I was a believer. Then I became a non-believer. When you believe too much in anything, it is natural that you start doubting it at some stage. When you disbelieve in something for a long time, you tend to believe in it. Love starts like that; from a sort of aversion it becomes something that cannot be separated. Extremes are there always in life. There are people who always cherish a midway. They are safe; they are there to win. They are there to go a long way. There was time when people who believed in extremes were adulated. Today, the wheel has turned. If you are extreme in anything, you are despised, avoided and ostracized. You may not be called an extremist. But your extremism would bring you no friends. Ironically, even the so called extremists make friends today. That is called international networking. Without networking, extremism cannot flourish. A thing that used to flourish without networking was love. Today love also needs networking to flourish. People want to stay connected. People want to be in touch. People do not want to talk, converse and even remain silent in the presence of each other. People just want to be in touch. What’s up?
My mind is not calm. I do not believe in anything. I believe in love and I suffer. They say, people move from one thing to another, one destination to another, one song to another, one art form to another, one person to another, one way of meditating to another in search of peace and happiness. Who actually wants happiness? None wants happiness. We all need a little bit of sorrow in order to understand the value of life. But we need peace. It is the only way to understand and indentify both happiness and sorrow. I need peace. I do not want to give it a chance. Like any other ordinary human being I want peace to be my permanent state of mind. If one is searching for that, I am sure you are not going to get it. You have to go through this; this disturbance and sorrow in order to realize calmness and happiness. It is a process; without one the other does not exist. To acknowledge the other is the best to way to recognize one’s own self. And I do not want to get into that bullshitting of Indian spirituality and its clichéd jargon.
Despite all disturbances in me, despite all skepticism in me and despite all that turmoil that I am going through today, I am going to a place where they say one could transform. They do not assure me calmness. They do not assure me happiness. But they assure me that if you are receptive enough you could change because this place is the place of change. They say, it is a dhyana bhoomi, a place to meditate. Oh, I do not like the word meditation. Let me say, it is a place to concentrate, focus and be silent. Good. They say again, it is not a karma bhoomi. It is not a place to do things. It is not a place of action. It is not a war filed. It is a landscape filled with vibrations of purity. Purity? That does not mean that you need to act like a pious being. Pious beings also err and they err in the most ridiculous fashion and they regret their acts in the rest of their lives. So you need not be pious. You just need to be open and see. You just need to be there, inhaling and exhaling, the way you do otherwise. You could go to this place like the way you go to a market, a mall, or a film theatre, or a library. You could change even in these places.
For me, the best place is of contemplation is graveyards. I love to be in graveyards. Romantic poets used to spend their time in graveyards, contemplating on the meaning of life and also the meaningfulness of death. I am not a romantic poet; but there is a romantic in me who wants to be away from the din of daily life. Hence, I am attracted to graveyards, just the way some people are attracted to cliffs, from where they feel like taking a plunge to the unknown, without any flying aid. It is suicidal. But life itself is a suicidal act. So I am going to a place where I think there would be graveyards that would make me calm. I want to be inert. I want to listen and I want to recount. I want to write to my beloved from there about the scenes I would see, the songs I would hear and the visions, I hope, I would have. I have my beloved’s heart and mind with me. I have my beloved’s eternal body with me. I have the goddess with me. So this journey is with my goddess. My another journey to the unknown.
(pic by Anil Nellivila)