Remember when there were power-cuts in the summers before the inverter came home; you, me and Bhai would lie on the bed, and we would instinctively close our eyes. It was then, I learnt to dream. And when we dreamt, we did not fear the darkness. We knew that light was there. Darkness was just a phase.
Now no longer there are power-cuts, and in my all search for light, I realized what you taught us, “light is within” and dreams a gateway to that light.
It is light that annihilates all darkness.
From Dad came honesty, the courage to be good without reason or season, and from you came the power to dream. And each of your children carried that immense wealth of honesty and dream, and came a long way. We stood where others faltered.
When life stood on a platter of infinite heartaches, of longings and questions, we learnt to hold on to an unseen God; a God whom we prayed to everyday, irrespective of rain or storm. And thus in the bosom of heartaches faith was born; a faith that no experience could falter; a faith to build your own life, even with worn out tools.
And it was much later in life that I saw God, when I saw little children playing with their hands raised. When I forgave and moved without malice or vengeance, I saw the Buddha smile.
When I sailed across the Brahmaputra in the early morning sun, I realized how finite I am and infinite is God. The first time when I saw the Himalayas in the purple sun, I saw the fragility of human egos and the majesty of God. Maa, I learnt the art of letting go of the human flaws that day.
Remember the night sky home; it shines blue with the stars. Nothing moved, the fireflies would glow, you talked to Bhai about the galaxies and the infinite space, I would sit on the edge of the bench and question.
Only now I know, God does not answer; he reveals his majesty. All we have to do is join the dots. And that moment, itself was God, three people saw passing by in a small town.
Life came to us, in so many garbs, and the trick to survive is always held your head high and walk. People mistake it as success and happiness and leave you alone. I learnt it from you.
Professionally, I chose to be a storyteller, of products and organizations, the best possible way. Remember Grand Dad told us stories of the Mahabharata when we were very young. He would verse every story in different garbs. I still remember the verses of Duryodhana, Karna and Arjuna, before they went to war. All were so perfectly fitted in their own stories and emotions.
Last summer when I re-read it, I just realized life is nothing but a series of stories we tell our self, of victory, loss, joy and grief.
Nothing compares to the moment of despair that Arjuna went through when he gives it up all, and says “whom to fight against,” I know what it to give up all is. And then fight and win it all.
And my lifelong fascination for ‘Karna;’ that man grew in my head. I could never love Rhett Butler or Oliver or anyone. My friends spoke about them, but for me it was and is always Karna. He was never “Kunti- putra- Karna,” he was “Daata-Karna.” He rose above his destiny. I believe any woman will fall in love with him. I did. I always was. I think Karna is someone who can be a friend; he is larger than life, his destiny too intertwined. Not someone you can marry, but love you can, and rage as well. Karna I believe will listen. He is my eternal tragic beauty.
Of people I have loved and lost, I miss Grand Dad the most. In my moments of self doubt I just hear him across the veranda telling us stories, of life and truths. I love the legacy he left behind, of infinite wisdom and telling a story. What a legacy to carry!
I am proud I am a Bardoloi.
Every Sunday when I teach those boys and girls, all I see is you and Dad happy. The room starts smelling of goodness the way it did home, and light flows. I become little Pompi. And may be all my life, I ever wanted was to be a good girl, yours and Dad’s daughter, other things just metaphors.
Yes, I still read two paragraphs of a book while going to bed and after waking, underline lines with a highlighter, just like Dad did, saying my prayers, and talking to God, the way we were taught. Life becomes so simple.
As I write this, I just realized one thing, life was all taught to me, in the afternoons of my summers and evenings of the winters in my childhood. I was a fool to search it beyond.
I traveled the whole world, only to return home.
Happy Mother’s Day.
(Pompi is my nick name.)
Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer.
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