Krishna Janmashtami

During the early hours today, I heard extremely pathos-rendering of Shivaranjani raaga on what sounded like flute. This was accompanied by an incredibly delicious wave of aroma.

I couldn’t resist getting out of the bed despite the early hours. With my eyes well up, I had given into Shivaranjani recital, as much as I’d to the delicious smell and wanted to know who was being so emotional in the early hours. With my ears, nose, and heart hinting that I heard the musical from the dense trees that’re to the left of my home did I dare to go find out the source, and hopefully extend a potential human touch to heal the pain of the recitalist.

I headed into the trees, and to my surprise, it was Lord Krishna, Paramathma, Vasudeva himself reciting the magical flute, alongside him was a yummy pastry that read “Happy Janmashtami”. The heavenly pastry was so aromatic that it could get through the 1 foot walls of my room and nobody knows how far it had to go. And could I even imagine anyone being better than Him with flute?
Bearing to the shock, and the bliss of seeing him live, so close, and tangible, I fainted. After a day that I woke up, as He shook me with His almighty touch and I stood up in all awe, absolutely surrendered to his sublime stature, reminding that I was wondering why he’d to recite The Pathos Shivaranjani, that too on his own Janmashtami. My one day in fainting was apparently a nanosecond to Him.

I called myself an atheist until that moment, but, then, with a pounding heart, and a clean soul that is completely appalled, and irrevocably devoted, did I dare to ask Him what was it that’d him upset so bad and why would He bring the heavenly pastry all the way to the ever sinned earth?
And how ridiculous, and massively arrogant of me to even think I could do something to better his mood? I’d say I was just curious. Saints, as I read, had to climb mountains, meditate for years, starve to near death, grow long beard, and endure all the pain along the way to prove they were worthy of His visit. But for me, a sinned, mortal human being, He just showed up on a pleasant morning from nowhere on an auspicious day, so massively special to Him, and I’d to try to engage in a good conversation, and hopefully leave a good first impression of an average human being whilst I listened to Him and He listened to me.
Needless to say, I’d my wishlist that is growing ever since my primary school, but I must stick to the human code of conduct. Prayer first, Prasadam later!

He rested the flute, and said “several things have gone out of control on planet earth. From a state president firing his bureaucrats, and threatening other countries with provocative rhetoric; A 4 foot 5 inch beanbag trying to dump shit on humanity; The tanking stock market because of the aforesaid people and needlessly ruining people’s peace; The raising sea levels, and dying sharks; Mutual Fund companies using His birthday to advertise their crappy new products; Online sales on His eve selling year old nonsense, just to name a few..” He said.
I was perplexed. All of these are problems created by His creation. If He deemed them as problems, that’s just a surprise. I was hesitant, yet compelled to ask Him, although I understood how intense problems they were, given the fact that they nearly plunged Him into a bad mood, and I’d to conclude they must be real difficult ones even for Him, hopefully for the right reasons. I gathered some courage, and asked Him why were they have to be so disturbing, so much so that they ruin His birthday. He said these numerous actions from the humans have quite adversely affected his prior road map for the end of Kaliyuga, extending Kaliyuga by several thousand years, and that provoked a rather heated political debate during their yearly summer trip to Bhooloka this year and the extension was going to trouble some members politically.

The following is how He narrated some excerpts from their conversations.

“While Yamaraja claimed that the input to His department has reduced drastically, Vayudeva complained that during his recent visit to Bhooloka, he once took a deep breath and immediately fainted. He’d to be woken up with a mask around his nose, and that he was told he better wear them as long as he was in Delhi and Shanghai!
Another colleague Varunadeva started whining that he’s prohibited from visiting some of his favorite parts of India, the other colleague who sits close the fire extinguisher, Agnideva, was furious about his unplanned visits to the forests and had to be absent during the world tour missing Tulips garden. The other, rather romantic, colleague Manmatha is left jobless as the population exploded without his efforts, and he didn’t even see the need to participate in the summer trip this time, and left up there and missed his favorite Amsterdam.”

“Even to almighty me, these are way too many disagreements between way too many supervisors. While on the way to Switzerland via Germany, they planned my birthday party. We rested the previous night, and started celebrating my birthday this early hours IST, here in these lush trees. When the sick president tweeted some nonsense, the stock market tanked, and one of the devotee cursed me. There was a forest for Agni to burn, and a flood for Varuna to take charge of. As these two left, the other colleagues also yelled at me for not taking care of the extension, and left me here alone.
This’s my worst birthday since 2008 financial crisis, and I was well on my way to fix things to find a balance before the recent, rather, adverse developments around the globe.” said Vasudeva, with his palm on His head.

Well, that, indeed, is severe, I thought.

I, for one, have although lived through these difficulties, and know these problems well enough, I don’t want the Kaliyuga to end. Should we fix the problem, the almighty’s road map aligns back, chances are the next few generations may not see the light of the day. Nonetheless, I asked Him what He could do, and what I could do? (Well, what could I do? I’m a 7am-4pm employee. That is all. I can fix a few bugs if they are in Python or Java programs!) The almighty said it was simple. He was going to get Brahmakartha, and I just had to ask Brahma to align things as all the knobs were with Him, and He would fix it!”. “But, ” He continued, “I would trick Him that you are not going to ask anything related to Kaliyuga, and the road map.”, because all that Brahma does is done only once. He prefers not to change anything!
There can never be a better opportunity, and nobler deed for me to anchor, to be devoted. This was it. I touched his feet, and said “Sure, my lord”.

Moments later, the magnanimous Brahma showed up and said, “It was the one mistake in my creation, especially with human beings. Nonetheless,” he continued, “I have always been kind to you despite your atrocities”. And asked me to submit my wish for his consideration, or rather consider it granted. As Lord Krishna was looking at me, I thought for a moment and said: “Please help me close this story with an incredible climax!” Brahmakartha said, ‘Tathastu!”

As I clicked the Publish button, I heard Lord Krishna yelling at me ‘MutthaLa! HaLumadidyallo!”, I replied, “ella ninna leele. Naanu nimitha mathra. Baresodu, Bareyodu, ella neene allave prabhu!”

He smiled, and said I’ve *His* approval to publish this.

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Hailstones

It started raining heavily, with fierce winds on the way back home. Hailstones as big as pebbles, all over the footpath. The umbrella couldn’t take the force and I’d to take shelter under a tree.

It was petrifying and in all honesty, I was really scared by the loudness of the thunders and the brightness of the lightening, and I’d to close the umbrella and drop it aside to prevent it from turning into a lightening arrestor! The streetlight meters away was hazily visible and it was turned off by the lightening.

There I was shaking, shivering, and waiting. Moments later, I was joined by this little adorable girl. She stood beside me, and after a while said she was too afraid to walk the rest of her way back home and started crying. I tried consoling, and asked if I could call her home. Sadly we couldn’t reach her home. In an effort to console her further, I picked up a few lines from a movie and said the lightening was just God taking pictures of us with his million megapixel camera, and the thunder was His drumbeat and she could pose for pictures and dance to the beats.

That seemed to have relaxed her and she stopped crying, while the rain continued.

Moments later, she started acting weird by picking up the hailstones and said she missed the last bus just so she could collect the hailstones from where we were waiting.

“These are special!”, she continued in a rather peculiar, and over excited tone, which to me was louder, and scarier than the downpour. “Special in the sense, they slipped off God’s refrigerator, just for me.”, with the thunder in chorus, frightening me even more. At this stage, although she seemed like an 8 year old kid, I’d all sorts of paranoid thoughts running through my mind vigorously. Could that be a ghost, or an alien, or even worse God’s messenger that was to punish my atheist soul?

I looked at her foot, and they were alright and confirmed she wasn’t a ghost. No, I’m not friends with ghosts, but that’s the one trait that sets ghosts apart I heard.

She’d a backpack full of books and a lunch box, and looked all cute. And given the fact that even the US president hasn’t made contact with Aliens yet,  it is a mistake on alien’s side to even think of considering me as the human to reach out to. Ruled out, in disappointment.(Or maybe, I stand chance!? Who’s the president now?)

God’s messenger? Nah, that contradicts my atheist belief to begin with.

As I kept pondering in paranoia as to who she was, ” and, you know”, she continued, “there has been study in my Chemistry lab, and our teacher said that we collect the hailstones and bring them to the lab to examine the effect of global warming.  I’ve not been able to collect any since weeks now because of unsupported circumstances, and the deadline for report submission is just days away.”

It was time for me to relax as it was just a kid that I was talking to, and I had nothing to be scared of.

“And you know”, she continued, “I’m passionate. And I will do everything I can to reduce the impact the human species is about to face because of global warming. And as I’ve to live on this planet for the years to come, I’ve taken it on me, sir, to study everything I could, and do anything I can.”, and continued collecting the hailstones into the little freezer-thing she’d, that I’d mistaken for lunchbox.

“Oh, I meant that these hailstones have fallen off God’s refrigerator metaphorically, to both complement your imagination about the thunder, and lightening, and to thank God for today. I’m glad that finally I’m able to collect some so that I can prepare for my thesis submission.”

I was flattered. At 8, not only was she funny, but extremely sensible, and considerate AND to top it all, preparing a thesis! How lucky her father must be, I thought. Father is more dearer to a daughter than mother. Hence the reason. And I would want a daughter. Sons are stupid.

She got enough of the supply for her research by then, and I was glad as much as she was that she missing the last bus didn’t go wasted.

It stopped raining, and I walked her to her home which was in the other direction to where I lived.  As she rang the doorbell on her home, I started walking back to my home. She didn’t thank me. I guess the excitement of hoping to fulfill the project made her forget formalities and hey, I’d just learnt to be sensible from her moments ago!

The next day at about 11 in the morning the phone rang. Some unknown number, and because my mobile subscription is under roaming at the moment, and it’s a bloody expensive one, I have my number shared only with my family, and I pick calls, and don’t care for roaming charges. I received the call, and it wasn’t anyone from my family. The person at the other end said “Thanks for caring for the little kid from yesterday.”

I was guessing this must be her father.

I went “Oh, yes. She was a wonderful kid. The best I’ve ever come across. I’m guessing that she’s your daughter?”

And the response was “No, but I understood how sensible, smart and responsible you hope your daughter should be.  And I promise you, not only do we care and understand your expectations with your ideal soulmate, the life partner, but also understand the qualities you hope your kid will have!”

I went “Who are you!?”

The response, “I’m calling from Matrimony service. Please use coupon code ‘WEDDiscount20’, with ‘WEDD’, both the ‘d’s in upper case, sir, and ‘twenty’ is numeric 20. This is for Wednesday’ discounts on the paid subscription using which you can view the complete details of the potential matches. And sir, we can help you get timely response from your potential matches! And, sir, ..”

I had to hang up on him before he completed the sentence, wondering how on earth did he come to know about that previous day.

ಅವಳ ಮನ್ನಣೆ!

ಉರಿ ಬೇಸಿಗೆಯ ಸಂಜೆ. ಇಕ್ಕಟ್ಟಿನ ಬಸ್ ಸೀಟ್ ಮೇಲೆ ಕುಂತಿದ್ದೆ.
“ರೈ! ರೈ!” ಅಂದ, ಆ ಕಂಡಕ್ಟರ್.

ಮುಳುಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದ, ray-ban company ಬೇನಾಮಿ ಮಾಲೀಕ, ಸೂರ್ಯ,
ದಿನವಿಡೀ ಬೆಂದು, ಬೆವರಿ, dehyrate’ಆದ ಭೂಮಿ,
ಅದರ ಮೇಲೆ ನನ್ನ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆಗಳನ್ನು ಒಯ್ಯುತಿದ್ದ ಆ ಬಸ್ಸು,
ಒಳಗೆ ಇಕ್ಕಟ್ಟಿನ ಸೀಟ್, ಮೇಲೆ ನಾನು.

ಆ ನಿಮಿಷಕ್ಕೆ ನನ್ನ ಆಲೋಚನೆ ಎಲ್ಲ ಉಳಿದ ಎಂಟು stop’ಗಳು,
ಮತ್ತು ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ನಾನು ನಡೆಯಬೇಕಿದ್ದ ಒಂದು ಮೈಲಿ ದೂರದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತು.

ನನ್ನ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆ ಏನಾಗಿತ್ತು ಗೊತ್ತೆ?

ಅಲ್ಲಿಯ ವರೆಗೂ ನನ್ನ ಜೊತೆ ಸಂಭಾಷಣೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಡಗಿದ್ದ ಆ ಹುಡುಗಿಯಬಗ್ಗೆ,
ಮತ್ತು ಹೇಗಾದರೂ ಅವಳ ಮನ್ನಣೆ ಪಡೆಯುವ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ಮಾಡಲೇಬೇಕೆಂದು!

ಪ್ರಮಾಣ ಮಾಡಿ ಹೇಳುತಿದ್ದೀನಿ. ಅವಳು ದೇವತೆ!
ಸರಸ್ವತಿಯಷ್ಟು ಜಾಣೆ, ಪಾರ್ವತಿಯಷ್ಟು ಕರುಣೆ,
ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿಯಷ್ಟು ಧಾರಾಳ,
ಅವಳ ಚಂದವ ಹೋಲುವ ದೇವತೆಯೂ ಇಲ್ಲವೇನೋ
ಅನ್ನೋಷ್ಟು ವಿರಳ!

ಏಕೋ ಏನೋ ಉಳಿದ ಪ್ರಯಾಣ ಇನ್ನಷ್ಟು ಮಂದಗತಿಯಿಂದ ಸಾಗಲು ಆರಂಭಿಸಿತು.
ಉಳಿದ stop’ಗಳನ್ನು ಎಣಿಸುತಿದ್ದ ನನ್ನ stop ಕೊನೆಗೂ ಬಂತು.

ನನ್ನ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆ ಈಡೇರೋ ಸಮಯ ಅದು.

ಕಷ್ಟ ಪಟ್ಟು ಸುಮಾರು ಮೂರು ನಾಲ್ಕನೇ ಭಾಗದ ಪ್ರಯಾಣದುದ್ದಕ್ಕೂ
ನಿಯಿಂತ್ರಿಸಿದ “ಸುಸ್ಸು” ಗೆ ಹೋಗೋ ಸಮಯ ಅದು!
ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಪ್ರಜ್ಞೆ ಇಲ್ಲದಂತೆ ಗಿಡದ ಪೊದೆಯಲ್ಲಿ “ಸುಸ್ಸು” ಮಾಡಲೇ ಬೇಕಾಯಿತು.

“ರೈ! ರೈ!” ಅಂದ, ಆ ಕಂಡಕ್ಟರ್ ಇನ್ನೊಮ್ಮೆ.

ಅವಳ ಮನ್ನಣೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿತೋ ಏನೋ ತಿಳಿಯೆ.
ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಯಾಮಾರಿದ್ರೆ ಜೀವನದುದ್ದಕ್ಕೂ ಕಳ್ಕೊಳೋಷ್ಟು ಮರ್ಯಾದೆ,
ಒಂದು ನಿಮಿಷದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಳ್ಕೋತಿದ್ದೆ.

ದೇವರೇ, Toilet ಇರೋ ಬಸ್’ಗಳನ್ನು ರಿಯಾಯಿತಿ ಬೆಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾರು ತಂದೆ!

 

The Magical Roses!

I ran into a man on 13th February. It was evening and I was returning home. He introduced himself as Mr Valentine, the “inventor” of Valentine’s day, offered me a flower bouquet and said it had 3 magical rose buds that shall blossom every hour starting 5AM on 14th February. He went on and said I could choose to give them to any, and can only do so before the sun sets, and those that accept the flower without asking any questions would have their wishes fulfilled right away! He warned me that they are just flowers if I disclose their magical powers!

Before I could ask him further questions, he disappeared into vapor! (Sigh. Global warming, fellas!)

I was not willing to trust Mr Valentine. He was just a stranger to me. However he did disappear right in front of my eyes, and that was as good as a credible testimony of his magical powers.

So, I decided, in the name of love, I was going to risk having my bones broken and face bruised, but not let the magical roses die as sun sets.

I informed my boss that I needed a day off the next day. I had the alarm set to go off at 4:55AM, went to bed.

I woke up as the alarm went off, and in 5 minutes from then, one of the flowers did blossom!

And in 2 hours the other two.

“Wow, that is so real! Those are magical, and punctual!” I said to myself.

It was 8 in the morning by then. I dressed up and went straight to the city center.

I wanted to find someone that really deserved the magical roses. As I was in dilemma to pick one, I thought I close my eyes for a few seconds, and whoever I see as I open my eyes shall be the one.

I kept my eyes shut for 5 seconds, and then opened them. I saw a charming girl passing by me. Let it be her, I thought, gathered some courage, and stopped her, and gave her one of the roses. She didn’t mind accepting it. With a smile on her face said she was engaged, pointed at a man who stood by an old motorcycle and went right ahead to him.

She took it easy on a stranger like me! I was glad she would have her wishes come true!

I was left with 2 more roses by then.

For the next one, I wanted to be a little deliberate with my choice of who gets the rose. So, I looked around, and noticed a very fat women passing by. She looked very dull for some reason. It was the weight, perhaps. I went right up to her, and offered her the second rose. She also accepted it gladly, and said she liked me, paused for a few seconds, and  said “You weigh less than half of me, but I will keep this flower!” and went away.

That “pause” was terrifying as I was not sure what she was going to say after that. With a sigh of relief that she was gone, the second rose was also going to be well utilized, I said to myself.

When I was left with the last rose that I recalled I had totally forgotten about my friend that is in relation with a girl. I hurried myself up to meet him, lied to him that I had with me some special roses from the Keukenhof, and while I kept some for myself, I brought one for him. He thanked me for that, accepted it, and left.

I was happy that I did not let the magical flowers go wasted, and knew he would make it his Valentine’s present to his girl.

I’d sound sleep that night for all the good deeds I’d done, and I kept smiling the entire week.

It was the subsequent weekend that I was at the city center again, and I noticed someone resembling the first girl who I’d given the magical rose. Indeed, it was her. She got off a Lamborghini Aventador, and by her side was a billionaire. I knew instantly what she wished for on the Valentines day!
Apparently her wishes had turned her fiancé into a billionaire!

I kept walking and noticed a brand new multi-floor gymnasium specialized in weight-loss exercises, and a bunch of obese women walking in. The grand advertisement of the gym revealed that the fat women, to who I’d given the second magical rose, was running the gymnasium. Apparently, she wished what a regular-fat-person wishes for: Lose weight overnight. She’d made her fortune by branding and advertising her overnight transformation. Little did those obese women knew, they kept lining up!

It was then that I wanted to know what good the magical roses had brought to my friend, and his girlfriend.

To my regret, I came to know that my friend was under psychiatric observation! I thought “How could she do it to him! How could she ever wish her boyfriend lose mental balance.”
I visited the hospital to watch his condition, and found him walking around in a room with transparent walls, a rose in his chest pocket, drawing things in air. He looked mad for sure. When inquired with the doctor that I was told, my friend was arguing that among other things that he knew, Einsteins theory of relativity was wrong, and that he could run faster than Usain Bolt. The doctor went on and said his girlfriend had called the hospital before she left him forever.

Uh, I then came to know that this poor chap thought just a rose wasn’t enough as a valentine’s day gift, and had brought her a gold ornament, and the magical rose was left with him. Since he had wishes that he could prove Einstein wrong, run faster than Usain Bolt, among the other wishes, and the rose was with him, that all his wishes had come true. And he tried explaining the physics of Einstein, and physics of running to that gal, and she found him retarded. Such a tragedy.

I wanted to narrate to the doctor about my meeting with Mr Valentine, and about the roses hoping that would set my friend free. I always wanted to see my friend go on and prove that Einstein was wrong, and defeat Usain Bolt running backwards. I knew his yearnings, and after all, I knew the magical power of those roses!

I started walking down the hallway to meet the doctor and as I noticed my friend being taken for a shock treatment, I reminded myself I was in psychiatric clinic, and they admit people if they had “magical story”.

I kept walking towards the front door to never return, reminding myself, Valentine’s day does good only for girls.

A Nightmare!

It was 12 midnight when I was woken up by an uncomfortable dream and I dreamt there was a sharp blow on my forehead, and I heard varieties of loud, and scary laughters. I was drenched in sweat, and my heart was pounding as if I had been running
several miles with wild dogs chasing my back.
I grabbed the water bottle next to the bed, opened the lid tremblingly, drank some water to satisfy my thirst, and tried to go to bed.
Just a few moments later, the same dream woke me up yet again. I was terrified in pain yet again.
I tried to keep my calm, and hoped that the night would not last long, drank some more water and returned to bed.

Gosh, the same dream yet another time.

Tired of the terrifying and painful dream, this time I thought I must somehow keep myself awake for the rest of the night.
Fearing that I would fall asleep just to be woken up by the bad dream, to keep myself awake,
I kept repeating after myself “I am awake, I am awake.” loudly.
While this seemed to have helped, and I succeeded in keeping myself awake, I actually had fallen asleep this time!
Good lord. Finally some sleep, you know.Little did that repeating after myself help, I felt I smashed into something hard, and hurt myself on the forehead, the same dream, yet again.
To my shock, this time for real, I had a red forehead, and could literally hear those loud, and wild laughters.

Guess what, I was in the bus that was heading to office, and those loud and wild laughters were from my fellow passengers, and they kept bursting into laughters as I smashed my forehead into the seat in front of me, and kept repeating ‘I am awake, I am awake!”

That whole damn thing was a dream!
I felt very embarrassed and stopped taking bus to my office from that day.

Nowadays I walk all the way to office. Because those loud and wild laughters are lingering in my head even while I am walking to office, it makes me wonder if I am sleepwalking AND dreaming!

There is a positive side of the story, I must say. The thing about German public transportation: I both admire, and hate it at the same time.
They are so cozy that even an hour of head smacking against the seat I was sitting behind, and the bus did three rounds and went past my office thrice, it was not enough to wake me up. So cozy they are! 😀
(PS: Incident: Fictional. Content: Original!)