Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mahendra and Amarjeet

This is the next part of the novel, Black Hole

Synopsis of the story hitherto:

Kailash Public School, Delhi, is handed over to Devlok Ashram by the owner, Sitaram Rana.  Devlok was founded by Kailash Baba, the patriotic flavour of whose indeterminate quest was transmuted into spirituality after witnessing the assault of Lala Lajpat Rai in Lahore by the British Imperial Police.

The following section brings two more salient followers to Devlok.


3  Mahendra and Amarjeet

Mahendra Rana and Amarjeet Boprai were two of the many hundreds of people who came to listen to the divine revelations of Kailash Baba.  Among the hundreds stood out Aaron Matthews with his fair British complexion tanned heavily by the Delhi summer.

Mahendra Rana had left his family behind in his native Kurukshetra and reached Delhi with the passion of patriotism spilling out of his Kshatriya veins.  “It is the duty of a Kshatriya to fight,” he told his father when the latter advised him to devote himself like a sensible man to the family occupation of supervising the peasants on their extensive fields.  The fields had begun to lose their charm quite a while ago.  “For whom should I work so much?”  That was the question which had been bothering Mahendra with rapidly rising intensity.  Almost two decades had passed since his marriage and he could not produce offspring.  There was no sign of his wife imbibing even a tiny fraction of the fertility of their lands.  Having failed in his spousal dharma, Mahendra decided to focus on his Kshatriya dharma.  The Congress was the duty of every Kshatriya, every warrior, according to Mahendra.  Gandhi was the warlord.  He imagined Gandhi sitting on the back of a horse, armoured to the hilt, carrying a sword aloft and leading thousands of Indians in the battle against their firangi oppressors.  But his very first encounter with Gandhi took out the surge from his veins which had been inflated with patriotic tides.  A man who was practically naked.  A man whose voice sounded more like a feeble village woman’s than that of the warlord Mahendra had conjured up in his imagination, tired and middle-aged as it was. 

Disillusioned, Mahendra was sitting on the lawns of Jantar Mantar thinking of how he would go back home and face his father.  “Good for nothing,” his father would mock him.  “Has come back after another adventure in laziness.”  It is then he noticed a young man speaking vivaciously to a group of equally young men. 

“The Baba is a miracle worker.  He may achieve what Gandhi will not.”

Mahendra dragged himself closer to the group of young men.  “We belong to a country where battles were led by gods like Rama and Krishna.  Didn’t Krishna promise that he would incarnate again and again whenever there was a decay of righteousness for the protection of the good and the destruction of the wicked?”

“Who is this Baba that you were speaking about?”  Mahendra asked the young man when the group had dispersed and the young man had taken out a cigarette from a packet which bore the picture of a bearded man with a cap against the background of a sea with a ship on his each side.

Thus it was that Mahendra Rana of Kurukshetra learnt about Kailash Baba of Devlok from Amarjeet Boprai of Lahore.

Amarjeet had just completed his graduation in English literature from St Stephen’s College, Delhi.  He would mention the name of the college proudly since he could not mention the fact that he had secured only a poor third division.  The third division rankled in his heart, however.   That third division in English literature alone was enough for him to hate the English people.  But he had more reasons, however.  Kipling and his white man’s burden, for example. 

Amarjeet Boprai was sent by his parents to study in Delhi so that he would redress the damage done to the family history by his uncle, Kailashputar Boprai, who chose to run away from manly duties and live in a forest like a rat in its hole.  The family was not aware of the godhood that Kailash Baba had achieved.  But Amarjeet had learnt about his uncle while he was doing his final phase of ploughing with E. M. Forster and Joseph Conrad.  He hated Forster for implying that India was more a muddle than a mystery.  He hated Conrad for suggesting that the non-Europeans had hearts filled with darkness.  In fact, he found little to love in all the English literature he studied. 

His uncle, the personification of divinity, towered above all the literature.

Together they, Mahendra and Amarjeet, visited Devlok.  Aaron Matthews was there before them.
 
“The human mind is plagued by five perversions,” Kailash Baba was preaching to the multitude of his devotees.  “Kam, krodh, lobh, moh, ahankar – lust, anger, greed, attachment and egotism.”  The Baba dealt with each perversion in detail.  “These are five different modes of destructive mental activity.  They are modes of obsession.  They are deadly diseases.  They lead to the dissolution of the self.  Their end is darkness and despair.  But they do not enter our souls uninvited.  We let them in.  We let them in through the nine orifices in our body: the eyes, the ears, the nostrils, the mouth, the sex organ and the rectum.  Becoming the master of the soul is the art of shutting these orifices so that the world does not enter the consciousness.  When the world is shut out, the consciousness focuses itself on the self...”

Aaron Matthews was making notes in a book. 



Next: Aaron Matthews




6 comments:

  1. Interesting characterization of Mahendra and Amarjeet.The Boprai males have the streak of restlessness in them. Curious to know about the women in the household.

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    1. Their women won't appear much in the novel, Sunaina. Sorry to disappoint you. But the men are sure to entertain you a lot more :)

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  2. Now you have me intrigued. :( so much completing my paper, I shall read the past links.

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    1. Glad to hear that, Sharmila. I'm sure I won't disappoint you. This novel is probably the only novel I will ever write. It means a lot to me.

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  3. The story is coming out well :)
    Eagerly waiting for the next part :)

    p.s. Flipkart has again delayed your book which I had ordered :(

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    1. Starting with the PS part of your comment, I must say that the whole sales system of the book went awry. Yesterday I received a mail from another person who tried to order one copy and got two (paid for both) because of poor payment portal. But none of these sales are reflected in the website!

      The real protagonist of my novel is Religion. The case is not different with the stories too. So I have reasons to guess that there are ulterior forces at play. Let it be. And that's one reason why I'm blogging this novel!

      And the next part is reaching you in a couple of minutes :)

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