Stories from Arunachala Diaries-20

– “Is anybody there ?”. A shadow passed away before the spring . Springs were beautiful in Arunacahala . Narrow streams of water surrounded by unknown group of vegetation. Small pathways here and there, surrounded by mist, opening up doors to unknown territories. A similar small narrow pathway was rising up higher, towards the source of the stream. I clearly heard somebody walking upwards, toward the mountain, through this narrow pathway. I started following him. I was just curious, to find another soul in this lonely forest. But that soul was evading me, and not even letting to trace his footsteps.

– Why are you running away?
– What is wrong?
There were no words. Only noises of water were echoing the silence in background. That also, was flowing through rock bed of staircases, dissimilar in size and shape. Just beside this water flow, a narrow lane goes above. I assumed that I could find the origin of the spring, if I followed this narrow lane. Luckily, if I found the person, I would be able to learn more about this dense forest, were I am stuck. There were some small and big cactus plant here and there, scattered and some shrubs surrounding them. There are also very hard rock’s around occasionally hitting my legs mercilessly. I felt I have to slow down.

It is close to evening and there were hardly any chances of finding the path, if I was lost. The only landmark was the spring, and Arunachala Mountain. But there were many small lanes scattered here and there, confusing the direction towards right path.
There was also no person around me where I could ask for some help. An unknown fear started creeping in my mind. What happens if I didn’t find the right path, within next half an hour . The light was becoming low. There can be many wild animals here and there, after I was in the middle of a dense forest.

I gathered all my strength, and shouted for the last time.
“Is anybody here?”
There was just echo of my voice and no response. Silence was pervading all around , and sound of water, was just giving the background music.
After some time, I started hearing strange sound from some other plane . I tried to be more attentive about the sounds. It was sound of knocking the doors. Slowly, it became more clear. Then I found it was coming from my room.

I waked up from the dream of getting lost in the Arunachala forest , and found a great relief . And then opened up the door to find who was it.

– Hare Krishna. I just came today. Next to your room.
– Namastee…
– My name is Prabhu Nitya . I am from US, I teach devotion.
– How can I help you ?
– I want to organize a kirtan in the roof top. I just wanted to know, do I need to take any permission for it.
– Yes there was an attendant in the office below, you could go an ask her.

As I was walking out from my room to Regina’s guest house , for having the Lunch , tall and muscular Prabhu Nitya , raised his hand, to greet me from the half opened door of the room where Lucas used to stay earlier.
– “I got the permission. You can join us if you want in the afternoon.” An women peeped up from the room.
– “My partner Giribala ” A thin western women , with glaring skin and chandan in the forehead , greeted me with a heartwarming smile.
– Ok , I was a writer and teacher all the way, pretty intellectual stuff, and I was not in Bhakti of any type.
– Join us and you will have lot of joy.
– Let’s see

As I walking in the staircase , my mind was reflecting on the amazing speed with which things , people and situation changed here. Everything was like a fluid . The only constant , to me was Mt. Arunachala . Hundred miles from here , sitting quietly and observing the drama of universe unfolding around him.
Or was there a time and space really existing in his scheme of things . How did I felt the presence so close , being so far away ?
In my mind , I intended to go back Tiruvannamalai very soon and shower in Arunachala grace again.

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Disclaimer :
“Stories from Arunachala Diaries” reflects the author’s present recollections of experiences over time. Some names and characteristics have been changed, some events have been compressed, and some dialogue has been recreated to create neccesary literary effect. The reader should not consider this book anything other than a work of literature.
Copyright Sri Joydip 2020. All Rights Reserved.