No poem, no movie review, no stars, no celebrities, no patriotism , no humour. Well, how often this blogger writes a tale which has no mention of any of the above topics. Well, then I ought to be writing a slice of life tale. One so fascinating, so moving that it ought to be written about. I’ve typed ‘a must read’ in the headline, hope you all oblige.
So, here was another Sunday where the loner in me lurked in the dark, in search of …, in search of, . Well, how long can whiskey continue to be my friend?. It takes me to the fake state of utopia. The problem with wine is that it doesn’t talk. So, here was another eve where I wished if there could be human accompaniment to my whiskey and me.
It wasn’t to be. So, I just headed down the market, got my milk, few veggies. The closest ATM was as usual – long queues, perhaps just one machine working and it surely may not have 100 rupee notes. I decided to head to the other ATM that is 100 yards away. No worries, I didn’t go for my morning walk. Compensate for it now.
On my way back, I looked at the familiar sight of of my cable and internet operator’s pad. I’ve long been waiting to get an HD STB (Set-top-box) for my Bravia, one that I brought 11 months ago. Should I go there now? Ah, no. The cable guys will throw the the familiar line , ‘sir, please wait for a few more months. I said no, but strangely, on second thought, no harm in trying, at least I would know how much the new sports channel Star Sports Select would cost.
Unsurprisingly, no knowledgeable cable guy was present. So, I’m about to leave, barely 30 seconds after I arrived. Sitting in the corner is a man who catches my attention. We’re both gazing at each other, with a ‘I think I know him’ look. Given that he’s slightly grinning, I had no option but to smile back. At that very second, I break the ice, “Is that you, Krishna?” (name changed)
TURNING INTO HISTORY
For the record, this gentleman was the architect of cable TV in my society. I was barely 7-8 then. Krishna and his team were running the cable service from the top floor apartment in F wing. As kids, some of us were truly fascinated by the giant dish antenna placed atop the terrace. It was like a big toy sent from the skies, one that perhaps can be used to communicate with the aliens. (Some of us took it seriously).
A boy was I, but I loved my visits to the cable room, especially when my father didn’t allow us to watch the TV. So, during my summer vacations, I would pop into Krishna’s apartment. His doors were always open. Krishna was generous enough to let me and other kids in. We sat on the floor and quenched our thirst for sports, and occasional Hindi movie, or World Wrestling Entertainment (earlier WWF) videos. Though, he was quite elder to us, most of us called him by his name. And Krishna never felt offended.
I can’t even recall how many years he ran the cable service from our society. Sadly, one fine day, Krishna left the society. He’d found a new place. I was disappointed that we wouldn’t get to see this jovial man again. Later, I was shocked to know that Krishna had left Mumbai and he’d handed the management reigns to his brother Gopal (name changed).
Gopal looked very much like his elder brother, but more lean. He spoke English in a classic Tamil accent. In the few meetings I had with Gopal, I found him friendly like Krishna. Life moved on and so did Gopal. He’d handed the management to someone else.
BACK TO THE PRESENT
“Is that you Krishna?”, I asked with a quizzical look on my face. He nodded, I went up to him. We shake hands.
“Hi Krishna, what a pleasant surprise. Never imagined that I could see you again,” said I.
He smiled back and said, “Sorry, I can’t recollect your name but you seem familiar”
“Oh, I can’t blame you. I’m Mayur Lookhar, the boy who used to come uninvited to the cable room.”
He didn’t recollect my first name but did well to remember the surname. I reminded him about WWF cassettes, cricket matches etc.
He says, “Oh yeah, now I remember. Sorry, It’s been like 20 years since I left the society and Mumbai.”
“Yes, so true. You and I have both aged rapidly. So, I can’t blame you for not recollecting me. After all, I was a kid then.”
We reminsce the old times, talk about the changing face of cable business. The conversation then draws to my father’s untimely death. I narrate his last moments, how he perhaps may have passed away at home much before he was brought to the the nearest hospital, and how months later my sister had a vision where he told her that he was alive when he was brought to the hospital but it were the medics who failed to bring him back to life.
Krishna was moved by my father’s story. He said, he could relate that to his wife. Before I could say, ‘I’m sorry to hear about that’, Krishna started narrating the life and death story of his wife.
The doctors told him to prepare for the inevitable. He himself saw her pulse gradually go down. Unable to see it, Krishna broke down and left the ICU (intensive care unit). He’s being consoled by Gopal but 10 minutes later, he’s asked to come up.
There he sees the doctor shivering, trembling in disbelief. The doctor is, too, numb to say what had transpired. Krishna rushed to the ICU and was left stunned. There was his wife standing on her feet, pulling out all the life saving equipments attached to her body. Krishna was in utter disbelief. He just couldn’t believe it. 10 minutes ago, his world was shattering seeing the descending pulse of his wife, and now she’s standing on her feet. The doctor and the nurses ascribed it as a MEDICAL MIRACLE.
Such miracles do happen, but what truly was stunning is the first words that came from her mouth.
“I want to go back. Two minutes back, I met Sai Baba. I was delighted to see him but he asked me to go back, as I wasn’t meant to die.”
Krishna and the onlookers were in disbelief.
“My wife is a devout of Sai Baba. We all were praying to Him for a miracle. Didn’t he just prove it,” said Krishna with a great sense of joy.
Back she was from the dead, but the lady was left depressed that she was asked to go back.
“It took a year and half for my wife to come to grips with reality. She felt she was in heaven – a much better place and yet He told her to return. Her physical sufferings healed, but it took a great amount of time for her to accept the reality. She donated all her gold, would give food to the poor. I remember how she would speak of seeing two white figures, whom she would give food. I think she started seeing souls. I merely watch her talk and donate food to these souls. Neither me nor anyone could see those figures, only she did,” Krishna enunciated.
Unbelievable, indeed. I’m fascinated by this conversation and thrilled to know that lady who was all but gone for life, has fully recovered from her ailments, the hallucinations are gone, and she’s living to tell her tale. Miracles do happen. Here’s a ‘living’ example of it.
While the legend of this woman lives on, I was stunned to know that Gopal had passed away. Another disclosure was that how he remained single all his life. I didn’t want to reopen old wounds but Krishna didn’t hesitate in saying that Gopal died an unhappy soul, one that turned out to be a wandering soul.
“Gopal wasn’t at peace most of his life. He smoked a lot and that is what killed him. He’d gone to Bangkok for vacation when we received the tragic news. He suffered a massive heart attack and passed away. However, he wasn’t at peace and his soul wandered around. A very close friend of him would tell me how he had a vision of Gopal telling him that he’s an unhappy soul, how he died before his destiny. I performed the shradh ritual this September. The friend called me recently to say that Gopal has finally met peace. This gentleman hasn’t had a vision of Gopal since then,” said Krishna.
At this juncture, I’m saddened but truly fascinated to hear of these life, death, after life tales. Krishna narrated the passing away of another dear one how before he could tell the deceased’s sister, the lady said, “I know my brother has passed away. Before you called, he came to say good bye.”
Krishna says, “This man was in a coma for ten days. He was very close to his sister and her daughter. The doctors had given up on him. I just held his hand and assured him that I will take care of his sister, and get her daughter married. Miraculously, few minutes later, the man opened his eyes, smiled at me and breathed his last. That last long breath felt like the soul had departed peacefully. Unbelievably, before I could tell my aunt, she knew what had happened. The man himself wished her good bye”
Perhaps, many of you may think that Krishna is just making up stories. Well, he would have been guilty of it, if he was in touch with me throughout. But why would a man lie when he’s meeting me after 20 years? Come on, he didn’t even remember my name. Who am I to share such stories with?
As one with the keen eye, I was touched and fascinated by his life stories. It affirmed my belief in the power of prayer, life, after life, and above all destiny. Before I left, I told Krishna, you and I were destined to meet after 20 years. Perhaps, the Gods wanted you to share these miracle stories with me.
I’m just delighted to have met Krishna again. God knows what lies ahead in destiny for both of us. Hare Rama, hare Krishna. Sai Baba bless his wife. May God bless the soul of Gopal.