Living so many life in one lifetime was too heavy for Naren. He was exhausted with life’s problems. His belief was that every problem makes you live a new pseudo life and resolution of problem ends that pseudo life. At this moment while he was standing in city railway station, he was living 100s of life together. He was finding it difficult to breathe. He was holding the platform ticket in his left hand and his right hand was on his waist. Why he came to railways station, even he is not sure.
Ongoing difference opinion between his wife and his aging parent has almost consumed all peace left at his home environment, he has frequent quarrels with his wife over petty matters.His daughter is a great believer and follower of the current age ultra-pseudo hero and heroines and she has hardly any respect for elders. Her young age is one of the factor behind this unruly behavior but home environment was no good to bring her on track either.
Naren’s job is the only source of income for his 6 member family and 2 to 3 loans is a minimum for any working class at current age so he has 3 loans. Ongoing dissatisfaction at home was bothering him too much. He was thinking financial contribution can solve problems. So, he was busy buying gifts and dresses for his parents, wife and daughter to make them happy so that they start forgetting their dissatisfaction and come closure. This was keeping the things in control for couple of hours or may be days but wrappers can never stop ants eating the candy which is inside. Problems can never be wrapped to bring it to an end.
Today afternoon he got to know that company has started laying off and his job is one of those which may get affected in this drive. Despite his great performance he was not considered for any other position. Tomorrow may be the last day of his current job. Market condition is so bad that getting another job with the salary which can at least fulfill his basic needs is next to impossible. He has exhausted almost all the available solutions. Tomorrow he will not have any job, his daughter’s study will get affected and she may go more in bad direction. Her family peace will vanish completely to make his life nothing better than hell. He social status will be of nothing better than a looser. He was sweating and his hands and legs were trembling. He was not able to see anything in front of his eyes. He could feel the continuous flow of tears. He decided to end his life. He convinced himself that he is a looser. He can not do anything. There is no reason to torture his life with so much of pain. He can not handle it. Super fast train was about to pass through this station as it has not stoppage in this railway station. He was determined to jump in front of the train and end his life. No logical reasoning has any space in his mind. He saw the train coming. and he prepared himself and went to the edge of the platform and decided to jump as soon as he sees the train is less that 5 meters. Train was approaching fast but for him every second was like an hour. He could feel and see every microsecond. “Looser” is the only word running in his mind. Suddenly he saw a 4 year old cute little girl wearing a red frock was running towards the approaching train. He immediately ran and caught her to save her and in fraction of seconds train passed by with great speed beside him. He was relieved for a second and immediately went into frustrated mode as he lost and opportunity to end his life.
Within few seconds everybody gathered around them and started thanking him for his daring act. Little girl’s mother came running who has asked her daughter to sit on a bench and went to buy one bottle of drinking water. She was in full of tears. She came running and hugged the little girl then scolded her then again hugged her and was not sure what she wants to do. Once she believed that her daughter is safe, she immediately fell on the feet of Naren. Words and emotions of genuine thankfulness and hearty wishes kept coming out without any mental interruption.
Once all left the spot, he too started walking out of the railway station. None of his reasons for committing suicide had changed or none of his problems were solved but he was feeling relaxed to a great extent. He was feeling as if he is as free as he was when he was in college days. He was feeling very happy.
He went home. It is since two days nobody is talking to each other at home due to a fight that happened. He took a bath and went and sat in the drawing room. His wife and mother were busy preparing dinner and his father was reading a book. His daughter was doing something on her computer. He asked his father, “Which book are you reading?”. His father immediately turned his attention towards him with a surprise and smile and answered, “A book of wisdom called as Bhagbat Gita. But since when you started bothering about what am I doing. Nevertheless, you must read this once. Mind it, this is not a religious book, it is a self-help book, only difference with other self help books is that, this is the oldest and time-tested.” . He never heard so much from his father in recent past. May be because he never initiated any conversation. They had usual silent dinner with Television that night. It was like any other frustrating day for his wife, daughter and parents. He went to sleep while others were busy with their day-end activities. He was satisfied as well as tensed for the coming morning. But he got sleep without much effort and woke up at 4:00 AM in the morning. Scare of todays incidence at office made him tensed and sleep refused to come again.
He went for a walk. There were hardly anybody on the road except some stray-dogs doing their self-imposed night-watchman duty, cows sitting near some dustbins and reprocessing the half-chewed food while half-asleep and Birds were getting ready for another exciting day. To best of his surprise, he met the same girl whom he rescued the day before from train accident, standing with a slate and chalk on the road. She was about to throw one slate into the nearby dustbin. He went close to her and asked, “Why are to throwing it into dustbin and why are you here standing so early in the morning.”. She replied, “My slate is dirty and I want a beautiful and clean slate.”. Naren took the slate from her, wiped it fully using his handkerchief and then decorated it’s borders nicely and asked her, “Now, how does it look? If something is dirty then clean the dirt, decorate it if possible to enhance the beauty and then you will see it will be again good to use.” . That girl was happy and she took the slate and ran towards the nearby temple. Naren thought her parents are there inside the temple, so he also went inside the temple. Going to temple has always makes Naren feel as if he is telling a lie to himself. He never believed that life can be changed by some super-power so surrendering in front of an imaginary character is nothing more than telling lies. But this time, just to enquire whether that little girl is in safe hands or not, he went inside. There were nobody in that temple except one idol of Goddess Durga and many small idols depicting different forms of Maa Shakti. Some were symbolizing destruction of evil by Mother energy, some were depicting the beauty and orderly forms of energy and some were depicting the energy to enhance knowledge and wisdom. He was extremely confused as the girl vanished inside the temple and he was getting one strange feeling inside the temple.He sat on the floor of the temple to make himself comfortable and started analyzing the series of events that happened to him in past one day and he realized that all that was happening to him were just mind game. His problems can be solved by himself with little but organized efforts.
Our mind goes dirty the way the slate was. We often think it is impossible to get it in good shape and we start living with it. These dirt create unnecessary problems and confusion in our life. It is extremely necessary to clean the dirt and put our life in order to live a beautiful life. He first decided to ensure he is confident that he can get things back to normal. He went home and sat near the feet of his parents who were still sleeping. His mother woke up as soon as she realized that Naren is sitting beside her leg. She asked, “What happened?”. He responded, “Maa, I realized that all the problem that is going on around is due to me. I am trying to hide everybody’s shortcomings hence it is causing more problem in future. I need to your blessings to put my house in order.”. he said. His father got up by then. He kept his hand on Narens head and said, “Don’t worry Beta. Things will be alright.”. He slept near his parents. This is after almost more than two and half decades that he slept near his mother hugging her. Her mother slowly moved her thin old fingers on his head through his hairs. He went to office and within 1 hour of his arrival his manager called him for one one-on-one meeting. He knew that this is going to be the meeting where he will be asked to leave. His initial discussion with his manager was normal talk and he was surprised to see casual look at his managers face. He was then given a letter. He opened it to see that he has been made in-charge of technical division. Last night a deal was signed which was never expected to happen at least during the recession times. This is a big deal and it needs huge delivery within 9 months. He is believed to be the person who can get the work done when the morale of the employees are low and workload is huge. He could not believe that they even increased his salary. He was extremely relived but not happy yet.
He went home and initiated/continued his discussion with every members of his family and he stopped assuming their needs rather tried understanding and realizing their dreams. He found none of he members in the family needed money or objects that money can buy. He killed all his wrong assumptions, impressions and expectations. Then he had constant communication with his wife, daughter and parents He helped his daughter in her studies as well as created one website for her daughter to publish her paintings. He helped her wife in pursuing further study and helped her so that she gets her own life for sometime every week. He became the best friend of his aging father to talk about various topics. His mother got one partner for her morning temple walk and bought different religious books for her. His life was gradually becoming beautiful and orderly. Then he ensured he enhances his skills and wisdom by studying books of wisdom written several thousand ago by great philosophers. Life was good and life remained good as log as he kept on cleaning the slate and beautifying it.
This is the same reason why we celebrate Navratri every year. Nine days of Navratri is divided in three parts. The first three days are to destroy the evil forces through Bhairavi Shakti, the second three days to beautify or decorate our life with non-withering elements of beauty and putting things in order through Baishnavi, the last three days is to enhance our wisdom or knowledge to handle life in a much better way than in past through Bramhi Shakti. Following these will help us get the ultimate Vijay or win. Which is celebrated on 10th day as Vijaya Dashami.
– Stray Dog
8 thoughts on “Have you cleaned your slate?”
So what if we can not undo our past; but we can always clean our slate and start it from scratch. Excellent!
Very touching & Simply great
Lovely! And we tend to find meaning and celebration of Navratri somewhere else! 🙂
Superbly written. I enjoyed reading this.
…. and …. thank you.
pl put up your collection in the IP infringing days by suitably copyrighting it.
Great job again!!
Sakti, I agree with all the other comments. This post has a beautiful inspirational message at a time when we can use that extra boost to think and act in a positive way. I liked how you waited until the end of the story to tell us that its message was that of Navrati. A masterly writer’s touch!
A bit langthy but yes masterly crafted….and i agree with Myrtle…suprem touch at the end with the blast message about the meaning of navratri… I partially agree with nisarg….there is nothing wrong in finding meaning and celebration fo navratri at somewhere else if one keep enjoying\understand\believe\follow the above message with dancing…..i would go with the comobo of both form..probably nisarg is also wants to suggest the same i guess.