Bhagavad Gita And Impact on Western Mind

March 8, 2017

 

                                    Sanskrit Scriptures And The West

In India, Sanskrit and the Sanskrit literature have been almost forgotten but it has influenced the European writers in a big way. Very recently it was found in New-Zeeland that if a student knows Sanskrit it can very easily master English. So Sanskrit is included in the school syllabus there.

In the beginning, the Sanskrit works which have influenced the European writers were three works: the Jataka stories, the Panchatantra and the Hitopadesa. Being stories, communicating classical Hindu themes with ethical message those suited the medieval taste. They rationally appealed to all those who loved to listen to and tell mysterious stories. People used to hear and enjoy such stories, especially when they moved from one place to another as merchants or soldiers or pilgrims or travellers or ascetics .

The story of Pardoner’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer’s (1340-1400), was based on one of the Jataka stories. In a similar manner, the tales of Panchatantra by Vishnu Sharma mixed up with some tales of the Hitopadesa and the Kathasaritsangare came to be known to the literary world as the Fables of Pilpay or Bidpai. It is almost a source of much European literature related with   folklore tradition. -1 The earliest English references to these tales are found in Sir Thomas North’s (1535-1601), The Moral Philosophy of Doni. For centuries the India that evoked some response in the western brains and world was the India of tale collections or the India of amazing wealth. The India that Aeschylus (525-456 B.C.) mentioned in his Suppliant Women:

And tales I know, how Indian women roam;

By camels drawn, each in the tented home. -2

This India was not the golden India of later times. The India that appears colourfully in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale in the account of ‘Emetreus Kyng of Inde’ (11.2155-2189)-3, is the India of Gold. Shakespeare (1564-1616) mentions India which testifies to this golden Inde  idea of tradition. -4 Robert Ralston Cawley in the section on ‘The East Indies’ in his book, The Voyagers and Elizabethan Drama,  echoes  that with the golden India concept was related to the range of other ideas indicating wonderful geography, anthropology, flora, fauna and customs.-5 Yet it was from the late sixteenth century onwards that pragmatic accounts of India began to appear, such as the accounts of the Dutch missionary Abraham Roger, Edward Terry, Thomas Coryate (1577-1617)-6, John Ogilvy (1600-1676), Richard Eden (1521-1576)-7, Richard Willes and Sir Thomas Herbert. The impact of the belief of India as an actual rather that amazing country can be seen in Restoration Literature and the orientation of Samuel Johnson’s (1709-1784) Rasseles (1759) and Voltaire’s (1694-1778) Zadig.

Prior to the eighteenth century, India for Western World was known for her wealth and affluence. Western people were concerned only with the gold and other valuable materials. But at the end of the eighteenth century, their approach was changed. Now India was also known for her rich philosophy. With the luxury goods, philosophical ideas also travelled to western world from India. Times Literary Supplement, comments:

Between East and West the cultural wind blows both ways,

though a hasty present-day inspection might suggest that

it blew mainly eastward . . . . The wind from the East is quieter,

older, less immediately detectable; it penetrates and mingles,

and its note is deep . . . . Today the student from the Orient may

find himself to some degrees at home in Western Thought

for the elements of his own cultures, that are mixed in it.-8

Towards the fag end of the eighteenth century, curiosity in Indian literature and philosophy was aroused in the West by the translations of some major Indian scriptures and literary works. Germans were the first to show curiosity in the Indian writings on religion, philosophy, and literature. About five hundred years ago we find a German translation of the Panchatantra, entitled as Panchatantra Das Buch der byspel der alten Wyseen, by Anthonius Von Pforr (1488)-9 , based on Sanskrit via Pahlavi, Old Arabic, Hebrew and Latin. Bhartrihari’s verses were translated into German in 1663.-10 B.Hirzal translated Sakuntala in 1833. -11 The translation of the Manusmriti by J.C.Huttner appeared in 1797 and one of the Upanishads in 1808.-12 A wave of translations came out after Peiper (1834) who enlarged the value of his metrical depiction by copious grammatical, mythological and philosophical notes. Max Muller (1823-1900) contributed greatly to the translation of Sanskrit literature as editor of The Sacred Books of the East. He translated Hitopadesa (1844), Meghduta and parts of the Rig-Veda.-13

                                    Bhagavad Gita’s Journey To West

In India, due to the faulty secular policy and vote bank politics, this great book has been rendered controversial book. So much so, in Soviet Russia very recently it was banned and it was declared a book preaching violence. But Bhagavad Gita has influenced and impressed a large number of western scholars.  This book is more than five thousand years old.

J.W.Hauer, a Sanskrit Scholar who served for a few years as missionary in India, gave to the Bhagavad Gita a central place in German faith.-14   A huge number of German scholars were deeply influenced by the Indian philosophy. Kant (1724-1804), Herder (1744-1803), Fitche (1762-1814), Hegel (1770-1831), Schlegal (1772-1829), Schiller (1759-1805) and Goethe-15 (1749-1832) are very significant names in this regard. Friedrich Von Schlegal (1767-1829) who translated the Bhagavad Gita, quoted a few passages of the Bhagavad Gita in his own metrical translation (1808), collectively with lines from the Ramayana; Manusmriti and Sakuntala. The German pioneer Baron Wilhelm Von Humboldt started studying Sanskrit in 1821. After reading the Bhagavad Gita he thanked God that he had lived long enough to read such an inspiring book. He delivered a famous lecture on the Bhagavad Gita beforethe Academy of Science in Berlin in 1825.-16 In German, there is a museum named after the name of Herder ‘Herder Museum’. In this museum a number of Indian Manuscripts, carried away from India during the last more than a thousand years are conserved.

There is also evidence of the early Roman contact with India, though the contacts are limited to trade only. But quickly these contacts resulted in intellectual interactions. As a result of this interaction, Anquetil du Perron (1731-1805) translated Upanishads into Latin. In Surat, Gujrat, India, he discovered the Avests and published it as Zend-Avests in 1771.-17 The Oupnek’het which he then translated was the Persian version of the Upanishads, translated in 1656 by the Mogul prince Dara Shikoh, son of Mogul ruler Shahjahan, the elder brother of brutal and fanatic Aurangzeb. Realising that he was in fact, dealing with a Sanskrit text, he decided to translate the text into Latin. The first translation of a Sanskrit text into Latin was completed in 1796 -18 which was published in 1801-1802.

The Nelopakhyana episode of the Mahabharata was translated from Sanskrit in 1819,-19 while the first Latin collection from the Gita was published by O.Frank in 1820. A.W Von Schlegel was the first to bring out a complete Latin translation of the Bhagavad Gita in 1823. With the support of Goethe, Von Schlegel also started a Latin translation of the Ramayana but did it only partly.-20 Lassen also contributed in the field of translating Gita and other Hindu scriptures in the European languages.

The invasion of the East India Company in India brought England and India nearer not only politically and commercially but also culturally. In England Sir William Jones (1756-1794), who passed away at the age of forty-eight was a pioneer and almost a crusader in this field.-21 He lived in India for ten long years. As proved by the records, he was the first English intellectual to command the Sanskrit language and interpreted the Eastern classics to the West. He was also and the first to translate Kalidasa’s Abhigyan Sakuntalam into English in 1789.-22 William Jones also was the first man to bring out an edition of a Sanskrit text. This was a short poem entitled Ritusemhara or Cycle of the Season published in 1792-23. In the same year, he published his English translation of Jaydeva’s Gitagovindam-24

The first Governor General of Bengal, Sir Warren Hastings appealed to some Hindu Pundits (scholarly people) to prepare a digest of Hindu Law. They prepared a scholarly work in twenty-one chapters, called Vivadarnavasetu. But when the work was ready nobody could be found to translate it directly from Sanskrit to English. As a result, first, a Persian version was made, which was translated by Hellhed into English called A Code of Hindoo Law in 1776. -25 Warren Hastings also helped the establishment of the Asiatic Society -26, who’s first President was Sir William Jones. -27 Hastings sent Charles Wilkins to Benaras to learn Sanskrit, and when Wilkins’ translation of the Bhagavad Gita was ready in manuscript, he persuaded the East India Company to have it printed and published in London. He himself wrote the introduction of this great Hindu book. The translation was published with the title, The Bhagvat Geeta or Dialogue of Kreeshna and Arjoona. This translation was in eighteen chapters and was brought out in 1783 -28.  The combined efforts of Charles Wilkins and William Jones gave a strong force to more and more translations from Sanskrit. Colebrook lived in India for more than thirty years, (died in 1837) and he translated A Digest of Hindu Law on Contracts and Successions in 1797.-29 In 1804 he edited the Hitopadesa–30 with an introduction, and the Amarkosa-31, with marginal translation in 1808. He also prepared a Lexicon and Grammar of the Sanskrit Language in 1805-32. He also undertook the difficult task of translating works on arithmetic and astronomy.

Literature is also a philosophy. Though some critics may not agree with this notion. There are countless examples of seer poets enlightening ancient truths. Such graceful revelations are universal spiritual truths to which no one person, age, or religion can lay claim but certainly Hindu scriptures are closest to universal truth. In their effort to unravel the mystery of life and death poets and writers tried to make rapport with the Indian spiritual reality, like Hindu sages.

  1. Marshman and William Carey editedThe Ramayana of Maharishi Valmiki in the original Sanskrit -33 with a prose translation and explanatory notes in 1806. H.H. Wilson came to India as a doctor of the East India Company but was soon interested in Hindu scriptures. In 1813 he published his first translation of Kalidasa’s Meghduta and Select Specimens of the Theatre of the Hindus-34 from the original Sanskrit. He also prepared the first Sanskrit-English Dictionary in 1819-35 and was the first to take up the chair of Sanskrit in Oxford in 1832. In this respect, Britain lagged behind the French where the first Chair of Sanskrit in Paris was established 1814 and in Germany where it was first set up in Bonn in 1818. Sir Edwin Arnold in 1860 translated Hitopadesa, in 1875 Jaydeva’s Gita-Govinda and finally in 1885 The Song Celestial i.e. the Gita. His famous book, The Light of Asia is also heavily influenced by the Indian philosophy especially the Gita. Charles Wilkins’ translations of the Bhagavad Gita (1785), the Hitopadesa (1787), the story of Sakuntala from the Mahabharata (1793); A Grammar of the Sanskrit Language (1823)-36 were parts of that zeal for Indology, that from the last quarter of the eighteenth century onwards, extend over a number of western countries such as Britain, America, France, Germany, France, Russia, Italy and others.

These translations and transcriptions of Sanskrit scriptures and literary books created a culture in Europe in the nineteenth century, influencing the important English writers. Of all the translations of Indian scriptures and literarily works, the translation of the Bhagavad Gita exercised the broadest and deepest influence on the imagination of western writers and thinkers. The reasons are not difficult to understand. The Bhagavad Gita has a significance and message which is apparently so universally human that its meaning remains significant to all ages and cultures. It is not a ‘neutral text’, but one which has played the most noteworthy role in India’s religious and philosophical movements as well as in the political life of a common man. It is one book which is not sectarian because it does not drive its sacredness from the subjective belief of its worshippers. The Bhagavad Gita is replete with dynamic inspiration which lifts up and moves the heart and mind of the reader. D.S. Sarma rightly points out:

We may read the Bhagavad Gita a thousand times and

think we have exhausted its meaning, but the next time

we go to it we get a new light, which we never dreamt

of before. The suggestiveness of the wonderful book is

really infinite, If only we begin to interpret it for ourselves

In terms of our own experience. -37

                       Bhagavad Gita and the English Literature

The Gita influenced a large number of English men of letters but in a big way, famous Romantic poet S.T.Coleridge was the first important English poet to respond to the Wilkins’ translation of the Bhagavad Gita. Coleridge more than any other of his generation poets, was familiar with the works of a number of ideologists such as Sir William Jones.

In this field, the Asiatic Researchers, founded by Sir William Jones did a lot. It also holds the proceeding of the Bengal Asiatic Society which was established in 1784, and The Ordinance of Manu; written in 1794, is also an important name.  Major Runnel, prepared the first correct map of India in his Bengal Atlas in 1779-38, Thomas Maurice’s History of Hindustan 1795 -39, Sir William Ouseley’s, Oriental Collection, 3 vols., 1797-99-40, and Jean-Antoine Dubois’ Hindu, Manners, Customs, and Ceremonies, in English was translated from the original text in French in 1816. -41. Kathleen Coburn observes:

India was the subject of Coleridge’s considerable reading;

mention’s Wilkins’ translation in connection with the poet’s

projected poem of the fancy and the understanding to

be entitled The Conquest of India by Bacchus. -42

One of the Indian scholars, Dr.Munir Ahmed, who has made a thorough examination of the reflections of Indian thought in Coleridge’s poetry, maintains:

The pantheism of ‘The Eolian Harp’, the demonic agencies in ‘The Ancient Mariner’, the intense longing for deep self-possession and calm response in ‘Osorio’ and ‘The Triumph of Loyalty’ and also perhaps the idea of the soul’s transmigration suggested in ‘Christable’, can be related to his Indian readings.-43

It is clearly mentioned in the ‘Philosophical Lectures’, that Coleridge read the Gita translated by Wilkins. Between December 1818 and January 1819, Coleridge read the Bhagavad Gita, just as he read The Ordinances of ManuThe History of Hindustan and other Indian books, as a part of his extensive pursuit for a religious philosophy and his deep interest in Hindu philosophy. He writes:

We have in this work (The Wilkins’ Gita), which I have now before me, an extract from the great poem of India where pantheism has displayed its banners and waved in victory over three hundred millions of men and this has been published in England as a proof of sublimity beyond the excellence of Milton in the true adoration of the Supreme being. It is an address to the pantheistic god.-44

Coleridge also has read an article in the Annual Register which he borrowed from the Bristol Library on 10 March 1796, which contains, “It is better, say the Hindoos, to sit than walk and to sleep than to wake; but death is the best of all.-45 He echoes these words in a letter written twenty months later to his friend Thelwall on 14th October 1797:

At other times I adopt the Brahman creed and say – It is better

to sit than to stand, it is better to lie than to sit, It is better to sleep

then to wake but death is the best of all! – I should much wish like

the Indian Vishnu to float along an infinite ocean cradled in the

flower of the Lotus and wake once in a million years for a few minutes.-46

In Coleridge’s poetry, there are evidences to the effect that he read the Wilkins’ Gita. The pantheistic outlook that Coleridge had found in the Bhagavad Gita, is present in ‘The Eolian Harp’, composed at Clevedon, Somersetshire, the home country of Charles Wilkins:

O: the one Life within us and abroad,

Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,

A light in sound, a sound-like power a light,

Rhythm in all thought, and joyance everywhere,

Methinks, it should have been impossible,

Not to love all things in a world so filled.-47These lines and the lines immediately below them refer to all animated nature as organic harps diversely framed one intellectual breeze sweeps. These lines very closely echo the idea of the following lines of the Bhagavad-Gita as translated by Wilkins:

The man whose mind is endued with this devotion, and looketh on all

things alike, beholdeth the supreme soul in all things, and beholdeth

all thing in me, I forsake not him, and he forsaketh not me. The ‘Yogee’

who believeth in Unity, and worshippeth me present in all things, dwelleth

in me in all respects, even whilst He liveth. -48

Parallels to the Bhagavad Gita are easily visible in many other poems of Coleridge. Likewise, Wordsworth was also responsive to the greatly constant influence of the Bhagavad Gita. Wordsworth’s own experience of pantheistic Immanence was made stronger by his contact with Coleridge. In ‘Tintern Abbey’ the following lines easily recall to mind the Indian thinking as expressed in the Bhagavad Gita:

That blessed mood,

In which the burthen of the mystery,

In which the heavy and the weary weight

Of all this unintelligible world,

Is lightened:-that serene and blessed mood. -49

The following extract from the Bhagavad Gita expressing the same idea:

The ‘Yogee’ of a subdued mind; thus employed In the exercise of his

devotion, is compared to a lamp, standing in a place without wind,

Which waveth not. He delighteth in his own soul, where the mind,

regulated by the service of devotion, is pleased to dwell, and where,

By the assistance of the spirit, he beholdeth the soul. He becometh

acquainted with the boundless pleasure which is far more worthy

of the understanding than that which ariseth From the senses . . . he

is not moved by the severest pain. This disunion from the conjunction

of pain may be distinguished by The appellation of ‘Yog’, spiritual union

or devotion. It is to be attained by resolution, by the man who knoweth his own mind. -50

Wordsworth feels the same state when the “breath of this corporeal frame” is “almost suspended” and then, “we are laid asleep in the body, and become a living soul.”

The Bhagavad Gita talks of that intellectual and ethical state in which the ‘Yogi’, the entity who has subjected his mind and body to rigorous order and has controlled his senses, experience tranquil mood, as expressed by William Wordsworth.

Among the younger romantic poets, Shelly was most vulnerable to greater idealistic principles. He was very well well-known with the works of Sir William Jones, who belonged to the University College Oxford, where Shelley studied. Shelley had read ‘The Genius of the Thames’ written by his friend Thomas Love Peacock who himself was well-known with the English account of Jaydeva’s Gita Govindam and who worked in the office of East India Company. A book that Shelley knew well and which contributed significantly to the range of his imagery, myth and symbol, was Edward Moor’s Hindu Pantheon. In a paper entitled ‘Possible Indian Influence on Shelley’, published in the Ninth Bulletin of the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association of London, Dr.S.R. Swami Nathan has established the Hindu Pantheon and the Irish novelist Miss Sydney Owenson’s novel The Missionary, as the source of some important images of Shelley. Commenting on Dr.Swami Nathan’s paper, the Times Literary Supplement wrote in an editorial:

So the Greek Aphrodite- Shelley’s Promethean Asia-born of the sea foam stood- Within a veined shell, which floated on over the calm floor of the crystal sea.. -51

Lakshmi- Miss Owenson’s luxima-who tints all Shelley’s projections into womanly form of intellectual beauty, is the love that Shelley, Plato, and the Christian vision alike place at  the core of being. -52

Shelley’s basics of philosophy predominantly regarding good and Evil, the Avatar and the relations of the individual soul to the celestial soul seem to have been based on the Bhagavad Gita. Shelley, like Coleridge, widely read Indian scriptures and literature. There are passages and lines in Shelley that are similar to the passages in the Bhagavad Gita. For example following lines of ‘Love’s Philosophy’:

The fountains mingle with the river

And the rivers with the ocean,

The winds of Heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in this world is single,

All things by a law divine

In one spirit meet and mingle. -53

Recollect the image given in the Bhagavad Gita:

AaPaUYaRMaa<aMacl/Pa[iTaï&

SaMaud]MaaPa” Pa[ivXaiNTa YaÜTa( )

TaÜTk-aMaa Ya& Pa[ivXaiNTa SaveR

Sa XaaiNTaMaaPanaeiTa Na k-aMak-aMaq ))

äpüryamäëam acala-pratiñöhaà

samudram äpaù praviçanti yadvat

tadvat kämä yaà praviçanti sarve

sa çäntim äpnoti na käma-kämé

(Just as all water enters, from all sides, the sea, of which the shores are not transgressed, though it is being filled on all sides, so is (true) tranquility obtained only by that person who is entered by all objects of sense (without disturbing his tranquility); not by one, who desires the objects of sense (is it possible that this tranquility is acquired) -54   (Ch-2, Sl. 70).

These lines are translated in English by Wilkins as:

The men whose passions enter his heart as

Waters run into the unswelling passive ocean. -55

Here there is a picture of water of rivers entering into and losing themselves in the unmoving sea. In relation to lines of the poem of Shelley, the reference to ‘law divine’ and ‘one spirit’ has its echo in the Bhagavad Gita’s as

Servabhutasthamatmanam sarvabhutani ca tmani. (Ch. VI, sl.29)

This sloka was translated by Wilkins as:

The man whose mind is endued with this devotion, and

looketh on all things alike, beholdeth the supreme soul in

all things, and beholdeth all things in me. I forsake not him,

and he foresaketh  not me. The ‘Yogee’ who believeth in

unity, and worshippeth  me present in all things, dwelleth in me . . . -56

Shelley again refers in Adonis to ‘sustaining love’ and the light whose smile kindles the Universe’ in the following lines:

The one remains, the many change and pass;

Heaven’s light forever shines, Earth’s shadows fly. -57

On the death of Keats, Shelley recognized: “He hath awakened from the dream of life.”

The Absolute Ultimate in the centre of the transitory lots of is the idea of the Bhagavad Gita too. The concept of Maya also runs in Shelley’s poems. The Bhagavad Gita’s ideas of ‘soul’ and ‘water’ are also again and again referred to by Shelley in his important works.

Southey (1774-1843), a contemporary of Wordsworth had direct knowledge with the Bhagavad Gita and other Indian works. His footnotes to, The Curse of Krishna (1810), very frequently refers to the Bhagavad Gita and there are suggestions also to The Institute of ManuThe MahabharataSongs of Jayadeva, and Maurice’s History of Hindustan.

Even there are big numbers of poets of the nineteenth century but are elapsed today could not get away the sway of The Bhagavad Gita. One such poet is Richard Henry Horne (1803-1884) who refers to the Indian thought of ‘Yoga’ in his epical work Orion (1843). This poem discusses to the doctrines of Nishkam Karma and predestination. The following lines are significant in this regard:

Not in thee

Was failure born, its law preceded thing:

It governs every act, which needs must fail-

I mean give place to make room for the next

. . .                           . . .                           . . .

Sit still, Remain with me. No difference

Will in the world to be found: ‘t will know no charge,

Be sure, say that an act hath been ordained?

Some hand must do it: therefore do not move:

An instrument of action must be found,

And you escape both toil and consequences: -58

This extract is a direct suggestion to the well-known idea of the Bhagavad Gita that the doer and master are only, God.

Likewise one more poet, William Bell Scott (1811-1890), in his Autobiographical Notes, confesses to has referred to the Cosmogony of the Hindoos in his famous and popular poem ‘The Fear of the World’ a philosophical poem on freedom from the fall (1846). Again In the Autobiographical Notes, (vol. I, p.237), he says that in the poem referred to, he has repeated a portion of the Bhagavad Gita.-59 this he does in section III of part ii of the poem in which his hero, Lyremmos, is shown, standing on the banks of Holy Ganges. He listens to a divine voice. Actually, this was the clear influence of the Bhagavad Gita on him. The God, he feels, pervades and sustains all things.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), a powerful thinker and writer of the Victorian age was among those who read the Bhagavad Gita and incorporated its philosophical ideas in his works like Sartor Resartus (1832), etc. it was he who gave a copy of the Bhagavad Gita to the famous American Poet and philosopher, Emerson, when the latter visited him at Craigenputtock.-60 Carlyle’s concept of Duty, (work is worship), his theory of the great man, i.e., the Hero, and his firm conviction of the world’s being an illusion are so close, in letter and script, to the teachings of Bhagavad Gita, that in the mid-nineteenth century he may be called the greatest apostle of Indian philosophy. It is not without significance that he alone among all English men of letters has been acknowledged as the prophet. An independent work of the influence of the Bhagavad Gita on Carlyle is possible.

Another great Victorian poet Robert Browning, his view, values, vision, and convictions are very close to Hindu vision in general and the Bhagavad Gita in particular.-61 Similarly it is also believed that Karl Marx’s Enlightenment Theory is nothing but the reinterpretation of Hindus’ philosophy of Vasudhevkutumbakum although it is a different issue that he was a very bitter critic of Hindus and Hinduism.

Tennyson accepts that intellect is not strong enough to understand the final reality. It only “stirs the surface shadow” but never “hath dipt into …/ The abysm of all abysms”.  Hindu Vedic scriptures assert the illusory (maya) dualistic mask or surface-shadow as ‘maya’. This is something we need to understand and defeat.

Only Hindu mystics or saints see this truth or maya through Self-realization and poets and thinkers declare it through transcendental imagination. Once they experience out-of-body awareness, mystics attain the area of pure consciousness and the self seems “to dissolve and fade away into boundless being; and this is not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest… the loss of external personality, (if so it were) seeming not annihilation but the only true life.”Tennyson here conveys the essence of Advaita Vedanta, the cardinal tenet of Hinduism, Brahma (God) alone is real. The universe is unreal, and the individual soul is none other than the universal soul. This idea is taken by Tennyson from the Bhagavad Gita.

Evidently, this state is not confined to sages. At times poets also realise this state:

In ‘Memoirs’ Tennyson  informs Mrs Bradley: “There are moments when this flesh is nothing to me when I feel and know the flesh to be the vision, God and the spiritual the only real and true.”

D H Lawrence is overjoyed at the prospect of discarding his flesh “Like luggage of some departed traveller”.

The poet William Blake confidently said: “I am in God’s presence night and day.” In this mystical trance, which is seeing the soul with bodily eyes closed, is when we receive the highest kind of intuitive knowledge.

This is nothing but influences of the Bhagavad Gita: Evidently, this state is not confined to sages only.

A parallel is found in the Bhagavad Gita: “The flesh was as though dead, yet in my intense awareness I knew that never before had I been fully alive. My sense of identity was no longer narrowly confined to a body but embraced the circumambient atoms…. An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The spirit of God, I realised, is exhaustless Bliss.”

In the Kathopanishad, Yama tells Nachiketa that the supreme person, the size of a thumb, dwells forever in the hearts of all beings. Krishna assures us in the Bhagavad Gita: that He is seated in the heart of all beings.  Vivekananda said: “After long searches here and there, in temples and churches…at last you come back completing the circle from where you started, to your own soul and find that He …is nearest of the near, in your own Self.”

However, among the poets of the Victorian era, it is Matthew Arnold who seems to have been more deeply influenced by the Bhagavad Gita than any of his contemporary poets. He was born in an age which was surcharged with orientalism due to the increasing political and cultural intimacy of the West and the East. It was the age which had several translations of the Bhagavad Gita and other Indian scriptures and literary works by a number of European scholars, and of Omer Khayyam by Fitzgerald. It also witnessed the growing popularity of the Koran references to which were made by Carlyle in his lecture on Mohammad, the Hero as Prophet, and of the Arabian Nights, etc.

Son of a distinguished educationist and a strict disciplinarian, Mathew Arnold felt ill at ease in his family. He felt equally dissatisfied with the atmosphere at Oxford University where he was sent to study. Later on dissatisfied, as inspector of schools, he experienced a spiritual and intellectual crisis. At Rugby School, he was seen very reserved and known as ‘Lofty Mat’. His mockery is said to have been directed on at least once, and without its victim’s knowledge, upon Dr. Arnold himself. “He displeased his father Dr. Thomas Arnold and was stood behind the Doctor’s chair, he gratified his friends by making faces over father’s head.-62 Saintsbury points out, “His bent was hopelessly anticlerical, and he was not merely too honest, but much too proud a man, to consent to be put in one of the priests’ offices for a morsel of bread”.-63 As inspector of schools he felt disgusted with traveling which he found tedious and depressing.

A bad carriage on a filthy lane, a bun snatched hastily in railway station,

thirty pupils, teachers to examine in an inconvenient room, and nothing to

eat, except a biscuit given by a charitable lady, eighty training college candidates to supervise for seven hours a day, with the gas burning most

of the time, either to give light or to help warm the room.-64

Environment, around him further intensified his pain. The industrial revolution ushered in an era of ‘haves and have nots’ and presented a social view of naked poverty and ugliness. The old social order was cracking and nothing concrete was there to replace that. The untimely and sudden death of his father upset him emotionally and spiritually. It was, therefore natural that a sensitive man of the nature of Arnold found himself between two worlds ‘one dead and the other powerless to be born’. “Always at war with the worldliness-the worldliness within the worldliness without”,-65 Arnold was poignantly conscious of his inner conflict. Some critics think that ‘he on occasions behaved in the most unpredictable manner’. -66  In September 1849, he went to France and there he met a girl named Marguerite. Arnold was infatuated with the girl and wanted to marry her but he could not do so. This further upset him emotionally. However, she became an important character in Arnold’s life.-67

All these factors convinced him of the meaningless of life. Legouis and Cazamian write: “The vague Christianity of Arnold, the moral pantheism to which all his philosophical reflection leads, seems to have left in his inner self an emptiness, a scar which is revealed only in his poetry”.-68 He felt as Arjuna did before the commencement of the war at Kurukshetra. He was in search of spiritual peace. It was, therefore, natural that he developed a deep interest in Hindu scriptures, particularly in the Bhagavad Gita. He wrote to his friend Clough in Sep.1849,

My dearest Clough these are damned times, everything is against one the

height to which knowledge is come to spread of luxury, our physical

enervation, the absence of great natures, the unavoidable contact with

millions  of small ones, newspapers, cities, light profligate friends, moral desperados like Carlyle, our own selves and the sickening consciousness of

our difficulties, but for God’s sake let us neither be fanatics nor yet half blown by the mind.-69

For these reasons, his interest in the Bhagavad Gita increased day after day. He particularly admired the doctrine of Nishkam Karma. He carefully read the Wilkin’s Gita, as his letter to Clough shows. In one of his letters to Clough on March 1, 1848, he wrote: “I am disappointed the Oriental wisdom, God grant it were mine, pleased you not”. -70 The two, had been, no doubt, acquainting themselves with oriental wisdom sometime before this date. On March 4, 1848, he again wrote to Clough: “The Indians distinguish between meditation and absorption, and knowledge, and between abandoning the practice and abandoning the fruits of action and all respect thereto. This last is a supreme step, and dilated throughout the poem”. -71

The “Poem” referred to in the letter is the Bhagavad Gita. Arnold’s language and a few words used in the above letter show that Arnold had read Wilkin’s Gita. Wilkin’s translates the twelfth Sloka of the twelfth chapter thus:

Knowledge is better than practice, meditation

Is distinguished from knowledge, forsaking the

Fruits of action from meditation, for happiness,

Hereafter is derived from such forsaking. -72

Again, in the depiction of the forty-third Sloka of the second chapter, Wilkin’s introduced the word “absorption”, for which there is no identical in the original. He also used the word “meditation” for both the Sanskrit words Dhyana and Samadhi. These peculiarities of explanation are in none of the other translations available to Arnold such as Schlegel’s Latin translation published in 1823, Lassen’s bigger and better account of the later published in 1846. It is a different matter that Arnold might have also discussed with either Schlegel or Lassen or Cockburn Thomson, who published his translation in 1855. Cockburn Thomson writes that the Schlegel’s edition was the one “most generally used”. Lionel trilling believes;

Arnold has at his disposal several translations of the Gita…I suspect

that Arnold read the Essay of W. von Humboldt on the Gita (Berlin, 1826),

and the improved and amplified Latin rendering of A.W. Von Schlegel (1823). -73

These facts have now been confirmed by Kenneth Allots’ publications of Arnold’s reading lists contained in his three early diaries. -74 H.F. Lowry in his editorial note to Arnold’s letter of March-4, to Clough suggests that the Bhagavad Gita “heavily influenced” Arnold’s ‘Resignation’ and other early poems. But Clough did not like Arnold’s curiosity in Oriental philosophy. In a review of Arnold’s 1852 volume which incorporated ‘Empedocles on Etna’, he quoted Arnold’s poem ‘Mortality’ and was happy to find that Arnold had “for once” escaped from “the dismal cycle of his rehabilitated Hindoo Greek Philosophy”.-75 But the fact is that Arnold could not escape from the eastern influence as Basil Willey points out, “Arnold is a child of new era and has felt the full strength of the modern spiritual east Wind”.-76

Edwin Arnold, R.W. Emerson, Walt Whitman,  T.S.Eliot, W.B.Yeats etc., are some other names who were deeply influenced by the Bhagavad Gita, Vedic philosophy and Hindu way of life. There are numerous such examples. It is said that then Ambassador to USSR, Dr.S. Radhakrishnan, famous philosopher-politician used to give lectures to ruthless communist dictator Stalin on the Bhagavad Gita. It was to everybody’s surprise that Stalin was charmed by this great philosopher. In a lecture, on Hindu philosophy Stalin listened Dr.S.Radhakrishnan. After that meeting, Stalin almost became a disciple of Dr.S.Radhakrishnan. At the time of Dr. Radhakrishan’s departure from U.S.S.R. to India, Stalin expressed his wish to see him. Dr. Radhakrishan met him and before leaving, he patted Stalin on the cheek and back like a father blessing his son. Stalin almost in tears and reacted emotionally, “you are the first person who has treated me like a human being and not like a monster you are leaving and I am sad.” -77

World order in Hindu cosmology was governed by immutable cycles of an almost   inconceivably vast scale — millions of years long. Kingdoms would fall, and the universe would be destroyed, but it would be re-created, and new kingdoms would rise again. The true nature of human experience was known only to those who endured and transcended these temporal upheavals.

–Henery Kissinger

Now the Bhagavad Gita is either part of the syllabus or taught in a number of universities in America and universities in other countries, especially European universities. After the establishment of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, (ISKON), in July 1966, by A.C. Bhaktivedanta  Swami Prabhupada  in New York, U.S.A., the Bhagavad Gita became one of the most popular books, world over and it was translated in almost all the languages. -78

Father of atomic bomb J.Robert Oppenheimer was also a big fan of the Gita.

“Death fell from the sky and the world was changed,” US President Barack Obama said on Friday at Hiroshima, where his country dropped an atomic bomb – the first – that killed 140,000 people in August 1945.

Obama’s words were evocative of what J. Robert Oppenheimer, the’ father of A-bomb’ said – or remembered thinking – after the bomb, christened ‘Little Boy’, was dropped on Hiroshima on the orders of the then President, Harry Truman.

“We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and, to impress him, takes his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’ I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.”

Oppenheimer, Jewish by birth, was quoting a translation of verse 32 from Chapter 11 of the Gita:

“Divi soorya-sahasrasya

Bhavad yugapad uthitaa

Yadi bhaah sadrshi saa syaaad

Bhaasas tasya mah’aatmanaah!

Kaalo’ami loka-kshaya-krt pravrddho

Lokaan samaahatum iha pravrttah!”

In 1933, when Oppenheimer was in Berkeley – prior heading the atomic bomb project called the Manhattan Project – he became a student of Arthur Ryder, a Sanskrit professor. That’s when he developed an interest in the Gita and read it in Sanskrit.

Oppenheimer would later say the Gita was one of the books that shaped his philosophy of life. -79

Everyone has infinite potential and talent. Yet most people live and die without so much as a glimpse of who they really are or what they bring to the world. The Bhagwad Gita helps unlock your potential so that you gain the power to rock the world. All it takes is a slight shift in attitude, change in thinking.

M K Gandhi was a timid barrister who transformed into a Mahatma. Swami Vivekananda initially trembled at the thought of trembling the thought of addressing the Parliament of Religion, became a world-famous preacher! Abdul Kalam rose from humble origins to become President of India. -80

World celebrates, 21 December as ‘Gita Jayanti Day,’ means that the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita came on the earth on this day.

References-

1–P.Harvey, The oxford Companion to English Literature: (London, 1953), P.87.

2-Quoted by M.K. Naik et al. (ed.), The Image of India in Western Creative Writing,(Dharwar, 1971), P.35.

3-A.C. Cowley (Ed.), Chaucer : Canterbury Tales, (London, 1950), pp.58-59.

4-C.R. Banerji, ‘India in Shakespeare’: Indian Journal of English Studies (1964), pp.67-75.

5-R.R. Cawley, The Voyagers and Elizabethan Drama (rpt)., (New York, 1966), pp.107-161.

6-In 1612, Thomas Croyate visited India and reached Agra in 1616. He died at Surat. A letter of his from the court of Greet Mougal is printed by Purchase, and this and another letter from the East are included in a collection called Thomas Coriate Traveller for the English Wits: Greeting (1616). (Harvey, p.188).

7-He published in 1533 a translation of Munster’s Cosmography, in 1555 of Peter Martyr’s Decade of the Newe Worlde or West India. (Harvey, p.250).

8-Times Literary Supplement (London), (26, Dec. 1958), p.751.

9-W.M.Callewaert and S.Hemraj, The Bhagvadgitanuvada, (Ranchi, 1983), p.293.

10-ibid. p294.

11-Idem.

12-Idem.

13-Harvey, p.506

14-Hauer Calls it (Gita), a work of imperishable significance. He declares that the book “gives us not only profound insights that are valid for all times and for all religious life, but it contains as well, the classical presentation of one of the most significant phases of Indo-Germanic religious history. It shows us the way as regards, the essential nature and basal characteristic of Indo-German religion. Here spirit is at work that belongs to our spirit”. He states the central message of the Gita in these words: “We are not called to solve the meaning of life but to find out the Deed demanded of us and to work so, by action, to master the riddle of life”.

(Quoted in Hibbert Journal, April 1940, p.341).

15-Goethe wrote in 1826: I have no means of aversion to things Indian, but I am afraid of them, for they drew my imagination into the formless and the diffuse against which I have to guard myself more than ever.

(Quoted by R.K. Das Gupta, ‘Western Responses to India Literature’, Indian Literature; Sahitya Akademi, Jan-March, 1967, pp.5-15.

16-Callewaert and Hemraj, p.294.

17-ibid., p.288.

18-Idem.

19-Ibid., p.289.

20-Ibid., p.291.

21-A.L. Basham (Ed.). A Cultural History of India, (Oxford, 1975) pp.409-10.

22-Naik et al., p.91.

23-A. Macdonnel, A History of Sanskrit Literature, (London, 1928), p.3.

24-Callewaret and Hemraj, p.235.

25-Ibid., p.234-35.

26-Bashem, pp.409-10.

27-“While he (Jones) believed in Christ and Christianity, he was attracted to the Hindu concept of the non-duality of God, as interpreted by Sanskara, and the transmigration of soul . . . ‘I am no Hindu’, but I hold the doctrine of the Hindus concerning a future state to be incomparably more rational more pious, and more likely to deter men from vice than the horrid opinions inculcated on punishment without end”. (D.P. Singhal, India World Civilization, (Calcutta, 1972), p.205.

28-Macdonnel, p.2.

29-Callewaret and Hemraj, p.235.

30-idem.

31-Idem.

32-Idem.

33-Idem.

34-Ibid., p.236.

35-Idem.

36-Naik, et al., p. 235.

37-D.S. Sarma, The Bhagavad Gita,  (Madras, 1940), p.6.

38-Naik et al., p.38.

39-Idem.

40-idem.

41-idem.

42-K. Coburn (ed.), The Note Book of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, (London, 1957), Vol.I,Note No. 1647, last paragraph.

43-M. Ahmad, “Coleridge and The Bahaman Creed “:Indian Journal of English Studies, (1960), pp. 18-37.

44-Philosophical Lectures, (ed) K. Coburn, (London, 1957), p.127.

45- The Annual Register, (London, 1782), vol.25, p.37.

Page-20

46-Coleridge; Collected Letters, 1, p.350.

47- E.H.Coleridge (ed.) Coleridge Poetical Works, (London, 1969), p.1101.

48-C.Wilkins, (trans.), The Bhagavad Gita, London, 1785), VI, 65.

49-The Poetical Works of Wordsworth (ed.), T.Hutchinson, (London, 1953), p.164.

50-Wilkins, ibid., pp.64-65.

51-H.Bloom,Shelley, (ed.), New York, 1966, p.173, ‘Prometheus Unbound, II, V,ll.23-24.

52-Times Literary Supplement, (26 th December 1958), p.751.

53-The Complete Poetical Works of P.B.Shelley , (ed.), T.Hutchinson, (London, 1943), p.578.

54-OM-TAT-SAT SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA-SASTRA, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Third Edition, (Poona, 1971) Revised, July-1975, p.906.

****Hereafter referred as the Gita. Sanskrit, Roman, and First translation are downloaded    from Goggle.

55-Wilkins, ibid., p.42.

56-Wilkins, p.65.

57-Bloom, p.343.

58-Orin (ed.), Eric Partridge, (London, 1928), p.86.

59-Naik et. Al., p.54.

60-Emerson was deeply disturbed on account of the death of his wife at an early age. It was again the reading of the Bhagavad Gita that alleviated his spiritual journey and rejuvenated him.

61- Arti Gupta, ROBERT BROWNING, (SARUP & SONS, New Delhi, 2002)

62- L. Trilling, Mathew Arnold (New York, 1949), p.19.

63- G. Saintsbury, Mathew Arnold, (London, 1955), p.6.

64- J.D.Jump, Matthew Arnold, (London, 1955), p.40.

65- D. Bush, Matthew Arnold: A Survey of his Poetry and Prose, (New York, 1971), p.71.

66- A. Wright, Victorian Literature, (Ed.), (London), p.7

67- H. Park, Matthew Arnold, A Life, (1970), p. 496.

68- E. Legouis & L. Cazamian, A History of English Literature, (London, 1954), p. 1190.

69- The Letters of Matthew Arnold to Arthur Hugh Clough, (ed.) H.F. Lowry, (London, 1932), p.111.

70- Ibid., p.69.

71- Ibid., p.71.

72- Wilkin’s, p. 72.

73- Trilling, p.25.

74- Kenneth Allott, Matthew Arnold’s Reading Lists in Three Early Diaries, VL, II (1959), pp.254-266.

According to the reading lists published by Allott, Arnold seems to have read Victor Cousin’s lectures on the history of modern philosophy and he may have gathered some information regarding the Gita from Cousin’s account of it. He is, however, free from the light tendency towards misinterpretation that Cousin betrays in trying to translate the thought of the Gita into terms readily intelligible to the western audience. Incidentally, Cousin declares in his lectures that his knowledge of Indian philosophy is entirely derived from Colebrook. Here, some relevant remarks from Cousin:

The yogi searches only for god, but he finds him equally in everything. Only in order to contemplate him in all things, make an abstraction of that which is not him; it is only the substance of things, pure being that it is necessary to consider, and as the end of contemplation is to unite ourselves to God, the means of arriving at this union is to resemble him as much as possible, that is to reduce ourselves to pure being, by the abolition of all thought of every interior act; for the least thought, the least act would destroy the unity in dividing it, would modify and alter the absolute substance. This state of artificial absorption of the soul in itself, this suppression of every internal and external modification and consequently of consciousness, and consequently of memory, is ecstasy. Ecstasy is the end of contemplation, it is to this that the Yogi tends, and he aspires to annihilate himself in God.

Course of the History of Modern Philosophy (trans.), O.W. Wright, (New York, 1852), I, pp.397-398.

75- Prose Remains, ed., Mrs. Clough, (London, 1888), p.373.

76- B.Willey, ed., Nineteenth-Century Studies, London, 1950.

77- S. Lal, 50 Magnificent Indians of the 20th Century, Jaico.

78-A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, The Path of Perfection, The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Hare Krishna Land, Juhu, Mumbai-400049, 1979.

79- ‘When the father of the atomic bomb quoted the Bhagavad Gita’, Shailaja Neelakantam, The Times of India, (E-Paper), New-Delhi, India, May 27, 2016.

80- ‘The Gita makes You A High Network Individual’, Jaya Row, The Times of India, New Delhi, Wednesday, August 31, 2016, p- 24.

N.B. In this article, information has been gathered from different sources. It has been tried to give their sources but due to shortage of space some references are not given. Every effort has been made to trace the owners of copyrighted material, but if any have been inadvertently overlooked, the writer will be pleased to make necessary arrangements at the first opportunity.  It should be seen as the unintentional lapse. Kindly bear this omission.

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Saat Phere and Radha

November 23, 2017

A strange sense of thrill infused Diya and Rishaan on their visit to Goa that day. There had been an agreement between them at dinner time when Diya had announced her decision to ring her marriage bells in front of the God in the ISKCON (Krishna) temple, Goa at the time of deep-Aradhana.

 

“If Kate can solemnize her marriage in ISKCON (Krishna) temple, Goa, so can I,” she had argued passionately.

 

Rishaan has griped in upset voices, “Kate is the daughter of an IAS officer. She can have that luxury and resources.”

 

Kate was the best friend of Diya and used to come every day and both used to bolt themselves in the room of Diya for hours.

 

“Besides,” she added, provoking him deliberately, “In the eyes of God, we all are equal, IAS or no IAS.” She was not rather sure whether he had listened to this bit, for he had already turned away in antipathy. But after dinner, she caught him again.

 

“That horrid Mission school she attended to” which meant he had heard….”She was a spoilt child,” she caught him murmuring.

 

She was convinced that he had not taken her seriously. That was the trouble with men: they always presumed that women are not sharp enough in such matters and if they would accept their intelligence and ability unquestionably, their manliness will be dimmed.

 

But women have to endure such inadequacy without complaint. Even back home she had to come back before the evening flurry of lamp-lighting started. But boys at home were free of this burden.

 

Diya cried a lot. She did not know how time passed by. She was not emotionally strong.

 

Rishaan approached her and touched her shoulder. She shrugged and started crying inconsolably.

 

“Why are you crying?” He asked.

“Sit down and listen to me carefully.” She said.

 

She then showed him an old photograph of her and Rishaan sitting in a temple.

That photograph took him to their past days spent together. A past full of sweet memories.

 

She was his sweet love; his angel. His everything. Everything of her’s will be his’.

His heart was melted. Love became victorious.

 

She wept as she held his hand.

She bolted the door so that he might not leave the room.

 

“Don’t say no to ISKCON (Krishna) temple, Goa. I love you,” were her passionate words.

She kept on repeating her wish but Rishaan was hesitant to go to ISKCON (Krishna) temple, Goa, to solemnize their marriage.

 

Not everything in life had a reason, to say yes. He lost out to her emotions. He ultimately surrendered and said ‘Yes.’

 

She inspired him in every possible way. She became a motivational force. He started dreaming. She gave his life a motto. A dream. A dream to be lived and conquered.

 

They booked tickets to Goa by Tata Airlines.

The great day came. They were very excited. At the right time, they reached the airport and boarded the plane. They were very happy. But all hell broke.

 

In the same flight, Rishaan met his old friend Kiarra and her seat was also with them. After initial introductory formalities, Kiara became very informal with Rishaan. They had drinks together too but Diya did not like all this at all. After dinner, all slept.

 

In the middle of the flight, Kiara woke up to go the washroom. When she returned, she was too lazy to push her way into the middle seat. And with Rishaan readily offering to shift seats, the seating arrangement changed. With 20 minutes still remaining for the flight to land, a sleep-starved Kiara took another power nap, this time holding Rishaan’s right hand more firmly. Richman’s other hand, though, nervously moved to touch Diya’s. Her heart skipped a beat. Diya pulled her hand away. But a defiant Rishaan held her wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly. The changing behavioural dynamics between the three perhaps gave out a foreboding of what was to come in Goa.

 

When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, Rishaan felt uncanny..his excitement seemed replaced by an unknown fear that he found very difficult to decipher.

 

They reached the hotel Sea View.

 

Rishaan was in a dilemma, for the storm brewing in the hearts of all. He was trying to recollect the past of his life but was shocked that he couldn’t recollect even a thing. His mind was not working.  Initially, he thought, he was yet to awake from his deep slumber. But that was not the case. He realized that he did not know who he was. His mind became blank.  In the brightness of the day in Goa, he was feeling the darkness of night.

 

The clock struck four and Kiara could see the sunrise. Bringing with it the pink rays of the dawn and pushing the dark night and stars out. She had spent hours introspecting about herself and was still hovering in dark about hers and Rishaan relationship.

 

Her mind went numb and cold. During the tense hours of the night, only Scotch gave her much needed solace. She quickly gulped the alcohol, from the bottle directly. She could feel the Scotch running through her veins to the brain. The alcohol opened her mental faculties and it dawned on her she was going to break a relationship and two hearts.

 

“But who am I?” Wondered Kiara. Her brain was flooded with millions of questions about her relationships with Rishaan. “Was I simple friend, or ‘X’, or an ordinary acquaintance…..Who was I?” She knew, even Rishaan or Diya in the hotel room would not be able to answer her puzzle. She was in a muddle. There was no one else, except those three. That reality added to her distress as her question was to remain unanswered. She felt claustrophobic in the room and rushed out of the room in the dark night.

 

The fresh morning breeze brought about some peace and comfort to her mind. She felt silly that it did not strike her to ask Rishaan and Diya about their relationship and future plan. They would have ridiculed her for asking such a ridiculous question. She was broken, but she was not the one to give up so easily.

 

Kiara gathered the courage to ask this question to Rishaan. He was her only hope and that was to be a clue about her future. Suddenly Rishaan also can out of the room. When Kiara saw Rishaan, her eyes filled with tears and she hugged him saying, “Rishaan, I know, you have got Diya in your life!” Her statement came as a shock, yet she gave comfort to Rishaan that she had admitted the reality.

 

She asked him, “How am I related to you?”

He replied very coldly, “You are my ex-girlfriend.”

Out came another question from her, “Since when were you dating Diya?”

He answered, “Since more than a year.”

 

Then she probed him about their future.

That was the stupidest mistake Rishaan made since he revealed his relationship with Diya, because, after that, she started blabbering.

 

Rishaan had no option, but to listen to her. It was crucial to listen to his ex-girlfriend. Her voice was very sad. Rishaan got lost in his past days spent with Kiarra.

 

She almost shouted, “Are you listening to me?”

“Yes, dear,” Rishaan muttered.

 

In a high voice, she posed like a school teacher, “OK, now tell me, what you heard?”

Initially, he faltered, but regaining his confidence, he started talking.

She became very emotional and said, “You don’t have to be worried Rishaan. You enjoy. Calm down, please.

 

Then she opened her mouth full of pain, “You have cheated me.” She said.

Gathering courage, Rishaan said, “No one was at fault. It was destiny.”

“Yes for men, it was easy to blame destiny and go away.” She replied.

 

“Please enlighten me, how did I cheat you?” Asked Rishaan.

Rishaan was shattered when he heard her say that he enjoyed physical relations with her.

Again he was stunned and scared. His hands started shaking. She said how she gave you a blowjob and he removed all her clothes.

“What nonsense! It was your consent too.” He said in utter astonishment and bewilderment.

“Yes, yes, but now you are dating a new girl,” she retorted.

“What next? Please tell me? How I cheated you and played with your body?” He shouted angrily.

“Wasn’t this enough?” She asked angrily.

He said,” Please tell me everything; I have forgotten everything, my dear?”

She sniggered and said, “Ok, listen, but calm down, you need to mentally prepare yourself for this. Again I will repeat my lovemaking to remind you, how you cheated me and played with me?”

Rishaan was shocked and stunned. He could not speak nor could stay there. Rishaan tried to run inside the room.

Suddenly she said, “Listen, all that was a joke.”

Rishaan heaved a sigh of relief.

She said, “You were always very nice and decent with me.”

That gave her a sense of pleasure. “I told her you were exceptionally mischievous in lovemaking.”

She gave him a naughty smile and said, “You were generic.”

He felt that his mind was blocked because of that ‘Scotch’ he had last night with her.\

 

Rishaan felt heavy. She came close to him, petted on his cheek and said, “Listen carefully, I always thwarted the idea of falling for you, but my heart always pulled me towards you. I could not resist your charm.”

 

Shocked on these revelations, he sat on the bench and listened more carefully to her.

“I was mesmerized by your charm. Sometimes you became cranky. But I made you happy by my foreplay.  But I always saw a gap in you.” She told.

 

“You never talked about your love for Diya whenever I asked you about your any affair. You always looked at my breast cleave,” saying this she revealed her breast cleave.

Rishaan was puzzled by her behaviour, he asked, “What is this?”

She shouted at Rishaan, “Get out of your stupidity. It is time to come out of your innocence and understand things.”

He felt that she would cry or shout at him. So Rishaan prepared for her outburst.

 

“You never told me that you have another one in your life.”

I asked, “What? Where is your frustration heading?”

“Do you think that I am stupid or a whore to quench your lust?” she retorted.

“No, no. We were both drunk and both young, so all the wrong thing was done.” He replied very coolly.

This was followed by a volley of abuses for me. Her word started hitting his heart like a sharp javelin.

He gathered courage and apologized to her, “I’m sorry Kiara,”

“Only sorry? The man has got the license to plunder a woman and leave her. God bless you and Diya and protect you.” She said in a loud voice and left him spellbound.

 

Kiara silently left the hotel room. She reached the ISKCON (Krishna) temple. She arrived at the abode of Lord Krishna. She saw the majestic door of the temple. She knew about the temple. The idol inside was infinitely more beautiful than the ones in other temples.

 

She circled the majestic temple slowly and slowly. Her mind was full of new and different ideas. Some were good and some were bad. Then she almost ran along the long, bright wall, inviting the curious attention of passers-by, but who could not keep up with her. The river of tears ran through her eyes.

 

The eastern frontage of the temple enchanted Kiara. She reached the holy water tank which has the collection of waters from different holy rivers. The jade green-clean water attracted her. In the enclosed area, reserved for women bathing, women were taking holy dips without any hesitation and shame, chanting holy hymns. They were thumping each other on body and back.

 

Pigeons whirled and cooed on the rooftop, the walls. The dawn and early, pink sunlight, their incredible mix of spiritualism and mysticism, inside the conical hall and inner sanctuary, clutched to her heart making her forget her past and her attachment to Rishaan. Quickly she moved through the temple. Standing in front of the majestic idol of Lord Krishna, she almost felt like lost in Him. She felt fabulously isolated there, floating breathtakingly between earth and sky. The bathers in the tank were just floating souls, the pigeons flying white-black-red in the sky, she felt like one with them.

 

But her feet were turning cool and heavy. The muhurta of deep-Aradhana was near. She stood up in front of the idol, hand folded, eyes closed. She touched the deep-pole three times for good-luck, moved swiftly, bowing her head in obeisance. She bowed a dutiful greeting to the majestic Lord Krishna, folded her hands and touched her eyes before the white, visible Krishna and swiftly moved towards the crowded main sanctuary. A memorable fragrance of deep oil and flowers welcomed her. All the devotees stood in front, their eyes closed, their lips moving in an ecstasy of mesmerizing hymns.

 

She saw big bell above. She leapt up, pushed the bell with one echoing sound and was down the steps before anybody understood what was happening. She sat on the steps of the temple. Love or relationship with Rishaan became inextricably mixed up with serious bonding for her own newly acquired spiritual salvation. She was unaware of the surroundings. She was feeling amazingly light-hearted, wonderfully contented. She decided to stay back in the temple.

 

She was in dire disgrace. She contacted the head priest Pundit Krishna Das. She took Diksha. Her tight-lipped silence was infinitely more expressively than speech. For the silence seemed filled with thousand voices singing within her. And she was quite and quite sure that the all-merciful Lord Krishna within the temple will protect her and bless her, in whose eyes all are equal, and He has accepted her with love. Now she was a sadhvi. Ma Radha to the world.

 

Kiara was singing and dancing with devotees. She reached near the main idol of Lord for darshan. In the main hall, in front of the idol head priest Pundit Krishna Das was reciting;

 

“Om Sarva Mangala Mangalye, Shive Sarvartha Sadhike,

Sharanye Trayambake Gauri Narayani Namo-stute”.

 

And a young pair was taking pheres around Agni (Fire). Groom was in white dhoti-kurta and bride was in red sari. Both were knotted with a pink chunri. Pundit Ji further recited in loud voice;

Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha –

Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryessu Sarvadaa

At the completion of seven auspicious pheres all threw flower petals and auspicious yellow rice over the newlywed couple.  Kiara, now sadhvi Ma Radha, in saffron attire, also threw flower petals and yellow rice, with eyes closed. When Kiara opened her eyes, she found in front of her, Rishaan and Diya as groom and bride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost in the Light

November 21, 2017

Maya crossed the gates of the highest court of India that is the Supreme Court of India with the final order of the judge, ending her four-decade-old marriage with Aditya, means divorce. She had tears in her eyes and a dirty jhola on her shoulder, loaded with old dirty files related to the case.

 

She said she would fight the case herself. Her lawyer had cut out his work for her for a hefty fee. Today she got the much sought after a divorce but she was feeling cheated and broken. Other clients were also coming with their lawyers. And then, thought Maya, what a day-sad and cursed,’ as if she was standing near some freshly lit pyre.

 

What a dark day! What a break up! She could not stop her tears. Now officially she was alone, again a single, free woman. How aged, stiller, the air was in the late winter evening, like the panic of a wave due to the foam of dirt, kiss of smog. Chilled and bitter yet grave, standing there under the polluted sky, that something appalling, just happened, looking at the red bricks and wall with the smoke engulfing them and dirty DTC buses honking, rogue motorists driving and gazing until a hand on her shoulder broke her stream of thought.

 

He was Aditya, my husband for forty-five years. He hugged me very warmly, praised me and my sari, and looked pointedly towards the road.

I asked, “Can’t I call a taxi from here?”

He said, “My driver there will do it. There won’t be any problem. Try to forgive me, if I have ever hurt you or caused any pain to you and forget me. Take Care.”

 

I thanked him.

 

He looked at me, with tears in his eyes and vanished in the crowd of litigants.

 

I still remember my last unfortunate day when I had a heated argument with Aditya before I decided to file an application for divorce. I discussed with Sanjay, my husband best friend, the flirting of my husband with another lady.

 

She still remembers the day when she was informed by her maid Kiran about a woman visitor.

‘God, the front-door bell rang’ Maya listened.

I want to see Mr Aditya, said the young charming woman in her mid-twenties. ‘Oh yes, he will see me.’ She repeated, putting me aside very gently, and almost rushing so quickly. Yes, yes, yes’, she muttered as she ran upstairs. ‘He will see me. After six years in America, Aditya will see me.’

 

Maya heard a bang upon the door. Aditya rushed to receive her. She tried to hide her blushed face, like a virgin protecting her chastity.

“But who am I?” I wondered. My brain was flooded with a number of questions about her relationships with Aditya. Was she only an ordinary friend or more than that? There was nobody in the room, except Aditya and his friend. Their behaviour added to my discomfort as my questions were to remain unanswered. I felt claustrophobic in the room and rushed out in a panic to breathe a whiff of free and fresh air.

 

Farah works in America. She is six inches longer than me and almost five years older to me. But she looks five years younger to me. I think she is a much more pleasant woman to talk to, I have ever met. She is extremely soft and sweet spoken, always has a charming and attractive smile on her face. In short, she is one of the very few women, whom I actually find beautiful and charming.

 

What the hell is going on between my husband and that bitch?’ Maya’s patience was at its lowest ebb and she was ready to burst.

 

Sanjay knew that she was serious. ‘Look, Maya. There is nothing going on between the two of them. Just a little bit of healthy flirting, I’d say.’

 

‘Flirting? Healthy flirting? Really Sanjay. .’ she rolled her eyes in disgust. ‘That’s what you men call it? There is nothing healthy about flirting, Sanjay, not for a married man.

 

Healthy flirting is a term introduced by perverted men who want to lend legitimacy to their extramarital dalliances. Flirting invariably has a sexual connotation to it.’ She got up from her seat and walked around the room gesticulating and muttering something to herself. Suddenly she stopped, turned back, looked at Sanjay and asked, ‘Did my husband sleep with her? You are his friend. Did he ever tell you anything about it?’

 

Sanjay preferred to remain silent.

 

Straightway, she rushed to the office of an NGO; she knew that claimed to be working for the right and safety of distressed women.

 

The NGO, Director was in his mid-thirties, bearded but young and energetic. He was wearing a long kurta and blue lagoon jeans. He was very soft-spoken. I told him my entire story.

Listening to my story, he took me in his car ‘Ford Icon,’ to the nearby police station. We lodged a police complaint.

 

The inspector charged Aditya under a number of sections of which I have no idea. He took my signature on that complaint written by the NGO director. Inspector left the office with his men.

We both remained seated at the police station.

 

The director looked around and could not see anybody. He put an arm around me and hugged me and consoled me.

 

I was deeply impressed by his behaviour and helping attitude.

 

The inspector returned after half an hour. He arrested Aditya under domestic violence act and dowry act. I was feeling very happy, victorious and relieved. Aditya was sent to jail but I knew it was all frame up.

 

Director and I left the police station. He dropped me at my residence. I took him inside and prepare coffee for him. During coffee, we discussed the future plan to fight the case. The director was very kind and generous to me. He offered a job to me in his NGO office and very happy I accepted that offer.

 

I was on the cloud nine with all this success. My eyes felt very heavy but very happy. He came close to me, held my chin up and said, ” Listen carefully. I am always there for you now, never feel hesitant for any help and work. Your mind will be troubled and you so far ignored your happiness which censured you. That was something nasty. I feel for your pain”

 

I was mesmerized. He told me that he was a bachelor.

 

Outside there was lightning, thunderbolt and very heavy rain. He could not step out of the flat. I prepared the dinner for us. At around ten it was still raining.

 

Ultimately we decided that the director sir will stay in my flat although I felt a little uncomfortable. But there was no other way-out.

 

We continued talking up to almost midnight.

 

I was feeling very uncomfortable. Suddenly he got up from his bed and held my hand. I could not sense the fear running my body. I was very nervous, extremely nervous.

 

He asked me, “Are you alright?”

 

“Yes. Of course, I’m,” I said.

 

He said, “Why are feeling nervous then?’

 

He put his arm around my waist as a sign of affection and concern. I did not resist.

 

“O God, there is nothing like that, I am fine,” I said.

 

“Please continue,” your stress will be lessened, he asked me.

 

I took a deep breath but could not speak.

 

He hugged me and kissed me. He switched off the light. We both slept together. In the dark, his gentle hands searched my entire body. I enjoyed this new beginning. Now, this was almost a daily routine. We never slept alone.

 

From next day onward, I started going to his NGO’s office. There I saw an altogether different society.

 

“Women, I never knew about them, but saw the first time,…many women working there, women wear micro minis and with heavy makeup and always live in the company of a man and made as if they love each other, but only for money and sex and …offer them…every-thing…money …..bodies…And use each other…and stuff with them….to satisfy their own urges.…sex…money…activism…and ultimately awards and positions…Some used to come every day only to be used for paid and fixed dharnas, gheraos and demonstrations….all for money”

 

Now I was a part of this dark world. But now I was lost and trapped completely but there is no escape.

 

Sex and money have engulfed every part of their world. Once finished with DU or JNU, through artificial relationships, carefree parents and relatives, then nothing is left drugs, sex, fake activism, NGOs but dark alleys.

 

Now my case was also going on in courts. Dates, adjournments, lawyers on strike, vacations, the judge on leave or sick, etc., etc., all this became a part of my life. Now I started to see this new and ugly world for a ‘dumped’ woman.  World and guys are freaks.  Director, lawyer and I talk a lot about my case, my future. But all loud talk, no escape. They all wanted money or sex. I had gotten used to the snobbery and drubbing and vice versa. It became realism that in that world, nobody cares about anybody.

 

Now I was shattered. It was my fault to destroy my happy home for a non-issue. Wasn’t it? I was blinded by light and thunder of fake and false modern, new world. Now I couldn’t cry even. Nobody loves me nor I. Here I was realized that I had lost everything and was crushed by my protectors. We did smile and laugh. But to my euphoria, the smile didn’t encourage my crushed movements that would have converted my disabilities into joy.

 

Always I tried to be a little closer to my lawyer, understand his tricks and moves and catch glimpses of his hidden jibes beneath his face as I kept craning my neck from one side to another with every beat of files and law books. When the saying and shaking of head and eyes became tired I had to pay his fat fee. At times I had no fee then we flopped down on the couches. He wants money or me.

 

And ultimately I became victorious but lost everything and of course Aditya forever.

 

Now I will never get back Aditya. He will never be mine again. But the beautiful moments, the delightful time that we spent together, will always be mine. And it will always give me pleasure. And joy. I may not have in him in my life in reality, but he will always have in my dreams. Not even God can take him away from me. Only he was capable to make me lose my memory by his love and care. But he will always be in my mind, in my heart, just like Jack always stayed in the mind of Rose in Titanic.

 

“Many budding and aspiring actors leave their native places to pursue the American Dream in Hollywood, only to return and little did they know that Los Angles is not all about Hollywood but also about millions of slum-dogs who never became milliners.”

 

Broken and shattered I packed all my belongings. I decided to leave this city. It does not have anything more to offer me. Not in life, nor in love. I am moving to Vrindavan which has been given shelter to those who have no one in the world. Today once again, I am standing on another gateway, which will take me to a new world and new people. A new beginning will be there again. And I am all set to start everything, all over again. Vrindavan is the town where Lord Krishna spent his childhood days.

Like thousands of widows, orphaned women, etc., who have been making to this town their home till their end, where once Lord Krishna played with his gopis and gwalas. Left by their families, all alone in the world, some travel hundreds and thousands of kilometres to get some space and some peace in this holy and divine land but nobody knows why?

‘Tomorrow I will be one among the lost thousands.’

‘Problems of West, find solutions in the east.’

 

From Kashmiri Gate, I boarded a bus going to Mathura.

 

The engine of the bus roared. I saw outside the bus- The heartless city of Delhi, which robbed me of everything. Now I hate this city.

 

The bus began to move; leaving small clouds behind. And slowly and slowly and slowly Delhi vanished out of my sight.

 

The bus reached Mathura at around seven p.m.. The city was abuzz with temple bells and evening prayers. All the roads and streets were echoing with the hymns and shlokas of the Srimad Bhagwadgita and Lord Krishna.

 

I was very much confused and afraid of my loneliness. I was tired of travelling. I could not decide where to go. At times I was feeling to commit suicide. But ultimately I decided to go ISCON temple. It is a very beautiful temple and very lovely structure. I was mesmerized by the spiritual environment of the temple. There I felt a unique peace of mind.

 

I moved towards the manager’s office. There I enquired about the system and rules to get a room allotted on the permanent basis. When I was busy talking with the manager, a gentle but firm hand touched my shoulder. Taken aback I turned back. It was Aditya.

 

He asked the manager to book a room. In the entry register, he filled the first name as Aditya Sharma and second as Maya Sharma (Wife). I did not question. The manager gave the keys to the room. Aditya took my luggage too. I followed Aditya like an obedient child. He opened the door. He unloaded himself and sat on a chair. I sat on the bed. We were silent but our teary eyes were talking about the lost four decades.

 

He muttered,  “Don’t live in an American Dream My Dear! Life is not as rosy as you suppose to be. ..”

 

Aditya muttered the lines of famous poet T.S.Eliot

 

“Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.

Om  Shantih     shantih     shantih.”

 

 

b]ø<YaaDaaYa k-MaaRi<a Sa(r)& TYa¤-a k-raeiTa Ya” )

il/PYaTae Na Sa PaaPaeNa PaÚPa}aiMavaM>aSaa )) 10 ))

 

brahmaëy ädhäya karmäëi

saìgaà tyaktvä karoti yaù

lipyate na sa päpena

padma-patram ivämbhasä

 

“He who works, having given up attachment, resigning his actions to God, is not touched by sin,  even as a lotus leaf (is untouched) by water.”

 

The Bhagavadgita, ‘True Renunciation’, Ch.V, Sl.10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myth and Reality: Draupadi and her five Husbands……………

November 15, 2017

In India, there is hardly anybody who knows perfectly about Hinduism and Hindu mythologies. It is highly doubtful whether anybody has read the Mahabharata carefully. This is a very sad reality that majority of Indians are Hindus but there is no Hindu University or Research Institute in India to study and research on Hinduism, Hindu mythology, Hindu epics like, The Vedas, The Upanishads, The Ramayan, The Mahabharata and other Hindu scriptures. Only ABCD (American Breed-ed Confused Desis) brand Communist, Muslims and Western scholars fabricate irrelevant things and stories about Hindus and Hinduism. It is the story about Draupadi and her five Husbands. Nobody knows anything about her and about her five husbands but all talk and talk nonsense. She is a much mocked and vulgarized lady by half-baked scholars.

 

Once there was an intense argument between the highest God of this universe Lord Shiva and King of Heaven Lord Indra about who would be the supreme God or authority in Heaven and subsequently in the Universe. Lord Shiva said, as He was the God of Gods, so he would naturally be the supreme authority. However, Lord Indra was not ready to accept this argument and He said, as He was the King of Heaven, so he would be the supreme authority of Heaven.

 

So nobody was ready to budge from their declared stand and authority and accept other as the superior. So ultimately, there was a fierce war in the Heaven. In that war, Lord Shiva defeated Lord Indra and in anger, Lord Shiva cut Lord Indra into five pieces.

 

Om seeing the dead body of her husband, His wife cried inconsolably. Listening to the cries of Lord Indra’s wife, Lord Shiva was appalled and rushed to console the widow of Lord Indra. The widow of Lord Indra asked Lord Shiva to re-restore the life of her husband. But Lord Shiva expressed his helplessness and said He cannot revive Lord Indra as He Himself had killed Him.

 

On the insistence of Lord Indra’s widow, Lord Shiva said that He could revive her husband but the new incarnation could not live in Heaven and it had to live on earth or Prithvi Lok and only after completing and fulfilling all the assign tasks and duties, it would return to Heaven.

 

Subsequently, five pieces of Lord Indra’s body took birth in form of five men on Prithvi Lok. Lord Indra’s head became Dharam Raj Yudhisthira, the expert in law, chest became Bhima, master of the mace, arms became Arjuna, best archer, abdomen and pelvic parts became Nakula, most handsome and master swordsman, and legs became Sahadeva, master swordsman and formidable in war.

 

Seeing this, the widowed wife of Indra said to Lord Shiva that she had to live like a widow, although her husbands were alive in form of five different men. So she instead of going with her husband to Prithvi Lok. King Drupad was performing a yajya. Lord Shiva made her appearance from the haven fire (haven Kunda), a girl appeared from the havenkunda of Raja Drupad, and this girl came to be known as Draupadi, the daughter of Fire, of the Mahabharata.

 

When this girl became of marriageable age, she prayed to Lord Shiva to bring back her husband Lord Indra. Again, Lord Shiva said that these Pandavas had not yet completed their age on Prithvi Lok and they had not yet completed all the allotted work. So Lord Indra cannot return to Heaven. Soon this Draupadi married Arjuna and later on due to Kunti’s blessings, Draupadi got all the Pandava as her husbands with all the qualities, strength and powers that Lord Indra possessed.

 

Only Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, Draupadi, and five Pandavas knew this secret.  After completing their age on Prithvi Lok and completing all the allotted works, all the Pandavas and Draupadi again went back to Heaven.

 

 

 

MY FATHER SAID…………

October 19, 2017

Once, a Muslim family was enjoying boating in the deep sea. There were five family members in the family, husband, one wife, one daughter, one son and a blind and handicap brother of the husband. They were all very happy as due to religious restrictions such type of pleasure trips among Muslims looked down upon. The wife was irritated to see the blind brother in law accompanying them. She was treating him as kabab me haddi. 

All of a sudden, the boat was rattled by the fierce jaljala. All the family members thought that their end was near so they started praying. Listening to their prayer a farishta appeared and spoke, “You people are a sinner because you kill living lives in my name and defame me. So, to please your God you have to offer as a sacrifice of one person among yourselves.”

The wife was very pleased with this demand of sacrifice. She immediately advised her husband to throw his blind and handicap brother in the sea as a sacrifice. It will be doubly benefited. First, the God will be happy and calm and second, we would be relieved of the burden of looking after this useless man. Husband did not pay any attention to his wife’s suggestion and threw his daughter into the sea, saying he had four more daughters from other wives. Moreover, girls are a burden to us.

With this sacrifice, the jaljala remained calm for some time. But again after some time, the jaljala resurfaced with double fury. All started shaking with fear and their colour became yellow. Again a farista appeared. He shouted that you have offered a girl to God and with this offering you have again angered the God as girls are the incarnation of the goddess on earth, so they are very dear to God. You offer another scarify to please the God.

Listening to these words, the young and beautiful wife again whispered to her husband to offer the blind and handicap brother as a sacrifice. Again, the tensed husband did not pay any attention to the whisperings of his wife and threw his son into the sea as a sacrifice, saying that we had five more sons from other wives. Moreover, we are young enough to manufacture much more sons and daughters.

With this sacrifice, the jaljala was calmed. However, after some time again the jaljala resurfaced with more fury. The petrified husband prayed. Again a farishta appeared and said that you have again angered the God by sacrificing your infant son. Children are very innocent and most near and dear to God. So with this sacrifice of most dear and innocent creation of God, you have made God furious. You have to offer another sacrifice to please and calm God.

Again, the terrified wife shouted at her husband that your brother is the real sinner. God has punished him by snatching his eyesight and crippling him. So throw him in the sea as a sacrifice and save our lives. Again, husband ignored his wife’s plea and threw his young and beautiful wife into the sea as a sacrifice. The helpless wife asked that why was he throwing her in this cruel manner. The husband said remorselessly that he had already three more wives at home and moreover I could get another wife very easily by paying the small Maher. 

After some shrill cries, the body disappeared in the furious waves. However, after some lull, there was again a fierce jaljala. Again a farishta appeared and his face seething with anger. He shouted at the surviving brothers that they were very perverted sinners as they had saved their lives and sacrificed helpless lives because you have many more wives, sons and daughters in your possession. So now sea God will devour you. If you voluntarily offer one among you, as a sacrifice, one among you can be saved.

On this, the blind and handicap brother decided to offer himself as a sacrifice and save the life of his brother. He profusely thanked his brother for his love, care and affection before jumping into the sea. But before he could jump, the other hale and healthy brother jumped into the sea, praying to God to take care of his blind and handicap brother. He was looking at his blind brother with love and tear in eyes before drowning. Seeing the spirit of the dying brother for his blind and handicap brother, the God melted. God saved the life of the drowning brother and lifted him to the boat.

The God asked, why he offered himself as a sacrifice, whereas he had a crippled brother to offer. On this, the brother said that before his death his father asked to look after his blind and handicap brother till he died. So I was fulfilling my promise given to my dying father.

On this, the God was very happy and brought back to life, his dead wife and children. God also restored the eyesight of the blind brother and made him physically healthy.

  O Man! Love and respect to parents is the greatest service and highest prayer to God. Similarly, compassion to weak is also a service to God. Yudhistra, the wisest man in Mahabharat, also said the same thing that the lap of the mother is bigger than this universe and blessings of the father are much higher than the sky.

 

 

 

 

Secular Ban

October 19, 2017

Ban on Diwali crackers is secular,

The ban on cow slaughter is communal.

Cow smuggling is secular,

Cow protection is communal.

Termination of cracker license is secular,

Termination of slaughter license is communal.

Slaughtering of animals on Eid is secular,

Bursting of crackers on Diwali is communal.

Slaughtering animals on Eid is religious,

Bursting crackers on Diwali is pollution.

Eid celebrations are secular,

Diwali celebrations, communal.

Sealing of cracker shops is secular,

Sealing of meat shop is communal.

Burqa is secular but vermilion is communal.

Roza is secular but Karwachauth is communal.

Haj Houses are secular; Ram Mandir is communal.

Madrasa education is secular; Sanskrit is communal.

Azan noise is secular; kirtan noise is pollution.

Long live secularism; long live justice system.

 

MAULVI AND HIS BLACK MAGIC

October 4, 2017

There was a Dargaha cum mosque in my neighbourhood, a ghetto. The ghetto was most backward, a ghetto completely in ruins as if very recently plundered by Mugul army. People were so traumatized that all the time they were always haunted only for freebies. People were always drowned in the sea of gloom and miseries. For my neighbours, there was no happy declaration and people were always in a dark and cheerless world.

 

I was always scared of the east of distressing ghetto which had scrap godowns in which only theft items were stored, packed and distributed all over the ghetto. There was dirt all around the market and spread over the ghetto like polluted clouds. It was a small ghetto of grim-faced, sour, peevish and corrupt people who were always busy in mischief.

 

In the centre of the old ghetto, in the aged zone of ruined buildings, occupied illegally, thanks to draconian Rent Control Act, occupants appeared like distraught hearts, surprisingly near my house there lived a happy young Maulvi, Saddam, who has more surprisingly,only one daughter, Ayesha, the only child of Maulvi, Saddam, whose beauty, intelligence and cheerfulness was the talk of that unhappy ghetto. Due to his religious backwardness and narrow outlook maulviji never send his daughter to school. Only in a local madarsa, the bright girl was forcibly sent to study.

 

Maulviji has the quality to concoct never-ending tall and twisting tales which earned him not only one but many nicknames. To his foolish chamchas, he was maulviji, the manifestation of their Allah on land. For some, he was the doctor of ideas for all types of problems, as loaded with typical ideas and treatments. But to wise, he was the khota maulvi.

 

I gathered information that for his wife, Shabnam, Maulvi Saddam, was for early years a loving and caring husband like any other Indian husband. During those good years their only daughter Ayesha grew up as a beautiful girl, she had her father’s all the earning and clout at her disposal and her mother’s full attention for a very special only child. In that ghetto like locality, all the women had plenty of children as if they were child manufacturing machine.

 

I noticed suddenly something went wrong and the gloom of the ghetto finally engulfed that small but happy family. Saddam joined a group of clerics and these fanatic clerics mind washed Saddam into a trickster khota maulvi. Now khota Maulvi always busy telling stories and befooling distressed people. He did not notice the gloom of his wife and daughter. Moreover, poor Shabnam was treated as a sub-human because she mothered only one child. In that ghetto, women were children manufacturing machines. On average women had more than six-seven children. Some had even in dozens. Adultery was a very common phenomenon for producing more and more children.

 

I felt everything went with Saddams as if the gloom of the ghetto entered in their hearts. Shabnam stopped singing and dancing in the middle of a rhyme as if someone performed some black magic. Ayesha realized this but never understood the seriousness of the hidden storm.

 

I guessed Saddam was always busy in his black magic and curing people by his corrupt tantric practices. In that, he completely failed to pay proper attention to his wife and daughter. Shabnam forgot dancing and Ayesha lost all her intellect. But Saddam was a very busy man and in high demand as he was like an MNC of ideas. Saddam was always in the company of high and mighty people but lost track with his small family. Shabnam and Ayesha remained jailed at home truing sad and pale.

 

I noticed, Ayesha used to peep in her father’s room. Sitting on a wooden bed and surrounded by ragged children, dirty men and women, squatted in soil and mud and once he started, all used to listen to him like dead and sad cadavers. Ayesha often thought that her father was a cheat because his treatment and pieces of advice were dizzy whirl and have no sense and meaning.

 

Where did all theses he learnt? It appeared that all Saddam had to open his lips and eyes, but would crop some new tale, new sorcery, love mystery, wicked aunt, ghost, bearded thug, haunted houses blah, blah blah, ‘Every idea comes from somewhere, Ayesha sounded, so these ideas can’t come out of thin air…?’

 

But whenever she asked her father this mysterious question, the Maulana of Tricks would twist his eyes, thumb his ugly belly and gesture his fingers in very ugly manner and create hideous sounds. But Ayesha hated these absurd acts.

 

‘From the great holy trick river the Jumjum’ he retorted. I swallow the cold trick water of Jumjum and I sense new tricks.’

 

Ayesha found this answer very irksome. ‘Where do you keep this cold water, then? She argued shrewdly. ‘In cold jars, I mean. But, ‘I have never seen any such jar.’

 

‘It comes out of a hidden valve fixed by one of the Water Spirits,’ said the Maulvi with a dry and hard face. ‘You have to be a believer.’

 

‘And how do you become a narrator?’

‘Oh,’ said the great khota Maulvi, ‘it is very complex to understand.’

‘Anyhow,’ said Ayesha crankily, ‘I’ has never seen Water Magical or Sprite either. Ayesha crossed.

Irritated Saddam shouted ‘You never get up in time to go to madarsa,’ so now, stop from this ifs and buts and be happy with the Quran, Maulvi teaches you in madarsa. And Saddam shouted down the little girl.

 

The Saddams lived in a very poorly constructed concrete house. It was not a big house but also not like the abode of poor. The poor live in huts, jhuggis or plastic sheet shelters. And there were beggars, who had no homes and slept on pavements or verandas of shops and houses. They all pay hafta to local gang lords. So it means that the Saddams were lucky and prosperous. All the inhabitants stole electricity by using Katia on the electric pole.

 

In that sick and sleeping ghetto, families mostly had big families; but the majority were sick and starved. They were more interested in riches’ and governments’ freebies than working properly. The residents of the ghetto were all lazy and work shy people who were always in ‘Q’ for anything for free.  Ayesha had a perennial inferiority complex, why his parents’ hadn’t had more children like other families. But Saddams had no answer for this.

 

‘Your tears cannot understand this problem,’ shouted Saddam at his daughter.

Well, what was that mysterious problem?

‘We used up all our energy in producing you,’ Saddam explained. ‘It’s all very tough, enough for maybe to produce six-seven children. Your wet eyes cannot understand.

Saddam never gave straight answers; he would never give short answers and was expert in confusing and be-fooling the question-raiser.

‘We tried,’ he sorrowfully said. This child production is a very difficult and complicated work.’

‘Think of the poor Basus.’

 

I woke up with a jolt. Saddam had rented out his upper floor to Basus. Basu was out of the job. So Saddam kept him as his assistant. Basu was very lean-thin and husky-voiced widower. His wife died, a few years back.  Basu has a son named Bhiku. As a result, Basu paid more attention to Shabnam than his own son Bhiku. He brought her sweets and other gifts, whenever he found her alone he touched her and hugged her.

 

Basu always ignored Bhiku but always talking to Shabnam, which neither Bhiku nor Ayesha liked. Whenever he found Shabnam and Ayesha alone, he would launch into criticism of Saddam about his tricks and fool business at the dargah.

‘Your husband has time neither for you nor for his beautiful and intelligent daughter’ he would start in his husky voice, ‘but enough to spend with his foolish followers.’

What are all these treatments? Life is not a joke or story narration. He will be exposed one day. What is the use of such treatment that isn’t proper? He is a fake jhola chap scholar.

 

Whenever I looked around, I found, Bhiku and Ayesha listening to them silently outside the door. They started hating Saddam. Saddam, who fabricated stories and treatments, was now hated by his wife and daughter. Now he did not care one little bit.

 

What’s the use of such treatment and stories those are fake and lies? Ayesha couldn’t throw the appalling question out of her mind. However, there were fools who thought Saddam’s stories and treatment were used.

 

I noticed that now Basu was friendly with Shabnam and Bhiku was with Ayesha. Now, whenever they got time and opportunity they were confined to their respective pairs.

 

During election days Saddam was in big demand. In the majestic shows of various political parties with secular tag, all rushed to Saddam, with folded hands, to beg him to tell his stories at their election rallies and nobody else’s. His presence was enough to consolidate Muslim votes. It was well known that if you could get Saddam’s magic speech on your side then your victory is almost ensured.

 

Those were the bad days for secular politicians. Nobody believed them, even though they tried their best to prove that they were telling the truth. (Actually, all knew in advance, they were lying). But everyone had complete faith in Saddam because he always declared that he knew nothing and everything he spoke was Allah’s command. But such admissions made him more popular and swelled his popularity and appeal. Now people started calling him as Sufi Baba Saddam.

 

So the secular politicians needed Saddam very badly to help them to consolidate Muslim vote bank. Politician lined up outside his door in spotless white kurta-pyjamas and fake- crook smile but bags loaded with currency notes in cash. Saddam was free to pick any and choose.

 

One day I was returning home from the market. It was raining very heavily. On that day everything went wrong. All were returning home from their works when they were caught in the heavy downpour of the rainy season.

 

Now, when the rains came to the troubled ghetto, life became a little easier to bear or rather enjoy. All type of free help used to pour into these so-called poor people. Tents, food packets, water, blankets and clothes etc., were supplied very liberally. They used to wait for this water deluge. Roads, drains, nalas-nalis all were encroached by the people. An encroachment on the public property was their fundamental and secular rights. They were very happy in the sea of polluted-dirty water, people could have a break from their compelled work routine, and the area was also clean because the dirt thrown by people was washed away by the rain.

 

I know it very well that Basu, Bhiku, Shabnam, Ayesha all loved this rainy season. They loved the feeling of getting wet in the rain and enjoy the wonderful warm drenching.  When I arrived home, I thought they would also be completely soaked and their wet body will be exposing their curves.

 

My wife Shweta was standing on our upstairs terrace, shuddering like a jelly; and as it was raining, I thought she might have got cold. I rushed, upstairs. I noticed she was crying. She told me to go to Saddam’s house.

I went indoors to the house of Saddam and found Saddam the great storyteller and trick master was looking very sad and depressed because his eyes were swelling and blue and cheeks were soaking wet, even though he was indoors. He was behaving abnormally.

 

Shabnam and Ayesha had run off with Basu and Bhiku.

 

He told me that in the evening, he went to his house, asking her to search for his magical green handkerchief. When there was no response, for few minutes, he himself busy with the search (Ayesha was good at losing items), Saddam heard no answer from any corner.

 

My wife rushed there trembling and narrated that she heard the main door slam, and, a second latter, the sound of a car in the narrow lane. She saw that Shabnam and Ayesha went with Basu and Bhiku, and a car speeding away from the lane.

 

‘Bitch must have planned it all very carefully,’ he cried. The clock stood at eight o’ clock exactly. Saddam picked up a hammer and shattered the clock to pieces. Then he broke every other clock in the house, including the one on Shabnam’s dressing table.

 

Shabnam had left a big letter full of malicious things Basu used to say about Saddam and his business: ‘You are only involved in gratification through wrong means, but a good man must understand that life is a solemn business. Your brain is full of tricks, so there is no space in it for honesty and sombre facts. Basu cares and loves me very deeply. This is, I want.’

There was an afterthought. ‘Listen, I love Ayesha so I cannot leave her with you, she will be happy with Bhiku.’

 

Rainwater dripped onto the note from Saddam’s curly-oily hair. ‘What to do, now, Sharma Ji,’ Saddam cried pathetically. ‘Storytelling is the only work I know.’

 

When I heard Saddam so pathetic, I lost my temper and angrily shouted: ‘What’s the point of it? What are the use of stories, tricks, treatment and dargahs, those can’t even help you?’

Saddam concealed his face in his hands and wept inconsolably.

I wanted to get those words back, to throw them out of his Saddam ears and thrust them back into his mouth; but of course, I could not do that.

And that was why he blamed himself when, soon afterwards and in the most uneasy situation conceivable, an Unthinkable Thing happened:

Saddam, the renowned Sea of Ideas, stories, tricks, cure, the magical Badshah of Etc., Etc., Etc., stood up in front of a massive crowd, failed to open his mouth, and found that he had forgotten all the stories, tricks, cures to tell.

 

Silently, I grabbed him by his arm and silently took him to the dargah.

 

I observed him carefully as he walked to the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath. “Ten, nine, eight, seven…”

But Saddam, the renowned Sea of Ideas, stories, tricks, cure, the magical Badshah of Etc., Etc., Etc., lying by the side of Mazar, green handkerchief in one hand the Holy Quran in the other.

 

Again, I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath, “Ten, nine, eight, seven…” There was no movement in his body. I noticed Saddam, the renowned Sea of Ideas, stories, tricks, cure, the magical Badshah of Etc., Etc., Etc., lying by the side of Mazar, green handkerchief in one hand the Holy Quran in the other was dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOST WITH THE WAVES

October 2, 2017

 

It happens only with dreamy Indians. Children are the happy dreams of their parents. To fulfil their dreams, I had obtained B.Tech degree in Computer Engineering from I.I.T… After B.Tech I acquired masters’ degree in Management from I.I.M… After working for few years in India, like any other Indian, I joined a multinational company in the USA.

 

America is now treated as a dream country especially in India.  It is the cherished dream of every Indian to touch the soil of that dreamy land, the land of braves, patriots and vast opportunities. Americans are born with three Ts in their mind; TRY—for better future; TRUE—To your nation, religion and work; TRUST—in God and self. So in my case also that long cherished dream had come true. My parents were very happy with this achievement.

 

Every entry point has an exit point, so I resolved to make my exit from my dear motherland to enter into the land of dreams as a wonderful experience with lots of joys and graceful achievements. Here, at last, I reached a place where I truly deserved and where my merit and talent has respect. Here I saw a beautiful world was waiting for me. I decided to walk with an aim. Bubbling with happiness and confidence, I planned to stay in this country for about five years in which time I hope to earn enough money to settle down comfortably back home in India.

 

We belong to a Brahman priestly family. However, my father did not have any interest in our traditional profession because in our country it was almost a secular and intellectual fashion to abuse and curse Brahmans and Brahman priests. In some states like Jammu & Kashmir and Tamilnadu, Brahmans are treated worse than slaves and animals. He generally used to recite this poem;

 

BRAND NAME

 

God send me on the earth, an innocent being,

Untouched by the black and white doing,

But the world branded me as a Brahmin,

And a curse has fallen on this urchin,

A child of lesser God,

The entire honour was forbidden to this pod.

 

Education, help, livelihood;

All was snatched by Robin Hood,

Some branded it as social equality,

But it was state cruelty,

Other’s called it secular passion,

But it was ugly repression,

All the isms kill human rights,

They are the Janus face of racial might.

 

 

Because of this scenario, my father preferred to be a teacher. As honesty, hard work, patriotism and Sanskars were in his blood, which he inherited from his parents. He could not do much for his family and his economic condition remained grim throughout his life. Only after his retirement, he could purchase an ordinary one bedroom flat in a slum type locality. Moreover, he has to pay a hefty bribe to government babus to get his day to day work done in government offices. Even still he has to pay a bribe to get his PF and other dues cleared and get his monthly pension from the same department which he served for thirty-five years. But ambitions could not touch him. He believed in,” When nails are growing, we cut nails when ambition is growing; we cut ambition but maintains relations and character.

 

I wanted to do much more than my nationalist father did. I wanted to earn and earn like secular leaders of the country. However, in America, I could not adjust comfortably and started homesick and lonely as the time passed. My patriotism and love to my roots always troubled me there on the foreign soil. Moreover, in America, Indians were not treated respectfully. As upper castes Hindus are insulted and abused in India, in the same manner, Indians are treated in America as a community who are there only to mint fast bucks only, come what way. There too I saw each heart had pain, only the way of expression was different; some hide it in tears in their eyes while others’ hide it behind their beguiling smile.

 

I used to call my parents almost once a week using low-cost international phone sim cards. In this manner, three years passed and my contract with my employer was over but my employer extended my contract for another three years as in America person is recognized by merit, talent and work whereas, in India quota castes, minority religion, language and region are recognized and not the merit, talent and work.

 

Another one year passed on burgers, pizzas, chowmin, potato chillies etc… Years and months passed, watching foreign currency rates and getting happier whenever the value of Indian rupee went down. One thing I learnt from Americans that getting upset would not help. Always getting up to set the things right.

 

The problem of marriage always was a big issue for my ageing parents.  Finally, I decided to get married, gave nod, and told my parents that I have only ten days of holidays and everything must be settled down within these ten, very important ten days of my life. I got my ticket booked to India in the cheapest economic class. I was on the seventh cloud and was actually trying to purchase gifts from the cheap duty-free shops, for all my relatives, and friends back home. If I fail to do follow this custom, there will be talks because in India it is believed, if one is in America, he must be rolling in money. Right from the babu at the airport to the dancing terror eunuchs, this great India loot is a part of life.

 

After reaching India, I spent some time at home with my parents. All the time we all were involved scanning photographs of girls and as the time was very short I was almost forced to select a girl as my future life partner. Bride’s side was in much more hurry as they did not want to let out this America settled son-in-law. They told that I had to get married within three-four days. After the marriage, my departure time to U.S.A. was very close. After giving some money to my parents, I again had to leave India and requesting my relatives and neighbour friends to look after my parents. We both returned to U.S.A.

 

In the beginning, my wife was very happy in America and she enjoyed her stay here. But after some time she started feeling lonely. Her frequency of calling her parents, back home in India increased and sometimes almost every day. Because of her extravagant nature, my savings started vanishing rapidly. I tried to get some job for her but I failed and could not arrange a job for her. She used to receive wise upbraiding from her parents especially from her mother every day. In my case, it was very true, “If the first button of your shirt is wrongly stitched, all the rest will definitely be crooked. So always be careful on your first step, success will automatically follow you.

 

Although she was PhD from Gazab Singh University, India, but to my horror, I came to know that she was not capable even to write a letter. All her degrees were almost manipulated through corrupt methods. Her father is a judge and her mother is a professor in Gazab Singh University, India. She boasts of guiding forty-five Ph.Ds to her credit, through lifting, scissoring and pasting methods. This university was notoriously famous for selling fake degrees.

 

In this way, two more years passed, and we were blessed with two lovely kids, a daughter Ganga and a son Brahmaputra. Every time I rung to my parents, they asked me to come to India so that they could see their grandchildren before their eyes are closed forever. But work pressure coupled with difficult monetary conditions, I could not visit India. Months and years passed and visiting India to see my ageing parents was a distant dream.

 

Then one day at around midnight, my phone rang and I got a message that my father was seriously ill. I tried to get leaves but failed to get the leaves sanctioned, to go to India. The next message I got was the death of my father. As there was no one to perform the last rites, the close relatives helped by the neighbours performed the last rites.

 

The death of my father shattered me and I was badly depressed. My father passed away without had a glimpse of his grandchildren.  One day he came to me to meet me in my dream and cried at me:

 

MY FATHER AND THE CURSE OF MY NATION

 

I

 

I heard my heavenly father, last night,

What is your dear nation’s curse? Write

And throw it beyond the Himalayas, high,

I trembled, collecting my father’s sigh.

I can’t-do, my dear father!

There are many curses but ask my brother.

I am pressed by love and patriotism.

The voice shouted to shun hypnotism.

My father’s word in mind,

Generated radiant and vigour in the side.

 

II

 

Tender little hands of children begging in streets,

Brutal and intoxicated fathers musing in fleets.

Donors giving through misty doors,

This is unknown to fair floors.

For right of freedom, this crowns,

The rogues as lords in Parliament frown.

Tears in eyes, I cried, patriotism means,

Self-interest, corruption and rotten dreams.

As honest and intelligent have lost their claim,

Corrupt touching glory and nation in the drain.

 

III

 

Secular cry breeding fanatic name,

Social justice prospering caste chain,

Tainted rulers dance while enemy conspire,

Brave soldiers are fried on crying pyre,

Jihadi killers dance while innocent cry,

Bloody red hidden in white to rob every pie,

Alter decorated with anarchic laws,

To strangulate the weak and just with claws,

There my father cried in terse,

Shall thou write my nation’s curse?

 

IV

 

Now modern women have only known,

To cheat hearts with tears false blow

And swap bed every day and night,

Every right is wrong and wrong right.

Framed racial and communal laws,

To bestow trump powers to our foes,

Here wise man choose to silence,

And fools throw tantrums on their glance,

Where unmerited groups laugh at your gate,

Merit is scorned and measured without weight.

 

V

 

As you turn your body to side,

Met with foul tradition and conscience tide,

Power shines with mirth deadlier best,

All this I wrote to mourn the test.

This is the curse, open to all to read,

Go with ill-doers, my father cried

And furl your flag with sick brewers,

Now cannot be changed a new,

Six decades of ill governance,

Has dried and sucked all fragrance.

 

VI

 

With heart sinking and tears in eyes,

Death can change this entire fry,

Otherwise, rot will go on,

With all my blessings to you to worn,

Saddened to leave you alone here,

As I cannot be no more with you there,

Left crying in a cruel winter evening,

Twenty years have passed by morning,

His sudden march to the kingdom of death,

Left we orphaned as a traveller without a sheath.

 

VII

 

That mighty soul, sober, cool and austere,

Must be shining in some unknown sphere,

Enjoyed his shadow as wise banyan keeps boughs under,

Here he was to beat the storms and not to flounder,

Helping and guiding the masses in need,

With a happy and honest hand indeed,

True servant of Almighty in this world wild,

Goddess Saraswati seated on tongue with message mild,

Such souls loved and needed in ages all abound,

Pray to Master to reincarnate him again around.

 

 

Three four years passed. I decided to return to India and to settle down there. My children did not appreciate this decision but my wife was very happy with this decision. I started to look for a good and affordable property. However now, here Dr Man Mohan Singh was the Finance Minister of India and to my shock, my savings and pocket were much short and the price of property gone up very high during all these years. I had to return to the USA.

 

But this time my wife was very intelligently tutored by her mother. She was not ready to come back to the USA with me nor was ready to live with my aged mother. On the other hand, My children and I were not ready to live in India under these circumstances. I, with my two children, returned to the USA after promising my mother and wife to come back within three years. Everything about our future was uncertain but God has arranged everything for our tomorrow. You just have to trust Him. He grants us the power to accept things you cannot change.

 

Time passed by and my daughter decided to get married to an American own her own. Neither, due to financial constraints, my wife, nor could my mother join us, to bless our daughter. My son was happy living in the USA because he was very comfortable with American lifestyle. Suddenly I received the news of the death of my mother due to heart failure.

 

 

Now I was fed up with this type of life. It was enough and I decided to wound up everything and returned to India. The relationship is like fragrance, you can never touch it but you feel it. Now I had just enough money to buy a decent three-room flat in a posh colony in India.

 

With this vagabond type of life, I became sixty years old. Beaten from all sides I became highly religious and a regular visitor to the nearby temple. My faithful wife was still living with her parents. She was not ready to leave me nor was ready to leave her parents. I was a cash card to her and her family. As her father was a judge he knew the hazards of filing and settling divorce cases. Therefore, my wife was happy living as a married lady but her parents’ daughter, financing her rogue brother by the money I used to send her as a peace package. She was like Stephen Blackpool’s wife in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times:

 

TRUANT DAUGHTER IN LAW

 

Always play truant and abhors all in-laws,

A knotty bride, slamming doors,

A perverse father’s tricky daughter,

Floats in muddy and shallow water.

 

Guided and guarded by,

Inhuman Taliban laws,

Branding man’s race,

As savage and subhuman.

 

Men in khaki and gown black,

Are suitors dear?

But never gave respect to,

Her elder in-laws.

 

Rude and twisted to caring in-laws,

Direct from honeymoon cracked

Whips on these helpless fellows.

At school, her report card noted as a spoiled child.

 

Decked and jacked in false glitters,

Children she mothered,

Narrate tales awful and deadly,

Never taught children with milky hymns.

 

Children never impressed by her dear mother,

But never learnt to slam the door.

Her funeral was performed sacredly,

Mentioned her virtues in tone false.

 

But all and sundry present there,

Dwelled her vices in hushed detail,

She was a bandit queen,

In the garb of bridal makeup.

 

Again, another mishap happened in my life. Papa’s daughter, but my faithful wife also left me high and dry and gone to the last abode from where nobody returns. Now I started wondering the meaning of life. Is it worth all this? My father, even after staying in this country as a poor teacher, had a house to his name but he never was alone. I too have the same, nothing more. But I have lost everything, my parents, my wife, my children, my mental peace and near and dear ones. Life is like an onion, which has many layers of relationships. If you do not cut, it adds taste to life but if you cut it, you will get tears only.

 

Looking out from the balcony, I see a lot of boys and girls riding on bikes and dancing. This modernization and liberty have spoiled our new generation and these children have no values in life. I get occasional greeting cards from my children on different days. I wanted to cry, I wanted to hug someone dear, but no dear ones were around. You cannot hug yourself, you cannot cry on your own .0shoulder; perhaps life is all about for living others. So live with those who love you, not with those whom you love. World’s happiest relations never have the same nature. They just have the best understanding of their difference, which we missed in our life.

 

Now perhaps I will also die and my neighbours again will be performing my last rites. God bless them. At least this one thing is still there that at least last rites are performed with full honours. But again the question remained unanswered, is life all this worth? A failed son, who could not serve his parents, when they need him most, a failed husband, who could not be with his wife, a failed father, who could not continue the legacy of a family…and a failed Indian who could not serve his nation. Whatever life throws at us: it will be easier to comfort if we feel loved.

 

My children and the grandchildren will not realize this pain and pain of losing my culture forever and forever—–is it really worth so many souls alienated. On a one fateful morning, I was reading the divine Bhagavad Gita. My phone rang. From the other side I was overwhelmed to listen to the sweet voice of my dear son, hello papa, can you give me an appointment to bless your grandchild, mothered by a close friend of mine, means born out of wedding-lock.

 

Shocked, I sank into the chair on which my father used to sit and teach. Slowly and slowly, darkness gripped me; perhaps I shall never be able to give an appointment to bless my grandchild and its mother. But my question remained unanswered; was the life worth this? With this, I lost somewhere and sagged down.

 

एत्धोनीनि भूतानि सर्वाणीत्यू उपधरय ।

अहं क्र्त्स्नस्य जगतः प्रभवः प्रत्नयस तथा ॥6॥

 

 

etad yonīni bhūtāni sarvānī’ty upadhāraya

aham krtsnasya jagatab prabhavah pralayas tathā

 

Know that all beings have their birth in this. I am the origin of all in this world and its dissolution as well. All things are dissolved in me.

 

(The Bhagavad Gita, Ch.VII. Sl.-6 (Trans.)

LOST IN JHELUM

October 1, 2017

They were very good friends. Village elders frown upon their friendship. Maulvi Basheer’s daughter Ayesha and Pundit Sita Ram’s daughter Jhelum left their houses to go towards the fields. Maulvi Basheer was a very powerful and respectable Maulvi while pundit Sita Ram was a very poor pundit of the village. Jhelum was dressed in a ragged salwar-kameez and covered her breast with a ragged cotton towel. Ayesha had salwar-kameez made of zari and a string of pearls hung around her neck and wore golden bracelets and silver anklets on her hands and feet. She covered her head in an expensive silk hijab. Ayesha had gold nose- pin and earlobes whereas Jhelum had copper wire for her nose and ears.

The two friends were walking, clinging close each other, holding each other’s arm.

They were the example of togetherness.

Jhelum was chewing a pickle.

‘Very tasty’, Jhelum twisted her lips and tongue.

‘What?’ asked Ayesha.

‘My pickle.’ Teased Jhelum.

‘How you got?’ irritated Ayesha asked.

Somebody offered in our ‘Shani Temple.’ ‘We had vegetable pulao with pickle and chutney.’ Jhelum blinked her eyes naughtily and said.

Irritated, strong and well built, Ayesha pulled Jhelum inside the bushes and pinned her down on the ground and rode over her. She hugged her very tightly and took hundreds of kisses all around her body.

After some time Ayesha and Jhelum came out of the bushes.

‘Besharm.’ Arranging her ragged clothes Jhelum murmured.

Ayesha again hugged Jhelum tightly and kissed her frantically on her cheeks.

‘Sweet liar! You think I don’t know? You did not light your sigri last evening because you had neither grain nor rice.

‘We have mutton kabab and egg biryani’ mocked Ayesha, putting her arm around Jhelum’s neck.

‘My father told us. You had nothing to eat and you said that you had vegetable pulao with pickle and chutney’. Mocked, Ayesha still holding younger Jhelum in her arms and in between, rubbing her small breasts.

‘You also had nothing to eat last night?’ teased Jhelum fluttering in her arm.

‘We didn’t have anything to eat last night? You naughty sweet bitch! Who told you this? Last night we had the soup of fish and we ate mutton kabab and egg biryani,’ shouted Ayesha.

Her father was the most prominent Maulvi of the village. He used to get loads of offerings from the people. He had gone to attend a meeting to the city and brought the tasty fish and mutton for the dinner.

Peeved, Jhelum moved towards the rice fields. Ayesha followed her, swinging her arm and breasts. In the village, madarsa children started their prayer.

‘Allahu Akbar, Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lah,’ the Maulvi recited.

‘Allahu Akbar, Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lah,’ recited the children in a chorus at the top of their voice that echoed the village.

Ayesha and Jhelum started, running and playing into the narrow long chasms. Playing their way, they moved ahead. On one side of the chasm was a sweet full grown apple garden.

‘I am joining the madrasa from the next Jumna. That day is a good day for Muslims. The Maulvi asked my father to send me to madrasa and my father gave his consent,’ said Ayesha.

‘What is the use of this madrasa education?’ asked Jhelum.

‘What is the use? Listen; listen to that, how beautifully they are singing!’

‘Maulviji asked my father too. My father said what use of a madrasa to a pundit daughter.’

‘Yes your father is a pundit, my father is a Maulvi.’

Jhelum became very sad on this and tears rolled down on her cheek.

After some loitering they lay down to rest and slept on the soft grass, their heads were side by side and they were looking two pigeons in one nest folded in each other’s wing. Thus lying cheek to cheek and breast to breast with each other, they were sleeping in an embrace.

In the sarkanda bush, a monkey jumped on a tree. On the narrow pathway, some red and yellow flowers dropped. Ayesha took some flowers and inserted them in her hair. Jhelum too picked up some and tucked them in her hair.

Ayesha became very happy and started dancing and hugged little Jhelum.

‘See Ayesha, my roll of hair is like a small pot but your bun is very small and without oil,’ she said. Ayesha looked at her.

‘I don’t need any decoration.’ replied Ayesha. ‘Look at my head, I always use scented oil, and my hair have plenty of oil, but your hair is very dry and no oil in them.

The madrasa children were still howling at the top of their voices, puffing their vocal chords like cycle pumps. Ayesha crooned with them.

‘Allah,’ said the madrasa children, chanting the Holy Quran prayer.

‘Allah,’ said Ayesha.

‘Allahu Akbar, Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lah,’ said the children.

‘Allahu Akbar, Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lah,’ repeated Ayesha.

‘You stay here reciting, I must go and collect some dry woods and leaves,’ said Jhelum and moved into the forest. Ayesha also followed her.

Jhelum was fourteen years old and Ayesha was around twenty. But Jhelum was hard pressed by her family responsibilities. With a pitcher on her head, she had to go to the lake and fetch water for the family. She had to go to the forests and orchards to collect dry woods and leaves. These responsibilities Jhelum had to carry out regularly.

Jhelum’s father Pundit Sita Ram was a priest in a Shani temple which also had a Hindu crematorium nearby. Before terrorism in Kashmir valley, they had enough earning through offerings. But due to Islamic terrorism, all the Hindus fled from the village fearing for their lives. Now they had hardly any earning. Earlier on Saturdays devotees whose wishes were fulfilled used to remove their worn out old clothes and footwear in the Shani temple. This practice used to gave them enough clothes, although old ones.

Likewise, during cremation people used to remove clothes and chaders of dead ones before putting them on funeral fire. This practice also gave them enough clothes. They also used to attend tehervi bhoj of dead ones, leaving them a little better off.

After terrorism, they had to face very tough time. Whenever they tried to work in fields and orchards as labourers, Muslims and Harijans did not allow them to work. They declared that if pundits work in fields and agriculture, they will bring disaster for everybody. They pelted stones on this poor pundit family whenever they tried to work in fields and orchards.

In the fields nearby, bunches of soft anjeers’ and figs’, pods and flowers hung on the branches. Ayesha pulled down a few branches and plucked few anjeers and started eating. Jhelum was very sad. That day she hadn’t had anything to eat or the night before.

‘Oh, God! I am hungry.’ She murmured.

‘Don’t cry, my dear daughter, there is nothing in the temple to eat.’ Crying, her mother comforted her. Seeing her mother’s pain Jhelum slipped into bed under the pain of hunger and overtiredness.

Jhelum was the daughter of a pundit; she didn’t have the courage to enter the field and pluck fruits and eat. If poor like her commit petty thefts, they will be punished very ruthlessly. If the rich and powerful like Ayesha commit the same theft, they are ignored. All the way, Ayesha kept pulling down the branches and eating the fruit. She had no fear.

‘If the big Khan catches you, he will beat you,’ said frustrated Jhelum.

‘Nobody is going to see. Even if anybody sees, nobody can touch me; I am the daughter of Maulana Basheer, head Maulvi of the main mosque.’ Said Ayesha, squeezing Jhelum’s bony cheeks.

Jhelum’s stomach started burning in pain. She was haunted by empty kadhai and cold sigri at home. There was nothing at home. Her father had no work, nor was no one ready to give any job to her father. Nobody was ready even to give a loan to her father as all were sure that he cannot repay. Again she would starve. Jhelum’s eyes filled with tears.

The narrow path was filled with the deodar and teak leaves. Jhelum forgot all about hunger and pain. She started picking up leaves and dry twigs and pressed them down in her chader. She has fulfilled her task for the evening fire. The load was heavy but her heart was light. Both the girls turned back home.

Jhelum asked Ayesha to help, lift the load on her head. The load was properly placed on Jhelum’s head. Both her hands were holding the load. Seeing this good opportunity, Ayesha lifted the kurta of Jhelum. Helpless Jhelum could not do anything. Ayesha set on her knees and started fondling the little breasts of Jhelum. After few minutes, Ayesha started sucking, Jhelum’s breast. Jhelum could not understand all this but she also started enjoying this game. But she remained silent as if urging Ayesha to embrace, kiss and suck the juice of her breasts.

Both girls were busy in this love game. Ayesha was overjoyed. Her hand was slowly and slowly slipping into the salwar of Jhelum.

‘Who is there?’ a voice thundered from the forests. It was like a thunderbolt. Both the girls separated and looked into the field. Right in front of them stood big landlord Khan. With folded hands, Jhelum bent like a bow and said Salaam-Alaikum, Landlords Khan’s eyes were burning red with anger.

‘What is this?’ Thundered Khan.

‘For the sigri fire,’ Jhelum muttered, shuddering.

Khan came in front of little Jhelum, Noticed the basket with leaves and twigs and on top the anjeer twigs. He lifted his leather shoed foot and with all his power, gave a kick to the load. The chader and the leaves flew.

Shivering with fear and tears in her eyes, Jhelum again spread the chader and started collecting leaves again with his little hands.

‘You bitch, gathering again?’ Khan thundered. He had no idea how much value the leaves had for Jhelum and her family. The leaves and dry twigs were enough for a day’s fuel. Though only a child, she knew her responsibility. Her entire existence cried for the leaves.

‘Janab! I will never come into your field again,’ she begged and fallen into his feet.

Landlord Khan looked around. There was no mark of Ayesha. She ran away and vanished into the forest. Seeing the good opportunity, he shouted again, “What is it you have hidden under you kurta?”

‘Nothing.’

Khan lifted her kurta up to her breasts with his rough hands. Failed to find anything, he shouted, ‘you are a very cunning girl, you must have hidden inside of your salwar.’ ‘Open it.’ He yelled.

‘Ma, I can’t-do this,’ she started crying bitterly.

‘Then I will, you bitch.’

He pulled the cord of her salwar. With one jolt her salwar was on the ground.

Jhelum could not understand this, although the landlord Khan could not find anything. She gathered some courage. She stopped crying and shouted at him: ‘I didn’t commit any theft. Look at my chader and my clothes.’

Landlord Khan pushed her on the ground.

‘You son of a randi! I did not steal anything,’ she hurled a string of abuses.

Shocked khan completely came over Jhelum. To save her chastity, Jhelum pulled the long beard of Khan. Rattled on this sudden attack, Khan writhed with pain. His skull cap flew away. Now his ugly face was burning with lust. Shaven head, no moustache and floating beard, he was looking like an ugly demon. Khan leapt and tore her clothes and rubbed his coarse hand on her breast.

Khan leapt over Jhelum completely and started to kiss her very violently. He kissed again and again: Lips, cheeks, forehead, nose, ears.

Then he hugged her very tightly. Her tiny body was completely trampled under his weighty body. Khan started pressing her little breasts by his rough hands.

‘No,’ Jhelum said and tried to remove his hand, but failed. She wriggled a lot, but he kept on pinching her breasts.

‘This is not right,’ she panting, biting his chest.

Khan cried with pain and slapped her with full force.

‘Don’t, Kahn abba!’ she pleaded.

‘Stop talking nonsense,’ he shouted, interrupting her garbled plea.

He reached down to remove her salwar. She tried to halt her ruthless advance but all in vain. He removed her salwar completely, very forcefully lifted her small legs and demon sized Kahn adjusted her in-between her legs.

She realised some sharp-straight object piercing her small hole and entering her body.

‘Oh ma, I’m slaughtered, please have mercy!’ she cried with pain. She was unknown to all this.

After few minutes Khan started giving very violent push and jerks.

Then he started blowing and puffing very fast.

After some time Khan stopped and got up. Now Khan was silent. He adjusted his clothes and left her alone.

After weeping for a long time Jhelum opened her eyes. Jhelum’s entire body was aching with unbearable pain. She picked her clothes and slowly wore them with feeble hands.

‘You son of a randi!’ you and your family will perish.

‘Oh ma,’ she began crying again, and crying still, went towards the river Jhelum. She reached on the bridge of river Jhelum. She was still crying inconsolably but nobody was there to wipe her tears. She climbed on the railings of the bridge. Her body was still aching. She closed her eyes. She remembered her father, her mother, her bosom friend Ayesha and her cold sigri at home.

She pleaded her mother to forget and forgive her.

‘O Mother Jhelum forgive me because I am innocent,’ and jumped into river Jhelum. There was splash sound and within seconds she lost with the waves to sleep eternally in the lap of mother Jhelum.

Far in the madrasa students were still reciting, ‘Allahu Akbar, Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lah.’

At the threshold of the temple, her mother was waiting for her dear daughter Jhelum to unload her load of dry leaves and branches. A small old Kadai was put on sigri and sigri was still cold.

 

KARWA CHAUTH OF A SOLDIER’S WIFE

October 1, 2017

All the ladies perform their Karwa Chauth pooja in the presence of their husbands,
But I just gaze at your picture and perform my pooja and pronounce my prayer,

for you are so far away on LOC…..
Yet I am the proud wife of a brave and patriot soldier.
…For the responsibility you are bound by is far more gracious and supreme than your presence here,
But I miss your company very much on this auspicious Karwa Chauth just like past years.

Alone, sad! Days, Months, Years run off behind but I can by no means get adapted of being alone,
Every time you leave me, the agony is same as the first time you left me alone to abide by the call to the motherland.
It’s only the vigour within that strengthens our love even in your regular absence,
Once again on the pious occasion of Karwa Chauth, I’m re-living the moments of a blushing new bride with all the bridal shringar, waiting for my groom to lift my veil and I may be lost in his tight hug….but Alas! Only mirage…
But my dear groom won’t be with me today…

The sindoor giving power to My Prayers for Your Long Life,
The gajra of my hair fragrant our nuptial life,
The mangal sutra around my neck tells me again, and again the promises, that bind Us.
The colour of mehndi confirming the intensity of our love.
The jingling of bangles fills your existence with good luck,
The twinkling of payals declaring My Love for You,
The pallu of my red sari wards off all the troubles and evil spirits.

Glancing at your picture through the chhalni in the bright and cool moonlight,
With tears in eyes and lots of love, praying to God, to send my prayers to my sweetheart,
Prayers for your long life and good luck,
Prayers for your health and safety,
Prayers for your early return,
Prayers to give you strength to Protect Our Dearest Bharat Mata.

Yourself, safe land on the blissful shore,
Shall join your dear babe to part no more.

HAPPY HAPPY KARWA CHAUTH….!!!!

 

Waiting for a turning point: Supreme Court’s triple talaq judgment sets the country on path leading to uniform civil code

September 11, 2017

Last month’s historical and path breaker verdict by a Supreme Court Constitution Bench, banning instant ‘triple talaq’ divorce system by Muslim men to their wives, is a game changer for the Indian republic and Indian politics and the very idea of secular and democratic India. That is notwithstanding the judgment being a shy, split verdict. It is a big surprise that India has supporters of personal laws and triple talaq at the highest level.

 

It is very clear now that all are not happy with this judgment and some even underestimate the parallel with the landmark Shah Bano judgment of 1985, which was made null and void by the then Congress, headed by Late Rajiv Gandhi government,  under the pressure of mullahs. But this time makes no mistake and a big no to communal politics, this is a game changer. For starters, far removed from Shah Bano, this was overturned by an act of parliament and making the mockery of secularism. 

 

As a matter of fact, it has already revived debate on the need of a secular uniform civil code (UCC), one of the most important but unfulfilled ‘directive principles’ of India’s Constitution that would replace the existing separate, communal and personal laws for Hindus, Muslims, Parsis and Christians. Of late, these minority personal laws have become notorious like Khap laws. These personal laws make Indian secular democracy a fake secularism.

 

It took seven decades to ban and declare unlawful a minor and very repressive divorcing method. It speaks volumes about Indian secularism, the concept of equality and Indian justice. Those who opposed alteration triple talaq had apprehension that, foreseeing it would make way for a UCC. One fails to understand, what is wrong with a secular Uniform Civil Code.

 

The most critical part of this debate, of course, is that many supporters of triple talaq and personal laws had habitually included not just conformist and fanatic Muslims and communal leaders, but also so called “secular” politicians, activists, intellectuals, academics, legal luminaries, journalists, comrades etc. who day out and day in swear by secularism, equality and women’s right. But here it seems that their sermons are only for Hindus.

 

On the one hand, the Constitution of India assures and guarantees equal rights to all citizens but the special provisions to minorities make Indian secularism and equality irrelevant and fake. It was always at odds with the concept of a modern, civilized and secular democracy.  The Constitution makers did not keep in mind the repression by

 

 

 

 the Mughal and colonial rulers and again threw the nation in another the turmoil with these communal provisions. They failed to understand the plight of majority community for hundreds of years by Muslims and Christians. They could not implement the universal and equal rights of all citizens in modern, secular and democratic India.

 

Now for Indian Muslims, role models are conservative theocracies like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is very ruthless to the public practice of religions other than its state version of Islam, Quranic and Sharia Laws etc. Now, Indian nation, Indian Constitution, Indian justice system, Indian Parliament etc. are secondary to Islam, the Quran, Sharia etc.

 

The centre of that gamut is illustrated by the former Ottoman Empire, theocratic but comparatively moderate but Indian law makers failed to note that its occupation of Constantinople in 1453 was very atrocious, with massacres, plunder, enslavement and brutal conversion to Islam of the non-Muslim population.

 

The Ottomans’ ‘Millet’ structure of justice system permitted every religious group their own laws. But this was only in law books. This empowered a kind of nationhood where the Muslim ruling class kept hold of its dominance but, in enlightened self-interest, pretended to protect non-Muslim minorities by allowing their rights as groups.

 

The constitution and standard of the countries like the UK, US, France and Germany were the other measures of the nationhood. They were marching towards liberal and open-minded democracies and they distributed with both constitutional rights and civil liberties for the majority community, as well as rights for minority groups, but the rights of all the individual citizens were given the highest importance.

 

But, India has a different history and background where minority rulers were repressing majority community before independence. In the disturbances before nation’s Independence, the idea that the constitution makers could wish to be a modern democratic nation was not accepted by the Muslims which resulted in the two-nation theory, the idea of Pakistan, and division of India.

 

However, our Constitution makers were the staunch supporter of a modern, secular democracy, and were against a theocratic Hindu nation. But in their concern to appease the remaining minorities, they failed to make a truly modern, democratic, liberal and tolerant version of secularism.

 

Despite all this past experience, the constitution makers twisted out the secular principles in the directive principles and decided to continue with existing colonial era separate personal laws. After that hardly any reform took place during the last seven decades. Only cosmetic laws against dowry and domestic violence, Hindu personal laws, and the not obligatory Special Marriage Act, all failed to reflect the modern, secular and multicultural sensibilities. Most of the reforms were directed only towards Hindu community.

 

But despite the claim of a strong and treasured democracy, our nation had medieval kind of laws and practices like triple talaq, halala, polygamy, mutha, Sharia and Quranic laws, gentile mutilation, circumcision, burqa, hijab, madrasa and church education, etc a hard slap on our secularism and multiculturalism. Here, individual rights have no importance but the laws of a sect or a religion have more value.

 

Moreover, these personal laws have been a big hindrance to hold together a fractured nation during its early dawn as a republic; the original foundation is severely disturbing in the long run. As it again, reinforces the two-nation theory. Separate personal laws for every religious faction in a modern-secular democracy can be acceptable only if the majority cannot give equal rights to the minorities. Here, in India, only majority community is secular, liberal and tolerant.

 

In fact, that is specifically what supporters of UCC argue, whether openly or hidden in phrases. They cite so many examples over the past 70 years, including recent Triple Talaq-Halala-Polygamy, to emphasize that India needs and “ready” for UCC.

 

But in veracity, regardless of its lots of troubles, India has established to be a firm democracy where such shocks are not the exception, but the norm. But, an institution, like the judiciary and Election Commission continue to encourage assurance, as in the SC’s landmark judgment on ‘Triple Talaq’ recently, making triple talaq irrelevant, although two judges were in favour of triple talaq. 

 

The opposition of UCC, itself challenges the idea of India and her Constitution which supports UCC. And unquestionably it does harm to both our hard won democracy as well as to those who are a victim of the cruelty personal laws.

 

Baring the Muslim clerics, the chiefly encouraging responses to the triple talaq judgment confirm, that nation does not support clerics and personal laws. The nation is governed by the Constitution, by the Parliament and by the Supreme Court, and not by the standing of personal laws.

 

The judgment has very clearly defined religious personal law is illegal and unconstitutional and paves the way to a complete secularism. Without Uniform Civil Code, Indian secularism is a big farce.

 

Some fringe element those are with secular and left parties are creating a bogey of “Hindu Pakistan” if UCC is implemented. Without UCC we will a mirror illustration of that theocratic nation like Pakistan, this is a mirror image we should be ashamed of.