By Santosh Jha
Copyright 2014 Santosh Jha
Other Titles By Santosh Jha
Back To Bliss: A Journey To Zero (Fiction)
Autobiography Of A Duffer (Fiction)
Naked Solutions Of Dressed Up Life Woes (Non-fiction)
Habitual Hero: The Art Of Winning (Non-fiction)
Maya And Leela: Utility In Life’s Futility (Non-fiction)
Why We Flop In Love (Non-fiction)
Wisdom Of Wellness: Perpetuity Of Poise Of Purpose (Non-fiction)
Decipher Destiny: Decode God’s Will (Non-fiction)
Youth Sanity In Crazy Culture (Non-fiction)
Redeem & Reinvent The Art Of Lost Wellness
India Beyond Stampede Of Stupidities (Non-fiction)
Karta: Life Inspiring Essays Of Cognition, Consciousness & Causality (Essays)
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Disclaimer: This work is an absolute fiction, an outcome of pure imagination of perceived situations, with the clean purpose of the navigation of a set of life ideas. All characters and their portrayal are fictitious, with no intentional resemblance to anyone dead or alive. Any semblance must be accepted as pure coincidence and inadvertent.
The singularities of life have elemental eccentricities of happening and un-happening; almost as weird and randomized as love. The elements of one’s own life and that of the equally precarious milieus are both patterned as well as un-patterned. The juxtaposition of symmetrical possibilities amid the larger probabilistic asymmetry of arbitrary milieus engender such beautiful marvels of life-living experiences, which people can accept only in one way – the destiny.
A resplendently beautiful woman, the empress of eclectic endowments of extremities of name, fame and flair, the reigning royalty of Hollywood’s dream factory, the Oscar winner and highest paid actor is currently the subject of destiny. Like in love, she is unaware of the cryptic conspiracies of cosmic causalities, which has landed her in a sleepy small town of Rishikesh in India, the Yoga capital of the world; thousands of miles away from the colossal clutters of the Los Angeles, California in United States of America, where she belongs.
Destiny is much like love. Both happen and un-happen and neither way, one is sure whether it is good or bad. People always search for their destinies as well as love. Both are wired and wielded within as randomized probabilities. The co-incidence and favorability of elements, somehow present themselves as pretext for something, which is not an external situation, rather an internal positioning. The moment, one accepts, love happens and destiny is signed in. Until then, possibilities hang in balance as un-happening.
Melissa Knowles is also out on a journey, unconsciously in search of her destiny. She and her resolve has already energized a patterning of causality, which she is innocently unaware of. However, what destiny has in store for her shall be decided not by factors outside in her near and far milieus, rather by what she finally accepts as something, which is her own internal positioning of consciousness.
An empress itself is neither a title nor a person. It is a positioning of consciousness, which is so much overwhelmed by endowments, both within and outside, that it invariably lands at the eye of the storm of life probabilities. Most women are born empress. It is an archetypal conspiracy of cosmic causalities to put women in a conscious positioning of empress. It is only natural that all elemental probabilities shall look up to the empress for taking commands from her. The empress therefore is always in tumult. All empires are in turmoil, so is the empress.
It is only a yogi, who can see the patterns, which destinies unravel in the storm as, he is standing far away from it and happily detached to the cyclicality of cosmic conspiracies of elements. An empress and yogi together create a brilliant singularity, which holds the potential of unleashing beautiful probabilities of destinies. The cosmic conspiracy has almost taken a pattern. The empress has arrived and, the yogi is about to enter the scenario.
The time, space and circumstances have presented a bizarre coincidence. There however is no element of favorability, which people usually associate coincidence with, for beneficial destiny. As it is the rule; destinies are situationed one way and an empress has her own elements positioned the other way. The third dimension of the yogi can add its own causality.
In ancient Indian traditions of Hindu religion, there is said to be a general prohibition of any good work in a time-space situation, which is referred as ‘sandhi-kaal’. It is a time and space where one is about to end and other is yet to start. This period of transition is considered inauspicious and unproductive, as all elements of nature are weak and bendable. The weaknesses of elements aggravate the randomization of probabilities and it is believed, anything getting a start during the ‘sandhi kaal’ shall have calamitous future.
Melissa is innocently unaware that she is starting a new phase of her life in the ‘sandhi kaal’. The wall clock shows 5.30 pm as she waits in an old wooden chair in the corner of a large hall of the yoga ashram (hermitage) for the Acharya (chief teacher) to arrive. The day has heralded its departure and night has not yet arrived. There is still enough humidity in the air as it is September. Rainy season is retreating but the winter has not yet showed up its pink comfort. The place itself is a junctional situation, as Rishikesh town is situated on the foothills of Himalayan mountain ranges. The Gangetic plains vanish here but the mountains start beyond the township.
Melissa too is in ‘sandhi kaal’ of her life. She left her home in USA after a favorable phase of life seemed to have ended for her but even in India, she is not yet sure, what new turn she wants in her life. Sometimes back, she had read about yoga meditation and India seemed not so unfamiliar to her as once, while she was only six, her father had taken her to Rishikesh and beyond. She had been fascinated by Himalayas and as her now estranged father, suggested that she visited Rishikesh and lived in a yoga ashram for some time, she accepted it.
The yoga ashram and the ambience are much beyond the description and pictures her father had sent her. The serpentine narrow road, which leads to the ashram, has bushes and trees laden with flowers on both sides, which she does not recognize. The fragrance of the wild flowers and rain-soaked soil has mixed to give a very earthy aroma, which feels like musk but is more pungent. The road opens into a slight slope, leading to an undulating valley like terrain, in the middle of which the ashram is situated.
From three sides of the ashram, the first series of Himalayan mountains rise like ramparts of a castle. The mountains are not very high and steep and are heavily clad with green trees and shrubs. Few scattered houses on them look like flags hanging on the trees. There are few openings between the mountains, making the air gush in. Melissa feels, the wind was not whispering, rather saying something loudly but amiably. The fourth side of the ashram opens on the southern side of the Himalayan mountain, where the mighty river Ganges flows with great force, as it readies itself to touch the plains. The sounds of gushing Ganges waters and mountain winds create a mesmerizing symphony.
Melissa instantly likes the milieu and settings. For the first time in so many days, she feels calm and light. Nature’s own structural symmetry is so full of elemental bounties and multidimensionality that it offers refuge and reassurance to all emotions and consciousnesses of all lives. The wide and open vista of landscape, which further extends the limits of horizon, engenders a feeling of instant wellness to Melissa. The constricted consciousness of Melissa desperately needs larger and wider space for her emotions to get a free flight of escape. The synchronous sounds of wind and water penetrate her heart, where silence has started to suffocate her. She feels filled and free. Something touches her and she just responds by allowing her smile to get unburdened by her conscious resolve. Destinies do not barge in. They pass by and touch you by their soft elemental scent. As you do not resist and simply remain positively neutral, destinies start to unleash their causalities. Melissa has stopped resisting.
As she is received at the ashram gate, ushered in to the main hall and asked to wait for a while as Acharya was in puja (prayers), Melissa is beginning to feel slightly thrilled with expectations of something good finally coming her way. Elements of destinies weave a wanton web of probabilistic causalities. What ends the web connects and what pattern it engenders may be precarious, however, the subject of destiny always provides the first will, consciously or unconsciously. Melissa is not only not resisting, she is now expecting!
The local police officer and one staff from the American Embassy, who accompanies Melissa from Delhi, are busy talking something. The police official is trying to assure the Embassy man that everything is fine here and there is nothing to worry. He is not even listening and moving swiftly to assess everything here. He makes some notes on his iPad and then turns to the police officer making queries. Melissa watches them arguing for a while and then turns her attention to better things.
She walks up to the other side of the hall, where a large window offers a spectacular view of the entire ashram few steps below and the mountains beyond. There are several small huts, some slightly bigger. All of them made of mud and wood, having thatched roofs. There is a small pond on one side of the huts, in which some ducks are swimming. Many rabbits of different colors are freely jumping all around. What amazes Melissa is the variety of birds everywhere in the ashram. There are many pitchers placed on trees beyond the pond and every now and then, some pigeons either enter them or leave out of the large hole of the pitchers. On all the walls of every hut, there are many small wooden boxes with small holes on the front side. As Melissa wonders about what they are, a sparrow comes flying, sits on the box and swiftly sneaks into the hole. Seconds later, another sparrow follows suit. Melissa thinks, the second one must have been the husband sparrow, who joined his wife as evening was approaching. She feels something tweaking in her heart and she begins to look away. A boy enters the hall with three small earthen pots. The police officer requests her to come and have tea. The embassy man takes two pots and moves towards Melissa, waiving his hand, gesturing her to stay there. The police officer understood the situation and moved out of the hall, taking his pot of tea. Melissa has no choice. She cannot avoid the man as her mother insisted that she would follow the instructions on her safety, as prescribed by the American Embassy officials.
Her mother calls her up often, even when she is busy campaigning for her election to Governorship. Her Senator friend, who is rumored to be more than just a good friend, has ensured that Melissa is under constant security cover of Embassy people. Melissa dislikes him and would have refused all this but she knows, her mother would do what the Senator would say. He moved all his official advantages to woo Melissa. The Senator had offered his pad in Paris for Melissa as alternative to India but she had refused. Melissa has been away from her father, a university Professor, who lives in London but she knows, she would never wish to have the senator step in.
In the adjacent room, a 75-year old man is sitting on an elevated platform in dhyanashna (meditative posture), his eyes closed. He looks very thin and frail but his face radiates calmness and childlike innocence. The thick and completely white hair and beard too cannot eclipse his smiling wheatish face. The Acharya rarely meets anyone from outside his ashram but he agrees to meet Melissa, as she is someone special for him.
A young man, named Shiv, dressed in long white robe is sitting beneath him. He keeps looking at the face of the old man, as if he is trying to read something from his facial expressions. This 34-year old man is the favorite disciple of the old Acharya and an accomplished yoga master. He is tall, bright skinned and manly. However, his body has the softness and malleability, which matches his seemingly boyish face and large feminine eyes. Like a perfect yogi, he has his heart, mind and body in singular linearity of compassionate being, which makes the body-mind consciousness a beautifully poised fusion of best of both feminine and masculine elements. This is in the ideal tradition of Shiva, the transcendental yogi, the ultimate metaphor of ardhnareeshwar (half male and female).
The Acharya opens his eyes and looks affectionately at the young man, who moves close to him in anticipation of something precious that the old man may say. The Acharya however picks up a piece of paper and writes something on it. He extends the paper to the young man. Two lines are written in Sanskrit, which are essentially a shloka (couplet) from the holy book Geeta. The Krishna saying the lines to Arjuna, which means – ‘he who seeks me in whichever disposition, I meet him in the same facilitative consciousness’. The young yogi folds the paper and puts it in his pocket. He accepts the orders of his guru and shall always obey his command enshrined in the shloka. He touches the feet of the old guru and both rise up to move to the hall, where Melissa awaits them.
Melissa’s mother is relieved and happy. The early morning call from Melissa extended her the reasons for it. Melissa talked well and seemed reasonably pleased with her start in India. She told her about how she liked the place and was satisfied with the beautiful small mud and wooden hut she was provided for her stay in the ashram. She assured her that she was feeling better and looked forward to making the best out of the change in her life. She sounded a bit irritated that the Acharya had excused himself from teaching her because of his poor health and instead delegated a young man to be with her for any help or, if she wishes, guide her in her learning. However, the way she described every detail about the ashram and its ambience, Melissa’s mother felt sure that she had at least come out of the groove she had plunged herself into, after her failed suicide attempt, a month back.
She is relieved that the new milieu shall help Melissa come out of her messy past and lead her to redeem her life back to the tracks. She is happy because now she can afford to take her mind away from Melissa’s woes and concentrate on her election campaign. Years back, she had accepted that Melissa had charted her life good bit away from her and she was just like a confession box to her. Melissa would never fail to post her of all her wrongs. That surely saved her life a month back.
They had never talked about it. She learnt it from tabloids that Melissa was dating this billionaire guy and was growing serious about him. She knew little about the man as she knew, America, like anywhere else, was having a deluge of young billionaires, who made it by some sudden and favorable turn of precarious markets, or the public mood for lapping up novelty, or simply inheriting a business empire. The mother and daughter had sort of, made an unwritten covenant; Melissa never talked to her about the Senator, the new man in her life and they never talked about her dad, whom her mother divorced when Melissa was only 12. She in turn never questioned any of her decisions, personal or professional. Anyway, since her teen days, Melissa would tell her straightaway, if she did something wrong or terrible. On that terrible night too, when Melissa swallowed the sleeping pills, she instinctively typed her mother a message on her mobile phone, before she slipped away. This saved her.
Once again, she discovered all facts and fiction about her daughter’s current situation from the morning newspapers. She was out of danger but still sleeping in her hospital bed. She did not have the occasion to know what made her do it. The front-page tabloid cover stories at least made it clear that the billionaire guy had dumped her for a younger girl, who was an upcoming model. Reports quoted Melissa’s unnamed friend divulging it all and alleging that Melissa had no inkling about all his and as the guy dumped her on phone late evening, Melissa could not take the sudden abandonment and the way it was handed over to her, taking the extreme step.
She had asked the doctor, who supervised Melissa in the emergency, about her condition and state of mind and what the doctor told, had made her a bit confident. The doctor was a specialist and he assured her that Melissa had not done it to end her life. It was more of an angry reaction and could have been avoided, if she had people around her at the time of the impact of the suddenness of the news. He assured her that Melissa had not lost it, she was probably more angry than deeply hurt. “She is a brilliant girl, an accomplished performer. All good actors instinctively know how to enter into the skin of a role and then come out of it clean, after the end of the shot”, the doctor said with a touch of professional tone in his voice, leaving her relaxed.
The worst was however yet to come. The crowd became unmanageable outside the hospital and the media people growingly pushed limits. The police guards inside the hospital intercepted a nurse, suspiciously moving around the special room, where Melissa was kept. She was a journalist and wanted an exclusive picture of Melissa on hospital bed. The police had tough time cordoning off the hospital gate for other patients. By evening, the tabloids had all sorts of stories to tell and suddenly, it looked like Melissa had so many friends, which the tabloids quoted as close ones, about whom even Melissa’s mother had no idea. On television, breaking news had been replaced by panel discussions on all aspects of the event; from the trend of suicide in America to the history of Hollywood splits. Everyone, from media, average people, fellow celebrities or politicians seemed to know much more about Melissa and her inside stories than her own mother.
The media had a double dose of entertainment to dish out to gossip bazaar. Melissa was still in hospital and stories about her state of being and future were top stories. However, every story had a second lead story of how Melissa’s mother was having a tough time as her daughter is doomed and her political career had received a jolt, before it could even take off. Stories carried her opposition leaders questioning the credibility of her as mother, who could not care her only daughter and was not even available at the time when her daughter needed her the most. They questioned the credibility of her abilities as leader.
Melissa’s mother was not at all worried about media and possible troubles on her political career. She was a fighter and even loved and relished her warrior attitude. Like most women, who have to face the tough world full of hypocrisies and conflicts all alone, she felt rather thrilled and happy fighting it out. Winning becomes pleasantly intoxicating and struggle to win extends the much-needed nourishment and replenishment to the subconscious pride of egoistic consciousness. The media barrage and political onslaughts had surely filled her up with excitement and she had already sketched her counter-plans in her mind. What held her back was her bewilderment with Melissa factor. She was at loss how to face Melissa and how to strike a conversation with her on the entire mess up.
She and Melissa had never been in such a situation of unsettled emotions. Melissa erred even earlier and often landed herself in some trouble but Melissa simply informed her and it was perfectly understood between them that Melissa would herself handle it. She just had to tell her that she understood and appreciated. There never was the need for either of them being emotional and in need of intimate conversation. She understood that this time around, Melissa would probably need her as a mother and not just a ‘friend’, who only received unilaterally. The later arrangement was something she was always more comfortable with, rather than being happy about it, in all these years.
Intimacy and emotional oneness with someone is toughest in relationships when it suddenly comes up as a ‘need’ and the required linkages and past precedents, to make it happen, is missing for years. She needed some quiet moments alone and space to mull over how she would perform and present herself, when Melissa would gain consciousness and she would have to face her. She weighed her words but kept shuffling with them as they failed to satisfy her. Probably silence would be a better choice, she thought but even this option looked insufficient. The trouble was that she was not sure, how Melissa would take her words, in her current state of mind. When life occasions the larger and real utility of words, their futility is the first realization. But, it is too late then. People seldom practice communication and expressions beyond the convenience of words in daily life. Words make good business; however has little utility, as carriers of deep and true emotions. Somehow, people are always happy with business of life and care a little about good utility and value of life.
Such is the cosmic construction that what one seeks desperately is what one usually gets. The nature meets him or her in a similar facilitative and catalytic consciousness. The subject’s disposition and conscious positioning creates a ‘gravitational pull’, which draws synchronous and symmetrical elements of cosmos for facilitation. However, by the time attainments and endowments happen; there usually being a time lag; the subject’s disposition & consciousness shifts to different plane. Usually, what initiates desire as expression of utility of attainment, ends up as futility, when endowment attains finality. This conflict is cosmic construction. It authors all stories of different ‘protagonists’, ‘plots’, ‘preface’ and ‘progression’. People being theatres of the enactment of stories, are bound to have a false belief of ‘pride of possession’. However, life itself has the last story.
Melissa’s mother felt low and even irritated at her predicament. Her political career had lots of credit to her fine oratory skills. Her pride possession was her spontaneous and melodramatic speeches, which even her adversaries admitted, connected her audience with her magical charm. She knew where it touched people and spared no words to do it often, while she rattled her words in stupendously inter-woven series. However, sitting outside the ICU of the hospital, waiting for her daughter to come to senses, she had no choice to be honest to herself and admit that she had missed the natural touch of being a mother, even when she proved herself to be a brilliant politician. As time ticked away, she prayed for a miracle to show her a way.
Melissa’s father finally managed to get past the crowd in front of the hospital gate and convinced a police officer to take him to her inside. Melissa’s mother could not believe, he was standing in front of her. She could not understand what to say and how to react. Finally, she broke down and wept like a child. He kept assuring her that the worst was over and everything would take a new and good beginning. He took charge of everything within minutes. He arranged a room for her, asked her to sleep, advising the doctors to administer a mild sedative to her. He took it on to himself to see that he is there when Melissa opens her eyes, asking her to relax and try to sleep. Melissa’s mother was relaxed. She knew, he was meticulously systematic and brilliant at handling tough situations. She also felt, Melissa too would be better off seeing her father first up. The element of unexpectedness would probably help her be at ease, not seeing her mother but her father instead. She was not sure, whether she should say sorry first or thanks to Melissa’s father. She dozed off thinking about it as the sedative took her in.
Melissa wakes up at 5.30 in the morning and gets ready for her first day of yoga session. The night conversation with the young yogi is still in her mind. The Acharya assigned him to her for all her training and anything she wished to know and learn. The old man could not speak much in English but said to her that her father was a benefactor of the yoga ashram, therefore, she would be provided with special facilities. The young yogi was assigned for her personal and exclusive training and help.
The young yogi had come to her cottage the previous night and asked her if she was interested in learning yoga meditation. He had asked her to tell him why she had thought of coming here, what she wished to learn and anything particular she wanted to know about. She had no ready answer and seeing her baffled, the yogi had asked her to tell him next morning. She thought about it. She was not sure whether he knew about her or her recent past. She could not make up her mind whether to tell him everything or not. She thought, if she told her that she was feeling very low and her father sent her here to redeem and rejuvenate in a completely unknown milieu, he might think very poorly of her. As she readies to leave her cottage to see the yogi, she makes up her mind.
Two large mats are laid under a huge mango tree, around two hundred meters away from the ashram. In the backdrop, light red shade has appeared in the sky atop the mountains. The morning light is sufficient to see the meandering narrow pathway, cleared of grass, leading to the mango tree. Melissa can see the young yogi is sitting in a meditative body posture and facing him, good ten feet away is a mat meant for her. She sits on it and feels the sensation in her heart. The breeze was comfortably cool and there was a mix of aromas around. It was a new experience for her. The elements of nature have started to nudge her senses and the resultant shades of consciousnesses make her happily baffled, as she has not met theses elements in such raw and close proximity earlier.