29 August 2007

The last message, "Take bath and observe silence for a minute"

I blew my conch and sent the shrill beyond the roof of the house my grandfather built in the mid 1950s. My grandfather always told me that blowing conch every evening scares the ghosts. I wanted to scare the hell out of ghosts around the house. I did. I scared them continuously every evening for 3 years continuously. They would get a break when I returned home from my grandfather’s village! Then ghosts back home had a bad time with my conch! The point is my grandfather was religious. He believed deeply in every religious things and even astrology. He would utter phrases in despair, such as "I do not understand what happened, stars are fine...", "I see no problem...in the horoscope but I do not know what is happening...".

He would get up early at four in the morning in the Brahmi muhurtham. Belli (Venus) peeped a little later to see if my grandfather was awake. He woke up from meditation after first rays of the sun washed the slumberous flower and lifted their head high. I had standing instructions to pick all the flowers in the garden without leaving even a single flower on the plants, before he got ready for the morning worship. His daily Rudrabhisheka with Chamaka and Prshna always took hours and gave me enough time to pick flowers. I had to get ready go to office later. My office timings were not so flexible those days like it is today you see! (Primary School)

Last time I spoke to my grandfather; some cells in his mouth have refused stop multiplying. He could barely speak. He said, "Try to be a better human. When you hear of my death, take bath and observe silence for a minute". Six months later I spoke to grandmother. She said, "It is six monthly observance and we have prepared Holige !(PoLi -a sweet)". "You would have liked them a lot". I felt a lump in the throat. Weird, they make Holiges to celebrate death!

I remember Pete Seeger’s

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
..........
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

I blew conch this time in front of the worship room. Shrill sure went beyond the roof. I am sure, it scared the ghosts after a long gap of 15 years. But, that meditating silhouette of an old man in front of the alter was missing. Gods looked lonely.

~rAGU

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