When the knowledge of the universal spirit and its banality dawns upon us, there is very little that is left unanswered. The seam of the universe and its mentors is cracked open for you to see the inner clockwork, the cogs, the pistons, and the overall maintenance schedule. You are exposed to the back stage activities of the most monumental event—an event called life. Trust me, as this comes from someone who has seen this, it does not steal away the awe from the front-end circus of life. Instead after witnessing the back end, one feels super awed of and in one with the ring master.
Through this tour of this weird country, I felt free. Everyone is invited to collaborate and co-create reality. There are no biases or left outs or untouchables in this grand plan. With our simple wish we create our reality. When we wish that our life was more beautiful, we set in action a course of events that take us nearer to that wished state. Like that a billion of us wish, and often counter wish each other each moment and thus the balance of the universe is sustained and we are bequeathed this consensus version of reality. If you recall Venn diagrams, the area of overlap is the reality as we all know it. An area where all else in the universe has agreed to exist in parts. But we as individuals are like each petal of the Venn diagram; our span far exceeds the area of consensus, and thus far exceeds the limitation of the notional reality.
For instance, let us consider there were three devout Krishna followers – Prahalad, Chaitanya, and Meera. Each one of them had a vision of Krishna that was real to them and in their respective visions Krishna came through to them in varying colors. So each one of them had seen Krishna in different color variations and each one of them strongly believes that whatever they saw is the only truth and rest is mere imagination. One day all three of them decide to meet and establish, for the greater good of the world, the true color of Krishna and through that establish reality. Without getting in detail about their discussions and arguments I put forth the case in form of a Venn diagram.
In the same spirit, I would like to put forth the all inclusiveness of Radha. Not piecemeal but in absoluteness.
Radha to me is a state of the universe. To label her as a flower or the moon-faced fiery eyed girl would be an understatement or even injustice to her in totality. The flower and the girl, Radha the glorious, is one of her surfaces and beneath that mesmerizing surface is the true culture of life. The nucleus of solar flares, the source of all light, she is the keeper of the true identity of the cosmos, deep within that beating heart lies the pulsating verve of creation that when reverberates spreads like an unending magic carpet, like an ever expanding desert dune that rises and falls through the tunnel of time and is a monster shape shifter, where no two moments are alike, where change is the only becoming, where change loses its meaning to metamorphosis, and yet at the flick of the mind’s eye the entire range of Radha remains as a magnanimous constant. Like a well amidst the mirages of the deserts, Radha quenches the eternal thirst of the traveler, of this Wanderer. Radha, like the first rain, alleviates the grouse of the parched land of the desert and fills it with the seas. Radha like the poison of the night scorpion inflicts herself upon those cursed with immortality and absolves the Wanderer. Radha like the enchantress of the forest keeps the ghosts and ghouls in tranquility. Radha swallows and devours time like a headen-demon goddess sucking in past, present and future into one conjoint syllable.
Radha is a nation for the free. Radhanation, a country for the free. Radhanation is a country where everything flies and there are no boundaries of form, shape or thought. No barriers whatsoever. You are bestowed absolute control over the course of your universe. A country of free beings, where there are no dividers between gods and mortals, not dotted line between the HAVEs and HAVE NOTs, no unfulfilled wish, no unlived dream, no Jesus pinned on the cross, no one weeping by the ashes of loss, no slave or a master or a boss.
Like all, the Wanderer, the phantom of all noble warriors that ever were, are and will be , too has an obligation to the lady ornate—to Radha. To wander into her territory and unshackle the uncontrollable that lies deep within her. To unleash the purity that resides, to pull the pin out of the grand grenade.
To do silly things in love.
Radha is liberation.
To set this vast wheel in motion, I decide to indulge personally to interfere and alter reality. To soak my hands into the stream of timeless consciousness and like a brut kid bend the realms of tangible reality to suit my heart. I get a pure go ahead from GOD. He speaks – “Go create your heart’s call. Shift the building blocks of reality and like a bully alter how life moves frame by frame.”
One moment it is here and the next it’s gone. Like a stage trick. One moment she doesn’t feel, the very next she does; in fact that’s the only feeling left in her heart. Like the apple was red and now it is bright green with red polka dots. Invading Radha’s dreams, plunging into her thought super highway and riding the chariot of fire and burning the landscape with after burn of love and liberation. Painting the inner walls of her souls with childlike designs of universal love. This act of altering reality and making the universe to adjust around ourselves is a zero sum game. No one loses and no one truly wins. Yet I create the perfect picture of truth and reality.
Enough of the sedate state of leaving it to time and her will. Time to take absolute creative control. Like an overlord, I take it all within my hands.
I call up my dear friend, Shikha—the painter. I ask her to paint this story and its deemed curtain closure on a series of canvas for me. She agrees.
We agree to size up my bedroom walls. The longer crème shaded sides would carry the paintings, while the deep wine red shorter contrast walls will blend into the theme. She agrees to work on a series of smaller canvases to tell this story through a series of interlinked murals. The way it happens is that we sit together and I tell her the larger moving themes of the entire Wanderer series and the Radhanation. I share with her the valuable Deux ex-machina of this operatic narrative. Then she goes back to her lair and takes her own sweet little time to come up with the complete collection. I tell her to use a lot of oranges, a lot flares, a lot of reds, with an offset of golden and yellows. Then there are some paintings that will be indulged in blue, black and silver.
She meticulously and in her own careless manner creates a juxtaposition of colors and strokes of thoughts – she captures the thematic underplay as well as the direct notation of divine love of this story in her paintings. She delivers magnificence. Well there is more. Every time a painter is commissioned to etch out a work of art, the ‘artcome’ often exceeds the theme and carries a hidden and a far greater gravity than what was originally intended. Same is the case with these series of paintings.
The first painting of the series, from left to right, captures all seasons of love, of my love, the multifarious yet singular love I have always felt, full of abundance and excitable childish purity. It has simple color combinations, basic colors, simple motifs that repeat themselves in the frame and form a progressive musical pattern. It personifies my love for the women in my life. The ardent truth of my heart, the young Krishna of this heart, the single spindle shaped focus of my heart’s sightless vision.
The second painting takes off and brings to life, in part, the fundamentalism of falling apart, of loss, of inevitability of churning change, of letting go what is most dearest to oneself and yet love with simplest form of love. It further underscores the dark phantoms that circle my haunted mind and how these black-feather winged ghosts blot out the sun, and then finally it leads on to the Wanderer, who like a super-god-bird comes to my rescue, like a beacon of light in the dark night of a curse. Wanderer, the universal hope!
The third painting through contradiction of color and tones, gold dust and pale bones, explores the initial conflict and despondency while coming to terms with the Wanderer and how this bond, with the Wanderer, the wandering bond turns into a singular lifelong backdrop. The celebration of coming face to face oneself. The painting for the first time opens up the portals of Radha, the mystic Aradhana into the schema of my life. There is a strong hint of eternal light in this painting that forces one to look through the next paintings in a hurry to finally see what the last painting has to offer.
The fourth painting goes berserk; it goes all out, like a mania, like devotion, like love of a god, like cha-cha-cha and fox trot, like colorful bolt of lightning that lights up all our hearts. It is a riot of colors, like a billion and more colors were invented the moment Shikha would have sat down to paint this one. It explodes into my Radha, it captures the super-duper supernova explosion of love when I drank the Radha juice and of the time when I held the Radha flower in very own hand, of the visions that came to me of Radha and the thousand and more gopis in consort when they swirled over and around me in a dance, in a trance to the eternal music of the grand flute. This painting singularly celebrates the lady ornate, the completion of my soul, the connecting link to the eternal light. To sum it up, this painting is a carnival of my voice that sings out loud to my Radha. Urging her to dance and dance and dance. Begging her to unleash her true self unto this world. Supplicating in front of her soul to take me in and absolve me. It celebrates the cosmic equation.
The fifth painting articulates the final frontier before blending of the soul into the vast ocean of god’s consciousness. The shades of blue, black, silver and white convey the last attempt the world makes to chain and leash a true Wanderer. The last veil, the mirroring smoke screen that obscures the vision of the great beyond where at the centre stands the one without form of norm. The last attempt inflicted through the façade of none other than Radha herself. A sort of foul play that momentarily hinders a passing thought. Your goddess denies the existence of light at the end of the tunnel. The flower denies the cycle of ongoing pollination. As if a farce goddess appears before a hermit and cheats him into believing that there is nothing that she can offer him. It finally captures the way the soul leaves all this pretence and manifestation behind to co-create the universe it ought to be. The last step taken.
The sixth and the last painting, the grand consummation of this entire saga is the simple dream I always had. It is the simplest of the paintings in form and shape. Here is the picture of my childhood and overarching dream. Picture this. A country side meadow with green grass and brambles all around. At the centre stands a mid-sized and quaint red bricked single storied house with an enchanted garden with white picket fences. Onto the terrace of the house leads a winding staircase. In the lawn, grow beautiful flowers of gracious colors, and a German Sheppard gazes lazily from the garden onto the road. Two small bicycles parked near the small wooden gate of the house hinting at the two kids, one boy and one girl, who are up to some childish mischief somewhere in the garden. A big window that opens up to the front of the house, behind which is my writing table—a rose wood writing table with an antique table lamp and jar of honey, some cookies and sundry items that amuse a writer. A wind chime at the entrance of the house that speaks volume of the rich taste the lady of the house enjoys. On the right hand top of this painting’s canvas, in the sky beyond the red brick house, is what seems like a golden chariot, a chariot made of flames, with horses of fire, and two entities aboard it surging to the heavens and beyond. That’s it. That’s the last painting. My perfect dream of a worldly life. The only thing I want from this worldly existence. There you go. I put it down simply into words and Shikha paints it for me.
The moment I dreamt this, this was waiting to happen. The moment Shikha painted this, it started to manifest around me. Einstein opined, with adequate data, that energy cannot be created it can only change forms. Which typically means that we cannot dream something that does not exist or a corollary to this being what can be dreamed already exists in some form. Through our will and focused efforts we merely urge that truth to manifest around us.
Now there was only one thing left to do. I knew this the moment I saw the last painting of this series pinned up on my bedroom wall. I took a deep breath, closed by eyes and ran towards the painting and merged into it. I am no more part of this reality that we have to make do with. I fell through the tiny crack in the window of this consensus reality and got absorbed into my far reaching petals of truth. I am now part of the painting—the only existence that I chose.
C) The final flight home, abode the golden chariot of fire
I open my eyes, for the first time after merging into the painting, to my room in the red brick house. I am sitting at my writing table, yes the rose wood one, and penning down this last chapter of the journey. Until now the world of common beliefs was the canvas on which the world of the dreams was being etched out and now the tables have turned. I am sitting inside a painting on the wall of my room and writing all of this.
Suddenly I notice that on my writing table to the right hand top corner, beside the pen stand, is a mug of ginger-honey tea. It startles me. That means I am not alone. I look outside the window and it is dark with the light on the verandah mildly illuminating the garden where beautiful flowers grow. I keep my gaze outside and I spot, at some distance, a few Radha flowers on the bloom. A chill runs down my spine. The within and without of the painting seem to carry the same theme over and over again. Just now, I hear a voice that is all too familiar. It is a deep base voice of a lady. Like sonic boom, it cuts through the stark silence of a painting.
“Balaaaaaaaaaaa, please finish your tea and sleep dear. It is getting really late. You can finish whatever you are writing in the morning.”
I know this voice. This is the voice of Radha, the low octave command of Radha. Shell shocked and trying my best to acknowledge and comprehend the partnership I have been bestowed, I turn around. Towards the back of the writing table, on the opposite wall, is a huge mirror. In the mirror I see Radha walking away into the aisle with her back facing me and her long lustrous hair swaying like an enchanting spell. She then turns back and we come face to face, and I am blinded by the sheer light that her fiery eyes are emitting. By the time my cornea adjusted itself her face has started to disappear, yet I catch the glimpse of the lady ornate. A sight that would forever remain with me!
The very next moment, I see what the mirror on the wall should have otherwise shown me. The mirror was facing the window. It shows me the garden, dimly lit, and therein a blue flower half hidden in the foliage.
I realize now that there is yet another leg to the journey that remains—the final one.
I rush to my writing table and quickly, at manic pace, beyond manic pace, start to write what is to follow. I take a leap into the future and write it before it happens. I need to. For once it happens, there will no more be. So what I write is followed by what I write. Like a repeat, word by word, frame by frame.
I write all of this down, even the words that are going to follow.
I guzzle the ginger-honey tea, and rush to my bed room. I open the door and there she is sitting by the dressing table brushing her long magical tresses before going off to bed. I place my right hand gently on her left shoulder. Initially without turning, she brings her right hand across and keeps it over my hand, which is resting on her shoulder. The touch completes me.
She slowly turns her face towards me and I see in her hot fiery eyes the depths of all womanly love. Her big round eyes and her moon-like round face. I pull her up and closer to me, our breaths intermingle and they ignite. There is fire all around. We are on fire, the fire from her eyes trigger the Vesuvius inside of me. The flames are leaping from our eyes, mouths, ears, hands; our bodies are now hardly visible. It is a raging orchestra of flames. At this very moment, I know that we need to leave our world behind. Turn it to ashes.
From the very core of my being, I summon the gods out. “I” emerges. I am now the Solar storm, while she is the fuel. I am lord Surya himself and I lash out the power of all the suns in this multi-verse and a chariot manifests around us. My hands still gripping hers and our eyes locked. Whatever that means… now that we are only flames.
The grandest chariot of all. The golden chariot of fire. The chariot with one thousand and one horses. The chariot which has a flag emblem of Agni himself. With brute force of certainty I pull Radha abode the chariot and crack a whip of flames. The chariot bursting through the roof of the red brick house surges into the night sky. In one trail blaze we turn the night scorpion who is still lingering in the outer reaches of time to ashes. As we move higher into the realms, the chariot gains speed and the thousand and one horses slowly turn to fire. Now there is only fire, no body, no grip, no feelings, no thoughts, only pure unadulterated energy. The purest god form. Very near to the highest order. In our solar run, Radha and I consume and devour the entire universe. The world, the unending cycle of creation, provides the fuel and we burn it to ashes. In the last split seconds of individuality, I ask her to look back on the blazed path we have left behind. Just when Radha is about to turn back the loci of individuality has ceased. Now there is no Radha nor me, nor Krishna nor she. Nor Surya nor thee. We have transcended. For memory’s sake we see a million Radha and me surging towards us the way we were surging towards the universal spirit.
Existence never meant what it did now.
We have taken the final flight home, abode the golden chariot of fire.
What will be, will be!
Whatever is left after that… are you and me!