Life is a very precious gift, which mustn’t be given away at any cost.
I was very grumpy. I ate two plates of panipuri and then again could not control myself and asked the sandwich vendor to give me the sandwiches of my choice.
The junk in my stomach was not melting and not even a single burp was coming out.
Ma was also unhappy to see me like that. We went to the mall and proceeded towards the gaming zone. I love to watch children playing in the rides. We could not stand there for long and came out of the mall.
We stepped out from the exit door and were coming down the steps, when a number of collegians entered the mall, most probably they had bunked college. We ignored them.
Ma told me that we would walk the distance till home and my stomach would be easy. An old man, little bent, holding a stick and limping at each step was walking ahead of us.
We crossed the brackish water stretch. Metro work is going on over there.
Crossed the road through the space given for all. Ma asked me to walk slowly as the man was ahead of us and seemed feeble. He crossed and we too crossed. A person helped him also. He sat on the footpath at the junction of our lane just to the right, spread a plastic sheet. His dhoti had turned slight grey to black and his kurta was torn in three places and patch work was done on too.
While sitting cried in a wonderful, heavy tune from his heart without scratches “Radhe- O Jagdish” (the consort and her lord). His voice was extremely melodious , perfect in sur and taal.It was a crystal-clear voice. He could have beaten any champion of any reality T.V. show.
Both of us were stunned and understood that he earns by singing.
We went near him.Mother gave him ten rupees and I requested him to sing the same song.
He looked at me quizzically and asked-“You want to hear this same song from me or some other song?”
I replied-“No, I want to hear this particular song from you.”
He-“Are you sure?”
His face was tired.
He closed his eyes and two lines from a Krishna bhajan came out from his heart.It was –“Lord, please forgive me that I cannot see you though you are forever mine”.
He stopped singing. I can tell you that, his voice is unique, superb and realized beyond life and death. His voice pierced our heart and overcoming with emotions, Ma and me, both of us were in tears.
Few passer-by’s too had stopped on their way, to hear him sing. His voice was a rare voice. Such rare voices can never ever be measured nor are they awarded on Earth.
While tears splashed from my eyes, many questions were aroused in my mind. They were:-
1.Where did he learn to sing so beautifully?
2.Was he a singer? A trained or a professional singer once upon a time?
3.How come with such a beautiful and rare voice, he was sitting near a nullah on a plastic sheet with the sky as his covering?
But I couldn’t ask him those questions. The questions remained inside my mouth. I felt that he was a huge personality and that gap between him and me was very big.
I gave him ten bucks and asked him “Uncle will you have something?”
He accepted the ten rupees with a namaskar and replied-“Tea”.
Still the questions pounced my heart and yet I controlled myself. That old man was an extremely talented musician and definitely he had some connection with the music world/industry. Seeing him there, it simply didn’t feel right.
I crossed the side lane and brought tea for him. His face glowed.
Wittily he looked to us and told-“I take care of my voice and throat.”
God, let me hear from him, let him sing many more songs for many, many more days.
The song of life is like a flowing river, like the sweet melodious tune of a bird. The song can be easy, it can be hard and it can be neither easy nor hard. That’s how the song of life goes. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop. Like the musician, it too has kept on flowing. He has lost his everything, but his music is with him. Be with you and within you.You are you.
“The you” who resides in you is like a rose. Just as a rose can’t smell and look like lily or jasmine and in the same way, your self can’t change. Hold on to it and see the truth of life flowing within it.
My stomach trouble was gone.