The only befitting manner to describe what transpired would a blank post; I do not have the competence to describe an emotion so pure, a love so true. It left me bereft of words then, it leaves me speechless now. I can only collect the tears that fall into the cup of my palms, palms facing upwards in thankfulness.
I claim to be just a surrogate writer for this post; this post belongs to someone higher than me.
Let us go down this rabbit hole into a miraculous, wonderful world the Alice in me was exposed to, a little over ten years ago. Hey! make sure you’re wearing the correct glasses. Only if you are, shall you realize that the enchanted door that leads you into this world –so cosmic and so singular– actually leads you out of the rabbit hole.
It is also a world where NOTHING happens without a purpose, where cheap plastic slippers hold more value than Jimmy Choos, depending on who wore them, with what intent did they enter. It is a world where the only currency is unadulterated love. After months, yesterday, I was once again let into the inner courtyard of this enchanted universe.
My journey starts with my Babaji, who is like an indulgent father to the brat that I am, and is forever guiding me to the Guru, the medium to connect with God.
On one fateful day over ten years ago, he had welcomed me in his abode, an unassuming Gurdwara Sahib*, in a small little village in Punjab. He had opened his heart, his doors, his home to me like a mother does to her newborn child. I would just walk in as and when I pleased; demanding, crying , smiling even asking for this or that to eat .He would just embrace me in pure love. That’s all he knew …love and humility.
He was a simple farmer who had been handed over a huge responsibility, a special soul who hid his immense power under a simpler than simple garb. It is not a rich ashram, does not accept money from everybody, I have seen people with donations in hand being turned away …anything not offered out of true love is not acceptable, and you are not allowed to go back without eating.
I have had my thoughts read, my needs anticipated, I have seen miracles happen but most of all I have seen the pinnacle of selfless love. The last I saw him was in hospital, writhing in pain in the last stages of cancer. One look at me, he sat up and asked, “How are you? Is everything okay in office?” his voice barely audible. “I am fine, are you okay?” was all that I managed to say. “If my children are fine, I am fine.”I am not fine Babaji…come back…
His place was taken by the current Babaji. It took me time to adjust to a Babaji, who was not as indulgent and for him to a child who was not exactly the most disciplined. Not only the seat, but the love had also been passed down, Babaji grew to love me as much, so did I.
He indulged me, he even took back my prasad of sweets and handed me an apple instead, as he felt I was gaining weight! Whenever I would call him up crying, he would almost shout at me in pain and say, “I told you… now go finish your prayers”. He did warn me every time and hurt with me, every time I hurt from not listening. He loved me like a father, a father who would open up any doors for me but he was bound by the laws of a larger universe and a religion that forbids miracles.
He showed me a wonderful path of absolute happiness but a path I could not bring myself to follow. I resented him, was mad at him, tried following but gave up and also was almost arrogantly secure in my position of being the favorite child. However, when I finally rebelled, he quietly withdrew. It was at this time that I realized what I had lost.
I think the key to the journey back, was the phone call from the therapist’s office. It was a call made in love, I said something completely silly and he gave a gruff response, the kind an emotional father gives to the disfavored child playing a prank of love. This was three days ago.
Yesterday, I picked up the phone, it was my Aunt for mom who said one of my Babaji’s loved ones was coming to her farm. “Atleast you come”, she said. I knew it was a sign.
It was a wonderfully sunny afternoon, we de-curled in the lovely sun, took mini sips of coffee as we guiltily pre-tasted the goodies, talked about blessings retained and lost, about love – mom and aunty on chairs and me cross legged on the grass. Theirs is a family of three architects and one artist, needless to say the house is beautiful, what’s more, it hosts a small Gurdwara Sahib in the midst of perfectly manicured gardens.
Our guests were late; I knew from experience, they would not arrive until I finished at least one of my prayers (mom and aunty had finished theirs, early morning). I washed my hands, and took my position back on the grass, prayer book in hand. Just as I finished, the cars entered…
It was as if the breeze brought with it a whiff of love, as a truly holy soul with about ten of his followers entered. The energy was perceptible, the love tangible. It was as if Babaji had sent a messenger, with a parcel full of love, for me. As we walked to the house for lunch, he said, “You have forgotten us.” It hurt, “No I haven’t”, I mumbled, “I feel forgotten”. He smiled and said, “You should make a house like this, we shall all come, say our prayers there.” Oh Yes! I would… if only you would… It was comforting to be back in the inner circle of love.
Prayers continued as we served and once everybody had been served, the langar*, they started eating. It was no ordinary meal; it was no ordinary time… Tea was served outside, in the sun-warmed lawns. The talk was about love and grace; rather the exchange was love and grace. Eyes moist, and lumps in throats all we could do was sit and smile our thankfulness.
We left to the strains of the hymn … “Oh Lord! please come and take abode in my heart…”
The day ensued but it did not matter… it had already been lived.
*Gurdwara Sahib : Sikh Temple
*Langar : the practice of free food served in the Gurdwaras; where everybody a king or a pauper, sit together on the ground as equals and eat.