Aimless, nonsensical, and even cryptic as the initial lines of my story/ realization may appear, I beg the reader to patiently continue reading till the end. I promise that after the first half, things will begin to get clearer, and all the preceeding paragraphs will begin to make sense. Comments and criticism welcome...
Let me tell you a bit about my house.
No, that would be an inaccurate statement. Actually years ago, I had wanted to leave home to come and stay in this City, and I wanted my own house to stay in. Since I could not get one on my own, my best Friend (through his Agency) realized my need and lent me this house.
There is supposed to be one other resident in the building, but I have never seen him leave his quarters and I have never been much inclined to meet him. So for all practical purposes, the entire house is at my disposal and I consider it my own.
The term house would probably do it injustice, because it is actually a multi-storeyed structure. A palatial dwelling, and more so, an engineering and technological marvel. It has its own fully automated generator to supply power to the entire house, though as you’d expect, it requires a steady supply of fuel. The waste disposal systems (also fully automated) are situated on the lower levels. The ventilation systems that provide pure and fresh air, the automatic temperature control systems, the multimedia systems...I won’t bore you with details, because you must be familiar with such things. After all, most modern houses like yours must have them.
When I first entered it, surprisingly, it was bare, devoid of anything. Over the years, I elaborately decorated it, especially the exterior, with the finest paint and fittings. I admit that I may have even overdone it, but after all, I am extremely proud of my house and have always wanted everyone in Society to admire it, praise it...and even envy it.
But decades have passed since I have come to stay in this house, and now the wear and tear in its structure has begun to show through. Some of it I am able to mend and put right. Often at great expense and pain.
Some of the wear and tear is irreparable and I just try and conceal it by painting over it, knowing fully that it will continue to exist and even worsen with time.
Some of the wear and tear resists even the cosmetic facade and remains in full view, for everyone to see.
And yet I could not have hoped for a better house. It has everything I need.
My favourite part of the house is the Office. Situated on the top floor, initially this room struck me as an architectural oddity, but now I find it delightfully convenient. The Office has designated areas for all the activities that I am interested in: my work, music, movies, reading etc. Whenever I want to indulge in any of my interests, e.g. Movies, all I have to do is to go to that section, decide what I want to see, access the necessary resources and voila, 9 out of 10 times I can acquire and enjoy it.
I also discovered that the architects had allocated a special section of the Office to something that I had never expected. They have actually designated an area, a considerably large space, for the planning and development of a very special kind of activity!
That activity, which acts as a source of the greatest material pleasure known to man, and for the propagation of one’s kind.
An activity that has always been indulged in, more for the former purpose than the latter.
Business and pleasure, both in the same premises, I reflected, when I first saw it.
It is with some disconcertment that I admit, that I have found more use for this section than I had earlier thought I would...
More importantly, the Office is the seat of all my work. It has a huge database where all sorts of information is stored. It is also here that I conceive all my ideas and desired projects, design plans on how to achieve them finally give directions to my necessary subordinates to implement them. Having successfully achieved the results, I enjoy the fruits of my endeavours in this room.
Sometimes this room abounds with projects that result in wholesome, gratifying, activities. Activities that are both, good for myself, and everyone else.
And sometimes I fill it with sheer rot.
One may think that with a house like that, life must be an inexhaustible fount of bliss, regardless of anything.
But alas, abominable plans result in abominable activities and in consequence, abominable results. The Office is also the place where I suffer those results, from to time.
The pain is often severe, agonizing and seemingly unending. I try my level best to escape this room and its pain. But I find that I cannot do so; I am bound to the room; I am a prisoner in this house. I feel utterly lonely, helpless and desperate. At these times, I hate this house and sometimes even desire to destroy it.
Sometimes I also find that the pain is not always as a result of my own plans. And sometimes I commit deeds that I have never even planned out; in fact without even wanting to. And yet, I must suffer their painful, undesirable results. That is the time I get confounded, frustrated and I rave and rant even more.
Now is one such moment.
As I sit in my desolation, a voice meanders across the hallways from one of the distant rooms below, whispering to me that this is untrue. My suffering is as a result of some of the plans I had made and acted upon when I used to stay in a different house, from the past, that I am unable to remember right now.
The voice also reminds me that by very virtue of staying in this house, some of the things that happen will be within my control and some will not.
The enjoyment that I derive from this house will also be accompanied by pain. I will have to take the rough with the smooth. The latter cannot exist without the former.
I scream out to the voice in anguish, ‘Then enough! I have had enough! I am tired of this house and its many different rooms. I want to be rid of this house, and all such houses forever. I want to go back from where I came. I want to go back...home...please...’
But the voice then reminds me of the deal on the basis of which I got this house. I may have taken residence in this house out of my own free will, but I cannot leave it without my debts being paid. By my very existence in this house, I have generated debts of alarming proportions, which must be paid if I wanted to quit this residence forever.
The voice however continues gently, that I could also achieve the same with the help of my best Friend. The same Friend, who helped me get this house.
Eager to know more, I stagger and stumble and finally find my way towards that room from where the voice originates.
To my surprise, I realize that this room is inhabited by the same Friend who lent me this house. Unbeknownst to me, He is the other Person who has been staying with me all along and giving me company in this house.
I slowly approach and sit at the entrance of the room. I am unable to enter it out of shame. For all these years, I had almost forgotten that this room and my Friend had even existed.
Over decades, I was immersed in developing, beautifying and catering to all the different rooms in this house (and the activities therein): the movie room, the bedroom, the music room etc!
And the most important room and its Resident, I had sorely ignored...
In a soft, almost inaudible voice, I ask the Resident, will I ever be free of this house? Will I ever be able to leave this house and all of its kind, and go back home, to stay with Him?
I cry out to Him, ‘Release me Krishna, or I shall destroy this prison-house and myself!’
His gentle and compassionate voice replies:
Shed this weakness, my beloved friend; cast these ignoble thoughts aside,
Live thy life as per My wishes, and let My Divine Song be thy guide.
Let My service and remembrance, direct thee in every deed,
Fear not, and be steadfast, for I shall fulfil thy every need.
Let the sound of My holy Name, resonate in thy every room,
Its glory will truly dispel thy dark thoughts of impending doom.
No longer will this house a prison be, My temple t’will be, to the core,
For My effulgence will reign in every cell; peace and joy forever more.
And one day My gentle call, will fall upon thy surprised ear,
A dark shadow that is feared by most, but to thee t’will bring immense cheer.
This mortal body- thy home for decades, thou shalt leave with no regret,
For every mortal duty thou shalt have fulfilled, and the same with every debt.
No house will then ever confine thee, for thou shalt have finally attained Me,
With Me and My Devotees in My Abode, thou shalt reside till eternity.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare