts inside you. If you shed all your inhibitions, your anger, your fears, and all your bitterness towards others, you will be receptive and you can recognize the signals when you come across your soulmate.’ Maya explained.

‘Definitely…I will, Maya.’

‘Don’t stray, Girish. There you have your soulmate, somewhere on this very earth. Girish, you will meet your soulmate, one day.’ Maya prophetically declared.

What is love?

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‘You are in love for a few moments, for a few seconds, and for a few minutes.  There is nothing called permanent love or temporary love. Love is love. Love may be for smaller durations…or it may be for longer durations. What people call a permanent love, it is nothing but fantacising about stagnant love.’ She said emphatically.

‘Hmm.’ Girish was dismayed at her explanation and excellent philosophy. He kept looking at her and anticipation more gems.

‘Even otherwise love is not permanent. I repeat. There is nothing called permanent love. Had the love been permanent, there won’t have been divorces after love marriages. Had the love been everlasting, there won’t have been bad blood in the family. Had the love been perennial, there won’t have been murders of wives by husbands and murders of husbands by wives. The moment you enter into love making with an unknown woman, or a fallen woman, as you may like to call her, you start loving her. The moment you touch her, you have fallen in love. In love, you touch her, you caress her, you feel her, you try to imbibe into her, and you try to receive her within you. You assimilate into her, like the Ganges assimilates into Yamuna and create a third self. You won’t ever hurt her in such situation. If this is not love, then what is?’ (Excerpts from ‘Some Mistakes Have No Pardon’ )

When the priest was blowing conch

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Excerpts from ‘Some Mistakes Have No Pardon’

…It was a cloudy evening, not raining heavily, but drizzling. There was no snowfall yet. But the temperature must be touching zero. Freezing cold. The chilled January evening, when the water droplets on the oak leaves was freezing into ice, when the icy winds could freeze rain droplets before they rolled down to cheeks, when the old grannies and grandpas draped in the hand-woven black blankets in those hills were warming their wrinkled hands in the bonfire of dried pine wood, when the sun had sunken him behind the high peaks of a few western mountains of Kumaon, when the pale moon was struggling to show behind the  jamming clouds, when the resident priest of the temple was blowing conch and shaking the brass bell to awake the deity in his evening prayer, when the flock of birds were trying to hide and warm themselves in their nests behind the cedar leaves, when the frogs buried in the bamboo grooves had started their evening cacophony, when the newborns were crying for their mother’s breast milk, when the cows were ruminating in the cowsheds after grazing day long, when the ice-chilled tiles on the floor of the temple were freezing the blood in the bare feet of the bride and the groom on the temple premises in front of the watchful deity, then…only then, Girish put a garland made of black-pearl beads into the neck of Tara, his new bride, dressed in the fiery red attire, in the presence of two taxi drivers, the priest who refused to solemnize the marriage and looked the other side, and the emotions beating marble stone idol of the deity – in that temple at that hill top of Almora.