She dreamt she was talking to him again.
The quiet elderly man who sat next to her at the langar, when she held her hand out and the roti was given, he blessed her saying something very strange, “when rains make your feathers wet, don’t sit and cry and don’t wait for your wet feathers to dry before you start to fly. Start flying and your wet feathers will start drying!” At that time Aradhana felt a mystic bond with the man. This was a month ago. She would slip to the Gurudwara whenever possible and if her husband was not in town then she partook the Langar.
‘Funny thing, dreams. Even when your brain is convinced that it was all just imagination, you still find yourself looking around, just in case the dream has found its way into your world and is now resting behind a curtain ready to pounce on you when you least expect it!”
Aradhana turned around from the French window through which she was gazing out. It was not a voice that she expected to hear in the plush surrounding of Paz-Hacienda the gated community that she lived. Somehow she had associated the man with the tired kinds who lived on the langar from the Gurudwara and slept in dorms of the Gurudwara.
‘Chachaji… well not really…Dr.Edward Krishna Rao at your service.’ He said with his eyes wrinkling. ‘Between you and me I prefer Eddie and BTW I do not know Hindi. If you want to speak an Indian language it has to be Tulu.’
‘Eddie in a Gurudwara’ she teased him.
‘Well a well meaning father named Edward so that I would not feel out of place in America. Those were the days when there were very few Indians there. I am Edward Krishna Rao, very very American the Gurudwara reminds me very much of the church town that I grew up in.”
It was a strange friendship between a 32yr. Old and 78yr. Old.
‘I had a dream’ she confided in Eddie one day.
‘A dream as something that you see in your sleep or something that you want chase after’ he asked her.
‘Both’ she replied.
‘As a physician let me tell you something about sleep… sleep occupies third of our life. It can be a consolation to the woe of our days or the woe of their pleasure. Of course we did learnt about sleep repair and rejuvenating the body. We talk of restful sleep. To a certain extent yes. But I have never found that sleep was a rest. After a swoon of few minutes you can call it the processing period, the NREM whatever, a new life begins, freed from the conditions of time and space, something along the lines of afterlife that awaits us after death. There could be a link between those two these existence, between life and after life it may or may not be possible for the soul to bind them together, that is another experience all together but coming to the sleep and dream, your mind can bind to them together.’
‘Not this one Eddie’ Aradhana sighed. ‘You know I wanted to be like my father until I got married. Then I realized that I had to become like my mother’
‘I want to be like my father… sweetheart is a very vague term, figure out what your father was… which part of him do you want to copy?”
‘Of course wanting to be like someone is copying someone just in case you did not realize it” that had set her thinking. Why was her father her icon… he created the brand ‘vahini’ on from a single lab producing indigenous Ayurvedic medicine today his turnover was in crores, from the pharma he had ventured into travel, cargo, automobiles.
Edward was right. But what if she had children ‘cross the bridge when you come to it’ Edward had said. It was time choose her destination, and her path. During one their conversations, Edward had told her,
‘Arti… you are now wandering, trying to find your mooring. Very soon you will find yourself at the end of a dirt road, only inches from a threshold…a threshold into another world- a world of glory and infinite possibility. You’ll be standing there contemplating your next move when a gust of wind whispers, ‘have faith’. When you hear those magic words, it’ll be time for you to cross the threshold and begin your journey.”
That evening she had confronted her husband, told him of her travel plan and told him it was for him to either join her or not, or to join her in way he wanted to she was okay with it.
This was 5yrs ago; today she had a team of 150 people working for her. Her husband is no more stressed, he is happy handling the house and his low profile job. For him anyway life was about Pasta…car…cricket. Of course there were sniggers about their unconventional equation. But like Osho said,
“Take the responsibility into your own hands, it is your life. So do whatsoever you like to do, ant never do anything that you don’t like to do. If you have to suffer for it, suffer, but don’t do it; do only that which you enjoy. If you have to suffer for it, suffer for it. One has to pay the price for everything; nothing is free in life. Then that is the price.
If you enjoy something and the whole world condemns it, good! Let them condemn. You accept that consequence because you like it so much, it is worth it.
If you don’t like a thing and the whole world says ’beautiful’ it is meaningless, because you will never enjoy your life. It is your life – and who knows? Tomorrow you may die. So enjoy it while you are alive! It is nobody else’s business – neither the parents nor the society’s nor anybody else’s. It is your life. And when you die the society will continue, so don’t bother about the society.
When you die, only you die – nobody dies in your place. Your death will be absolutely individual. Death proves only one thing, that each individual is individual. And death is going to be yours, so how can life be of somebody else? You cannot live a borrowed life; you have to live your own life.”
Wall of her office held the photograph of Dr.Edward Krishna Rao, and his Guru Osho. She knew when she swooned next there would be a new journey planned.