Highway, Lord Shriram and Me - The Story Continued...

After a gap of 4 months, last Monday, finally I could enjoy the freedom of driving down my favorite Mumbai-Agra highway (NH3). Remember my poem highway,  Miss those days?

Last Monday, I didn't have those blues that come with Monday. Perhaps other blues had occupied my mind. I had decided to go to Rokdoba temple in Arvi village, Dhule. 

With warm sunshine, with the winter kind Sun blessing from the sky, with the happy soft wind caressing me along the way, I began my journey.

The blessing Sun and a long road waiting ahead

I was tired by the my loudest chaotic mind which never likes to be calm. (Sometimes I feel, I am thinking so loud that people are clearly hearing my thoughts.) The high level of attention and concentration needed for driving down a highway on a scooter prevents the mind from drowning in rioting thoughts. And this is how I take care of my mind, sometimes. 

While driving I remembered the day when for the first time I dared to go this path. I was so scared, I was feeling, again and again, to stop somewhere and ask my brother, is it the right route for the temple? And now, I crave to explore more places unseen yet.

The ride was turning so enthralling.  I went in the afternoon and the road was almost empty, so it was safe to drive. My mind again started stirring past memories, happy and sad moments to generate lessons for present and future. This stirring goes on in our mind all the time, isn't it? But when it gets some alone time all kinds of thoughts appear on the surface. 

Mind was becoming lighter and lighter. It was feeling so powerful yet light. My mind was thanking me for allowing it to relax by this different kind of way. That's the positive effect of loosening stressful thoughts. And it has become so fragile that any little thing feels extremely stressful to handle, even if it's just a joke. I think I still carry these subtle symptoms of damaged nerve and not all of them I know. Many times it looks like I am furious or too egoistic but I am just trying to protect my mind from breaking. 

The Meditation by Mother Nature

I captured the pictures of hills stopping for a while. They are so calm always, in all seasons, give me a feel that they are eternally meditating, worshipping the God. I can't resist staring at them for some time. It's the rainy season only when they are green and look like coming out of meditation. For the rest of the year, they are quietly meditating.

I feel I should ask them, "How do you live undeviated and always dedicated to your eternal mission? Is there anything in the world that can disturb or shake u?"

I was thinking further while clicking them, how glorious they look from a distance and as we go closer and closer they look really different. Why does it happen? 

The Sun blessing warmth

I saw women working on a daily wage, especially those who work in the unskilled sector while driving. I find their tanned faces so beautiful, how naturally they smile without knowing any formality and chat with each other, surprises me. I really wish to have that simple informal nature. But I am an introvert. Needless to say anything further.

I reached the peaceful temple of Rokdoba. Thankfully there was almost nobody, except some local people who manage the temples. The temple was not open for darshan at that time. I wasn't also in the calm state to pray something.

Power, wisdom, humility, devotion - Hanumanji

The management of temple built a Ram temple accompanying Hanumanji temple. I was eager to meet Ram and His smile. But thought it must be closed, also I felt it really awkward to go to meet Lord Shriram at the odd time when it was the time for His rest.

I spent some time there. My distressful thoughts again began to agitate my soul.  why does God take our test? Who else can understand each and every emotion of mine and intensity of those emotions, other than Ram? Do I fake something ever? Then, why does He take tests? Does He feel satisfied seeing me in tears? How can He be? As much as I know Him, He is very very emotional, then how can He see me in tears? He is God, He is the supreme power, He can do whatever He wants, He can take the test of His devotees, He can punish us. But then I think, is it the core nature of Ram to see someone who loves Him immensely, in tears, breaking? 

I am not a devotee who worships Him by Pujas, Havans or festivals. I try to write something about His glories when it comes from the heart. Perhaps that's the only thing I know. Ram is love, Ram literally means the person who gives happiness to everyone. Then, I often wonder, how Ram can test our devotion? But who am I to question, what He should or shouldn't do? And when I say unconditional love, it should be unconditional, why should I have these questions about Him? If tears of a devotee are His ways of testing emotions, my tears have become most divine. We live where our mind resides and my mind is always thinking about Him. I am always with Him emotionally, mentally. I am not someone who can be categorized in a predefined personality type. In real life, my habits and lifestyle are much like an atheist. I think love or devotion is that infinite and unmeasurable feeling which can be felt only. I think nobody can feel it better than Ram.

The atmosphere of the temple, surrounding trees and some walls painted with stories of devotees help the mind to soothe distress. 

Meeraji with her Krishna

I couldn't wait for long to meet Him. I guess He was already waiting for me to come because the temple was open at the odd time. Finally, I was the fortunate, the happiest one to see the smile of Ram, the smile that always fascinates me, Mohini. But I think the mohini or all the fascination is His, His smile. I have just the name. My mind no more remains mine or can't keep its existence alive whenever I see this smile, whenever I remember this smile. Nobody else was around to disturb us, what more I can desire! My existence is already melted in that smile, what's that I should pray now? All the questions in my head, disappear when I see His smile of assurance of His existence in the world. For the world, He might be just a Murti but for me, He is my friend. Although I say Ram as my friend, it's the most revered relationship for me.

Smiling Ram - My Weakness

I was already in tears while my eyes were melting in His smile. Some other devotees came to meet Him. I feared 'hamare pyar ko kisiki najar na lage', so I left the place immediately. I am not that superstitious, but we get possessive and insecure about what we love. And my possessiveness is different, I can't trouble Him when He wishes to give His time to others. Stealing His smile in my heart, I left the temple.

While doing all this madness, I took the risk of skipping lunch and went further to explore the path, farms and villages. And of course to exhaust my mind further. It was difficult to face the remaining day. 

On my way, I saw a school of just one room and a college like a little house. Children were playing there happily. Dhule education standard and resources are much better than such villages. It breaks my heart to see these happy children as they don't know what they are losing. They feel happy with the limited and small world they have. 

Carrying thousands of thoughts I reached Malegaon. I then felt to stop punishing myself for no reason. While returning the kind Sun was preparing to end the day and the gentle caress of wind had turned into the tight grasp of cold, it was pleasant, though. 

Birds were eagerly flying to their nests. The daily wage workers in farms, men and women, were still working. People working in a day job were waiting for their bus to return home and my tears were still rolling to make me feel embarrassed in public. Even though everyone was a stranger for me and I did not need to bother about their judgments about me, it was embarrassing, I tried to hide tears. But tears are stubborn, whenever they find me alone, they start flowing beyond control. Otherwise, I always look egoist.

Meanwhile, some of the symptoms of my damaged nerve reappeared, like difficulty in balancing the vehicle, confusion in driving, speed and distance. At one moment, the wind covered my face by my dupatta and I couldn't see anything ahead. I slowed down, uncovered my face and thankfully, saved. Those two-three seconds were dangersome.

I returned home just before it getting dark. Wow! Nobody in home scolded me for this absurdity and didn't ask any question, allowed me to be me.

Every instance I get into some trouble, I promise God that I won't take any risk again, please save this time. And I forget it till again some risk appears in front of me. 

Thus, the story of the highway, me and Ram continued...

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