Sadhu

Sadhu is walking barefoot along the river that flows next to his kachcha (mud-) house.

Sadhu is a 67 years old man. Carrying long white curly beard on his fair face,
he is the master of a fit-not-fat body.
The cold waters of the river are taking away with them any fatigue that Sadhu’s body is carrying. Slowly as he walks on the mud floor, as his worries and tension start fading away, he feels a sense of freedom. He feels free from holding himself accountable for every wrong that happens in his family. He appreciates not being judged, not being looked at, not being unnecessarily instructed. The silence of the shore, outside and inside, makes him want to live, want to do more.

Suddenly the silence is broken. The sound of the alarm wakes Sadhna up from her dream. The routine life continues. Sadhna gets up from bed, gets the kids ready for school and starts preparing breakfast.

The house gradually starts filling with voices. the husband can’t find his socks, the kids are waiting for the lunchbox and the mother-in-law needs her medicines.

After the husband and the kids leave, it’s time to start working for lunch.

Carefree, she is, only in the dream!!!

Best friends

Feeling horrible, right?

Yes.

How exactly are you feeling?

Feeling heavy… like there is a big stone on me.

Oh! That’s really difficult to deal with. What is this stone made of?

Many random thoughts and emotions.

Hmm.. that’s what makes it complex.

Yes

Let’s start by picking one thought.

Ok.. I tried my best today but I still couldn’t prepare good food for guests.

Oh!

You know I feel really ashamed, I feel inadequate. It’s embarrassing.

Hmm.. I know, you tried really hard with good intent, gave it all your time and it feels really bad when we fail.

Yes, exactly.

What else?

I also feel afraid.

Afraid?

What would those people think of me?

What can they possibly think?

I’m not good enough. I don’t have a cooking sense. I don’t know how to manage my home. I am not a great person to associate with.

That harsh?

Hmm.. you’re right. They wouldn’t be too harsh. They should be able to see that it happens. All of us make mistakes and fail at things despite our best efforts at times.

That gentle?

Hehe.. some of them will not be so gentle. They may judge for a while, gossip about
it.

Hmm.. are they the ones who will stop talking to you?

Hehe.. Now, if I think of it, they won’t. Everyone is going through so much every day, this will only make them feel better for a while. They will forget later.

Hmm.. that’s a great service. Youre making people feel better.

Hehe.. actually, our mistakes, failures and flaws help us connect with people at a human level. It’s okay to make mistakes in front of people.

Hmm.. that’s quite insightful.

Well, at least I learnt something out of this. My pain didn’t go waste.

Great. How’s the pain now, by the way?

Surprisingly, it’s not there anymore. I feel like that complex, heavy stone like structure has been smoothened.

That’s great. Sleep tight now. Good night.

Good night, indeed.

This was her conversation with her heart. Yes, she is her best friend and she understands herself the best. If she doesn’t, it’s not fair to expect others to. If she doesn’t forgive herself, how will others ever be able to. If she isn’t gentle on herself, others can be harsh too. If she doesn’t love herself and care for her heart, how will others find it worthy enough?



The 2 Worlds

Knock knock.
Shanti opened the door.

“Aunty”, the neighbour said. “Please have dinner at our place tomorrow. We have Ganesh pooja, and we need your blessings.”

Shanti has earned a lot of respect because of her simple nature, calm demeanour and warm conduct. Both her sons are married now. One is settled in Bangalore, and the other in Chandigarh. Shanti keeps shuttling between the 2 residences depending on who needs her more.

Shanti is in Chandigarh these days. Her husband, Randheer, is also in Chandigarh with the family. Randheer has not been keeping well for last few months, owing to his age and lifestyle. Shanti is still quite active; she is 12 years younger to Randheer. When they got married, she was 18. Since then, she has been taking care of Randheer, his family and kids. Last few days of Shanti have solely been dedicated to Randheer, making arrangements for his strict dietary requirements as well as his food cravings within the dietary restrictions and accompanying him for walks, hospital visits, etc.

Since morning, Randheer has been rather silent. He had his breakfast and wanted to rest a bit. Shanti, meanwhile, was busy with other work. She goes in to check if he needs something. “Would you like to have some milk or sprouts?”, she asks. He doesn’t respond. She goes closer and tries to move him. “Noooooooooooo”, she screams. His son comes running to the room. She starts crying and hugs her son. “He has left us alone.”, she shrieks.

Five days later, after all the rituals are done and the visitors have gone, she moves in her room. She is lying on the bed; her eyes are hurting as she has been crying all day for last 5 days. There is no one in the room. She sleeps for 2 hours, and feels quite fresh when she wakes up.

Somehow, she can’t stop smiling. A part of her wants to madly indulge in the dance of liberation. She is free, from the shackles of slavery and insult. No one is going to abuse her anymore. Her relationship with Randheer was never of companionship. There was no love. She was nothing more than a caretaker and a punching bag for him. He is gone now.

For the world, she is a devastated widow. There is a world inside her where she always dreamt of being free, of living her own life and of not serving someone endlessly; where she wanted to be treated as a human and not as a doormat. In her real and authentic world, she is finally free to live her own life.