He came and stood behind me as I sat dangling my feet at the ledge of the snow covered hill overlooking the vast expanse of stars and the large city shimmering with Christmas lights below the hill. He came noiselessly, and stood quietly. I didn’t hear him coming nor was I expecting him but somehow I knew he was there. I continued gazing at the sky without acknowledging him and suddenly I felt a snowball hit my back.
“Are you crazy?”, I retorted turning to look at him and stopped mid way half in confusion and half in amusement and broke into laughter, “For God’s sake, where did you get this reindeer!!!?”
“Oh I borrowed it from Santa Claus I met on the way, He has had too much fun all these years and I had always fancied it. And he is too old to ride it anyway or chase after me”, he said with a wink while tying the reindeer with a rainbow colored string to a pole nearby and laid out fresh grass for it to eat.
“Oh my God, you stole it! You are such a child,and after your last discourse on self realization I had almost started taking you seriously”, I said in a tone annoyed and amused at the same time.
“That’s also me”, he said as he removed his gloves, rubbed his hands together and came and sat next to me jumping over the snow covered fence like a playful young boy.
“I am a like a child as that keeps the serious sombre man in me alive and I am a man with reflections and seriousness of thoughts as that keeps the child in me brimming with joy and fascination. Both compliment each other and both are me. We can’t be the same all the time, being consistent in behaviour will make us cattle and sheep,we are not supposed to be uniform in behaviour, we are multidimensional.”
I looked at him trying to grasp what he was trying to say and he smiled innocuously,”We make mistakes when we go against our inherent nature. We carry all inside us,the saint and the satan, the God and the devil too. And depending on our circumstances and our bringing up one of these gets manifested in our personality and behaviour. And when we meet someone who matches our demons we become friends. We all need not be alike. We all have an independent thinking and a vision. We all are a Jesus or a Nanak inherently but then somewhere along a Super Jesus or a super Nanak comes along and clogs our independent thought process and sheperds us and we turn into his lambs following him mindlessly.”
He paused and then threw a pebble towards the milky way playfully and I watched in wonderment that pebble turning into a meteor and fill the sky with endless magical sparkles.
“In schools too we are taught only what someone else decides or believes is right for us..How can it help us? It ruins our own thoughts and we become animals. And then our religious leaders try to make us see things their way and then the animal in us gets labelled too, Sikh, Hindu, Christian and so on. How can we all be same? But we are taught that way. All these school of thoughts,religions are Chakravyuhs, they are whirlpools which keep us pinned down and keep us animal like. Release the animal inside you.Instruct him to go out, tell him there are greener pastures outside, self- willed free air, rivers and vast blue skies. And one day your perception will be able to touch that sky and you will become that sky yourself, the river, the grass. We are all that and much more. We are so simple. These school of fixed thoughts, these ideologies,these moralities,they are our complications. Free yourselves of them. Separate yourself from you and watch. I do it every night and find so many things I shouldn’t have been during the day. We have to protect ourselves from no one but our own self. Separating one self from self is our only salvation. Our only way to attainment of living Nirvana.”
He paused again letting me imbibe what he had just said and then he continued”We make mistakes when we try to be something we are not.I have learnt to let my energies flow and respond to people according to the vibes I get from them.”
I stared at him with feigned anger”And you get the vibes of a small child or a joker from me that you are so playful and jocular with me?”
He laughed aloud too,”Oh No! I used to find you a bit snobbish but as I got to know you, you are like a pomegranate, so many luscious and juicy seeds,all full of life, vivacious and carrying so much within. You know of those heart to heart conversations one has with family and loved ones deep in the cold night tucked in quilts sipping hot cocoa, you are like those conversations. Warm and sagacious and so much mine like only someone you have known since ever can be. So I like being naughty and playful at times but sombre at other times discussing truths of life. I know your moods are changing and malleable too like me and you are trying to seek answers too”
I looked away, trying to hide the silly tear that was stinging the corner of my eye, “You know I feel the same, as if I have found a long lost friend and then I try to recollect when and where had I lost you but then give up thinking that what is more important is that we found each other back.”
“Exactly”, he smiled in endorsement,”and then we will lose each other again some day.”
“You had to say that no? Something so absurd and cruel?”, I cried out in anger mingled with anguish.
‘”Its the bare truth! A bubble is born to be assimilated, and from the moment it is born till its extinction, that’s its life cycle.”
“Aha yes! And one complete life cycle however brief ‘ I quipped in as if I had suddenly seen light at the end of the long deep darkness.
“Yes”he smiled softly,”similarly everything has a life cycle,We,our relatives, our friends, the days,the nights,and the universe and so do all the relationships. We don’t get up everyday worrying about how many days of our life are left. We just live on.Similarly we don’t delve in friendships and relationships worrying about when they will end. What is more important is how present we are in the relationship till it is alive. We are all bubbles, with limited life spans some longer than others. And yet we take bubbles to be so inconsequential Though they are much more transparent than us, Its we who are so clogged because of paucity of our thought process.”
‘”But still some friendships and relationships do last for a life time and more” I asked.
“Yes of course they do”he replied,”because that is their destined duration, so the only way to be present in any relationship be it with your children, parents, spouse, friends, lover is to stop worrying about its end and concentrate on giving it its due and best while it lasts. And we never know ours might last forever or maybe not even few days or weeks or months or just hours.”
And with this he got up, and tightened his shoelaces. This is when I noticed he was wearing mismatched socks, brand new but two different colours inside his light blue sneakers and I giggled in amusement as he looked at me quizzically.
I shook my head “Nothing, just like that”, I said.I knew he was wearing them deliberately as I had in past few days realised he loved confusion all around him with these antics while keeping a plain face all the time.
“Ok I got to go, and return this reindeer to Santa, children in the city must be waiting for their christmas gifts, Catch you around!”
And he untied the reindeer and left whistling Jingle bells and I sat with my feet dangling down the ledge like an awestruck child whose Christmas gift this time had been delivered personally by Santa Claus.