Thought would go on an endless journey and far away from people I know. I will go to an unknown world where I create an identity of my own. No baggage or expectations from the past will trouble me. I will wipe every bit of history and start writing life with new terms and conditions.
The journey was not as easy as the ghosts of the past were coming to me, again and again, to remind me what I had left at home. Shooing them away was as difficult as life.
I increased my pace, created a shield of hatred to avoid those ghosts from coming back. My pace had increased so much that it would look like running.
An older man under a banyan tree was looking at me through his curious eyes. His look was such magnetic that I immediately got attracted to him, and to my favor, ghosts of the past vanished as well.
I strolled toward him. He was old but bright. I could see glows in his face, and was smiling unconditionally. He had covered himself with a big cloth.
As I was getting closure, my steps were getting slower. I felt as if he is my own.
I sat next to him. He did not utter a single word nether. I sat next to him, and he took a piece of thick bread out from his bag, broke it into two parts, and gave me one. I hesitantly took that, and he started chewing his portion.
I was hungry for long, so quickly finished the portion and asked, “Who are you?”.
He was still chewing his first bite. He swallowed what he was chewing and answered, “You.”
I said, “I am .. “, Not sure what he meant but I was eager for my mental cloud to rain.
I did not know how to introduce myself. Loser, fighter, achiever of the past, failure of today, human, not sure. I am not getting anything positive to tell about myself now.
He was smiling, “I am ‘you.’ You are me. We all are one entity.”, He said. It felt like old man blabbering to me as he made no sense.
“I am disturbed, angry, frustrated, tired,” I said. I felt like speaking my heart out in front of him.
“I am a fool, an idiot,” I vented.
“I left all my world behind to create a new life from now on. I will make it. I will rise again. I will prove my being,”, I said.
His curious eyes are such that I felt like speaking endlessly till I have nothing left in me. I kept expressing my anger, frustration, and as I was feeling better, I started sharing my mistakes, my learning, and he was as quiet as the tree and rocks. I was feeling so better that I shared my plans for rebuilding life.
By the time I finished speaking, I felt so relaxed that I felt like lying down under the shadow of the banyan tree and taking a good nap. He could understand. He took a blanket out of his bag and spread it on the ground. I stretched myself and started looking at the big branches, thick leaves, and almost invisible sky. In no time I was asleep.
I woke up to the chirping birds returning to their nests. I saw the old man has given his shawl to cover me and his handmade cloth bag is under my head as a pillow. I searched for him but was found nowhere. I just found a small notebook inside the bag.
“Chew food like you never wanted to swallow. Listen like you are born to listen, speak when people are desperate to hear from you”, This is what is written on the first page of the notebook.
I turned to next to read, “Dwija: Born second time is the name of wise and intellectuals. If you are truly enlightened to consider yourself as born again, you will achieve greater heights. The first birth is from your mother’s womb, and the second is from the womb of learning. Start as a child; inquisitiveness and curiosity are your two basic tools. Use them for living. Start like you know nothing. You will go far and beyond. Good luck!”, Turned the page to read more.
“I will come running as you did. Return me this book, my blanket, bag, and shawl. Earn enough to have a bread with you for me. Remember the three qualities on the first page that you need to have control over your life.”, the rest of the notebook was empty.
I gathered all belongings and folded and kept them neatly inside the bag. Slowly started the journey of my new life.