Whenever we move into a new house or stay somewhere over a long vacation, in the beginning, the new place seems strange and unfamiliar. We keep clicking random switches in order to turn on the lights or the fan and we keep at it for sometime. Only after a while do we become familiar with the switches.

And it could be just my personal experience, but as soon as you learn the switches to a new place, it is time for you to leave! I feel it is the same with life. When you become confident that you have learnt the tricks of the trade, and have started getting a hang of how it all works, right then you will have to abandon it all and leave. The older, the wiser! What is to be done with all the wisdom, now that I have the ticket in my hand? 

Sorry to bring your train of thoughts to a halt, but we have to board another one as of now!

I was travelling back home during one of the Diwali vacations, and there was this mad scrambling for reservations. Luckily I managed to get a passage seat. The train was stuffed with passengers in waiting, and I thanked my stars! It was difficult to even pretend to sleep during the journey, owing to the constant hankering of the passengers with the ticket collector, for confirming the waitlist on the go. One of them quipped the TC, that they’ll at least have a place to lie down by the time the train reached Rewa, the very last station! “रीवा तक सीट खाली हो जाएगी ना?” The TC was so heckled that he nodded his head, “हां हां रीवा में सीट दे देंगे आपको!” What will we do with a confirmed seat when our journey is about to end?

Just then the train skidded to a halt in Satna, the last stop before Rewa, and in hopped a family of seven or so. They had some 3-4 seats all to themselves. Soon as they put their dozens of bags securely underneath the seats, they started asking the cabin attendant for pillows, bedsheets and blankets. One of the aunties, probably the elder of the family by the looks of her tall musculature, could be seen harassing the undernourished attendant into giving her three pillows all for herself. It appeared as if they were gonna settle down inside that train ka dabba itself, and call it home for the rest of their lives!

Probably this is human nature. Wherever man leans back to sit, there itself he starts aggregating the objects of his comfort. 

All his lifetime, he keeps collecting trash and then jails himself inside the junkyard he built. “Oh my familial house, my property! I cannot go anywhere leaving this, who will look after it when I am gone!” When you’re gone they will throw away everything you ever owned! One day you will have to leave all of this behind. This is just a train ride of a few miles. So do not turn your passenger seat into a couch! You are just a traveller and are not supposed to stay here forever. As soon as your station arrives, you will have to get off the train. Think about what you’re gonna do then! 

और कितनी ट्रेंस का सफर करके अपनी मंज़िल तक पहुंचना है? कितनी ट्रेंस बदल-बदल कर suffer करते रहिएगा?

Is there an end to this incessant journeying? Because I am tired of learning my way around to new light switches every time!

Yesterday I received an electric shock from the switchboard of my own home. I jumped and almost hit the ceiling. (तब ही से मेरा दिमाग़ थोड़ा हिला हुआ है!) Just the way life keeps shocking and surprising us, never allowing us to stay put! Happiness comes and runs away. And even pain doesn’t allow us to get used to it. The weather keeps changing, which is just to trick us into believing, that something new is happening. In reality, we are still stuck in the same old rut. Some for this lifetime and others have realised that we have been jailed inside this alluring house of illusions for ages! 

When I was in school, on the days when I would be particularly lazy, Amma used to wake me up by sprinkling cold water on my face. I guess, now am so deep into this delusive slumber that Mother Divine might need to throw a whole bucket of water on me! I welcome that jolt of awakening. Swami Ji differs and says, it is not like a sudden jolt but a gradual unfolding. Yes, Bhagwan whatever you say is the only truth! All I want is to figure out whether I am even beginning to open up? I wish I do not have to wake up to the sound of, “चाय! चाय! चाय!” only to realise that am still on the train, a long way from home! 

I have not met Swami Ji face to face yet, and sometimes I travel to Sri Badrika Ashram in my imagination, in order to soothe my yearning heart. Listening to this song, I count the number of rides I will have to hitch, a train, a flight and then a cab, perhaps a bus and a few kilometres on feet. That is the only journey worth undertaking anymore! I wish I could stay there for so long that I learn all the light switches and never have to unlearn them! Will I get as many blankets as I need, I have heard it’s rather cold in Shalamun! 😛

Am sure Swami Ji will kick me out before I start aggregating pillows and blankets. 😂

Pranam Swami Ji 🙏🏻 Please consider confirming my ticket as well. At your mercy now Prabhu! ❤️🙏🏻

Picture Credit: Photo by Ryan Tang on Unsplash