Please make sure you have read the previous part before continuing further to understand the background, or rather the foreground. 😊

🎶 Morey Krishna…Morey Krishna…

         Mori kan kan me bas tu basse

         Jaha chalun mere sath chale

        Mere sath roye mere sath hasse…

      Morey Krishna…Morey Krishna… 🎶

Hopping over the bushes and the frogs hiding underneath, the little feet of Niru rushed towards the voice as fast as they could, her heart pacing even faster. This was a kind of excitement she had never felt before as if the strings of the veena directly plucked at her nerves creating electric sensations. Her immature mind couldn’t make any meaning out of the song, the only word that echoed for her inside out was Krishna. By now she had started singing along and wished for all other lines to get over that she could just listen to Morey Krishna

Finally, huffing, puffing and yet humming ‘Morey Krishna’, she reached the peepal tree beneath which her eyes met those of the lady from whom the sweet melody flowed. Donning a crisp white cotton saree tainted slightly brown at some spots by the sandalwood paste smeared over her body, she looked elegant with a charming smile and luminous black eyes. Her beauty was bedazzling even in the absence of any ornament. Niru stood at a meagre three feet distance completely mesmerized, gazing at her incessantly without batting an eyelid. Her humming had come to an involuntary halt and she stood motionless, open-mouthed; drinking the ethereal beauty, the enchanting music and the nectar of devotion dripping from the saintly lady.

Within a few minutes, the lady stopped singing, put aside her veena and gestured the little girl in a yellow frock with two ponytails to come closer. Niru promptly wiped her muddy hands at the hem of her frock before covering the tiny distance and landing in the lap of the lady. The lady caressed Niru’s head with much affection and showered many blessings on her. Feeling comfortable and fearless by this loving gesture, Niru blurted out, ” Who are you? Why haven’t I seen you before? Why are you here alone? Don’t you have any friends? ”

In a gentle murmuring voice, the lady answered ” My name is Lalitha. I am not from around here. I am a passing traveller just resting under this tree for a while. I am not accompanied by any friends because this journey of mine must be undertaken alone to be successful. Besides, I keep making so many wonderful new friends all along the way. See now I have you giving me such great company. But I can’t take them all along with me, can I? If I ask you to come with me wherever I am going, will you?”

Niru shook her head instantaneously and said ” I cannot live without my mother”. Then her eyes lit up a bit as she revealed her ingenious idea very proudly ” But I can ask Maa, if she agrees we both will come with you. If she denies, can you please convince her Lalitha Maa? You look so wise, she will listen to you for sure!”

Lalitha laughed a hearty laugh, brought Niru a bit closer to her bosom and said ” No my darling, your mother has her own work to do here. It won’t be right for her to abandon it midway and come with me. She shall start on her own journey when her preparations are done and she is ready. And so shall you too, one day my little one! ”

Dejected that her travel plans had been foiled in no time, Niru uttered sulkily ” Just because I am a kid, everyone asks me to wait for everything. When I want a new dress Baba tells me to wait till my birthday. If I want a pet dog, Maa tells me to wait until I can take bath and eat by myself so that I can take care of the puppy. And now you are also asking me to wait for this journey to begin”. She pushed back her right pony and looked down in frustration.

Lalitha could only faintly guess the heartbreak of Niru because who can fully comprehend what a child goes through. In growing up as adults, everyone forgets how they had felt as a child and how they wished to be treated by adults. Digging a handful of raisins from her jute bag, she held them out to Niru in an effort to console her and said ” Okay I was wrong in saying that your journey will start one day. I’m sorry. Actually, it has already started, why else did you come running here when not another single person from the village did?

Words gushed out of Niru as if waking from a trance, ” Krishna…. Krishna… the song that you were singing, it was so beautiful. It pulled me like a magnet. Tell me Lalitha Maa, who is this Krishna? Can you arrange for him to meet me please?

The little girl’s quest and longing at the name of Krishna raged the flame of love and devotion in Lalitha. She was smitten by Niru’s connection with Krishna, and struck with a paucity of words to explain what a priceless treasure she carried in her tender heart in ignorance.

After a brief spell of silence, Lalitha said ” Krishna is the only true friend who accompanies us in every journey. He is invisible but has a one-to-one connection with everyone including you and comes to all those who call Him with love and sincerity. So, why don’t you talk to Him yourself and request Him to meet you? If He doesn’t come immediately, don’t lose patience, He might be busy with other appointments. Keep expressing to Him whatever is in your heart, just know that He is always listening and will come and meet you at the right time.” 

Then, pulling out a small clay statue of little Krishna eating butter, Lalitha placed it on Niru’s soft palms and said ” This is what Krishna looks like. Your best friend! Don’t forget Him even for a moment. Make a home for Him in your heart, take Him with you wherever you go, play with Him whenever you want and talk to Him whatever you feel like. ”

Niru looked at the tiny form of clay in her hands and didn’t just see a statue. She witnessed the living Krishna, the cutest boy with a mischievous smile, her best friend!

Soon, she became oblivious to the presence of Lalitha Maa, the peepal tree and everything else around and was immersed in her Krishna, cuddling his chubby cheeks, showering kisses and chatting merrily ” Oh my dear Krishna, I am so happy to have you as my best friend. I will love you more than anyone else and share all my toys, food and secrets with you. And I am so eager to meet you in person too, please come soon…Morey Krishna….Morey Krishna…” 

Not wanting to disturb the best friends reunited after ages, Lalitha Maa carefully alighted Niru from her lap, blessed her one more time whispering gently to herself, ” My dear child! Strange are the ways of life. Such longing and devotion at this young age, it’s definitely the result of pious deeds from previous lives. Yet, there’s so much in store, so much to face and conquer, thorns to walk on and attachments to make you suffer before the veil of illusion disappears and you reach Krishna’s abode. May He remain your best friend forever”. 

Saying thus, she lifted her only bag to her shoulders and walked away plucking at her veena. Within moments, she had disappeared from sight. Though her mellifluous music still filled the air, as if caught between the peepal’s leaves, interspersed by Nirmala’s laughs, chirpy talks and crooning to her newfound best friend    ” Morey Krishna… Morey Krishna ” 🎶🎵🎶

To be continued