Sleep well. That’s what the Wanderer told me. “Tomorrow we start our little search. We head out for searching Radha. Sleep well tonight.”
I must confess I didn’t want to sleep last night. Not a minute that night. I wanted to feel every moment that was passing by. Not lose it to sleep. I believed it to be simple. I hadn’t slept much in the last four-odd months. All these months sleep had eluded me, even when I begged it to come. I assumed last night to be no different. Ironically, I couldn’t keep my eyelids from drooping the moment I hit the bed. I tried real hard and I mean really-really hard to be awake. But sleep came like the sandman had sprinkled gold dust over my forehead. Moments before I lost to sleep, I felt as if I was being pulled into some sort of a silvery whirlpool.
I recall looking at the clock in the hotel room; it was 9:00 pm by the non-studio clock before I lost my battle to sleep. Unusually early for me be at the bed. But I must now confess how slept like a log. Like I haven’t slept for months… I was held prisoner in the ambit of sleep and strangely I recall how lovely it was when I was sleeping. A lucid and deep sleep.
I recall that there was a dream… a long and enigmatic dream that I dreamt last night. Full eight and a half hour of sleep. Like a full work day. In that dream I seeped to the bottom of the sea. Into that silvery whirlpool, like Alice tripping down the rabbit hole. All around me was liquid… shiny slivery and bluish liquid. Much different than the water we know of. It seemed more like a sea of pure energy rather than sea water. Like active nucleons of positive and negative charge were making love to each other. I was surrounded by pure energy in motion or what is abbreviated as emotion…. Energy in motion, Emotion!
During that reverie, I remember that I had read about Atlantis – the lost civilization. Instantly my sub conscious mind started to relate the dream with that of the fabled Atlantis itself. I saw magnificent underwater-like life, corals, multi-colored corals, more corals, coral drawn, fishes with wings, birds with fins, beautiful butterflies, butterscotch mountains, black currant ravines, penguins and mermaids in a trance, Robin Hood and Queen of New Orleans in a dance, I realized that I love her and have taken the chance. Further down the fathoms, I saw all the people who are dear to me. My family and friends, my loved ones, my teachers, my students, my dogs, my writings, my poetry, my actions, my reactions, my quests, my achievements, my triumphs, my highs, my books, my dancing gods, my loving nods, my childhood dream, my awesome teens, my sweet tooth, my wisdom tooth, my hilarious guitar, my this life, my that life, my love life, I was running through butter like a hot knife.
It was beautiful, to see all that you love in one place and time. I realize it is very rare to witness this. To be in the august company of all your happiness put together without pilferage.
I floated around for a while, looking at the sheer beauty and perfectness of creation, mesmerized by the flawless orchestration of life by the invisible hand. Theories aside, God or no God, I feel the compounding effect of love accumulated here in this moment, accumulated bank balance of love of all those who are numbered in the file of existence. This is what can be termed as “awesomeness” – what if the English language does not currently recognize this word. The more I look inward and sustain the moment, the more futile the entire cacophony of life appears, yet at the same time it sounds like an enchanting symphony. I realize that the enchantment is not because of what it is but what it is meant to be.
There is unquestionable beauty within each one of us and it is absolute. If I were to describe my idea of God, then this would be it. Humanity is a great example, a great term that we seldom realize.
The feelings flowed inwards, and I at once realized how harsh I have been in my life. To my loved ones, to people who matter, to people who don’t, to random people around, to things that agitated me, to my own self, to little miracles that happened in my life, to things that I didn’t believe in.
My harshness hurts me now. It hurts the inner walls of my soul, and my soul cries for all that harshness. The scream of all the hurt that I would have caused in the universe, knowingly and unknowingly, was sounding as a sharp relentless screech in my ear and I could feel my senses bleeding. I was connected with all that exists in the universe and all the hurt that has been floating around from the past, present and future. It broke me down to the basic constituent of life. To the level of thought.
In that thought I understood all the Xs of life and all the Ys, understood my excesses, my ex, and the reasons why. I felt weightless. I was trembling and unable to be coherent. The nadir and zenith of the soul were made visible to me. I saw in God’s vision.
I feel refurbished beyond comprehension and imagination. Slowly the scenic beauty around me started to disappear. The attributes got dissolved into pale light, the shapes were no more, only love. I dreamt of myself sleeping and dreaming all this in that dream.
Then the voice prodded me, “Wake up, Bala. Time to start our journey, time to wake up, rise and shine. Shine like the true Sun. From heart to head, shine.” It was the Wanderer. Speaking from within that dreamscape.
I woke up at once without a trace of sleep in my eyes. As if I hadn’t slept at all.
The clock on the wall indicated that it was half past five in the morning. Full eight and a half hours of sleep and dream. Wow. A miracle of sorts. Such beautiful sleep and a wondrous dream. I was overflowing with happiness, beaming with joy, radiating life, broadcasting the universal signal of love. Like a cosmic broadcasting station, I was broadcasting the splendor of the vision I saw to the world outside.
Took a bath and got ready by 6:15 a.m. to take a walk by the sea side. Just then, the Wanderer interrupted the day’s proceeding, by booming his voice in my head. “Bala, pack up your bag. We are checking out of this hotel. I mean, right now. We are going to stay somewhere in the jungle. That’s our best bet to find the Radha flower. Time is running out, so hurry up.”
I was aghast at the comfort with which the Wanderer was breaching my privacy. However, I felt I had to listen. So it was. I checked out.
No sooner than I had mounted my scooter with my backpack, he said, “Towards Auroville, let’s ride”.
I drove towards Auroville, the morning breeze from sea jostling past my face. We both got talking, the Wanderer and me, like two friends, like two found souls; we talked random stuff, little things, singing songs along the way, like merry men. Although he didn’t find the concept of Radha Juice to be weird and funny like I did, he did join me in the song or rather the bhajan that my mom plays every morning, a bhajan that invariable wakes me up from sleep, a bhajan that is the first dhwani I hear every day, and I mean every darn day. It used to rupture whatever little sleep I was managing to have all these months.
This is how it went, “Krishna, Radha, Radhika, Krishnaaaaaaaaaaaa, Radhaaaaaaaaa, Radhikaaaaaaaaa…”
Slowly we started to bend the meter of the song, making it sound more a rock ballad than a tranquil bhajan.
We let out a huge laugh, almost together. It was fun. Superb!
Taking the left turn from the highway, we get through into the winding road that leads through the jungle to Auroville. A kilometer into the jungle, I spot a three storied house with a board “Homestays Available”. I park the scooter and ring the door bell. An aged lady walks out to the door. I ask her about availability of accommodation at her place. She plainly refuses. She tells me that it is an old board and they don’t let out anymore. I am about to walk off, but then the Wanderer booms in my head, “Persist, and win her over. We are staying here.”
I knew what I had to do. I looked into the old lady’s eyes, brought on my lunatic childish smile and pleaded and pestered her. I can turn into a little harmless kid any moment, it’s a god gift. The child is always ebbing to appear. Brought my full-on sentimental spiel, I am like your son and will not cause any trouble. Please, please … and I continued until she agreed to take me in and show me a room on the first floor.
She opened the door; I liked the minimalistic décor in the room. It was perfect for me. A medium-sized room, with peach colored walls, and a small wooden desk. I asked her how much will she charge for it, she said Five Hundred a night. I smiled back and said, I need it for four nights. I paid her the advance, and settled into the room.
The Wanderer said, “Perfect, I like it now that you are listening to me without your worldly garb. It is so much easier now to accomplish what we collectively need to accomplish. I will help you find the Radha flower, help you unravel this mystery, decode the code, lead you on further in your journey, give you the missing links, take you to where you yearn to be. In return, you write my story as and when I share it with you. You write it as I tell you, without pretence, without fear, without shame, without game, you write it as within. You don’t question me when I ask you to do something.”
Hearing the last sentence, I was infuriated. “Who the hell do you think you are to tell me not to question you when I feel like? I am not your slave, not your bonded labor, you crazy Wanderer. Hell, first of all tell me clearly who the hell you are. Come out with it. Let us do everything else later. First I need to know and understand this crazy thing that is happening with me. Ever since you showed up, my life has been in a topsy-turvy, although I acknowledge that it has been fantastic but I am not too sure. How much to trust you? I don’t even know who you are.”
The Wanderer said, “Fine, if you so insist. We do this over breakfast.” We headed out into the jungle on my scooter to fetch breakfast.