Monday, February 1, 2016

An earthquake and some tremors of love

The novel, Black Hole, continues.

For those who came in late, the story so far:  Kailash Public School in Delhi is donated to Devlok Ashram by Sitaram Rana.  The Ashram was founded by Kailash Baba with the generous collaboration of Aaron Matthews from London as well as Amarjeet who succeeded Kailash as the Baba and Mahendra Rana.  Ishan is one of the teachers in Kailash School whose spirituality is stirred by the new happenings. Nitin Jain is the son of Amarjeet who will succeed him as the Baba.

Read on:

While Nitin Jane was growing up into Nitin Jain, Mahendra Rana had discovered that he had been a father all the while he was living in Devlok ashram lamenting in the privacy of his heart the infertility of his wife, Deepali.

The earthquake that rocked Delhi and a lot of other places did not leave Devlok untouched.  Kailash Baba was delivering a meditation on serenity when the rumble started.  He asked the people to maintain peace and decorum.  But when the rumble refused to stop in spite of the Baba’s demand for peace and decorum, the devotees started rushing out. 

It took a few hours for the news to reach that the epicentre was Quetta where thousands of people were killed.  The earthquake had shaken violently the entire northern part of the subcontinent.   It shook Mahendra Rana’s memories too.

Some damages were reported from Kurukshetra too though there were no human casualties.  The gentle, dove-like face of Deepali, his wife, suddenly rose in his mind. 

It was more than a decade since he had left his home.  He realised with a tremor in his heart that he had never missed his family members while he was in Devlok.  “Is this the meaning of spirituality?”  He asked himself.  “Not missing your loved ones?”

Mohandas Gandhi was in Sabarmati jail to demand humane treatment for Ghaffar Khan who had been asked to sleep on the ground.   How could Gandhi have so much affection for so many people including the Mohammedans?  Mahendra could not get an answer to that question though he had put it to himself many times.  The earthquake had stirred some feelings within him for his own family at least.

“Are they safe?”  Mahendra tried to brush aside the question that rose within him again and again.

“I must visit my family members.”  He went to Kailash Baba and declared his apprehensions about his people in Kurukshetra.
 
“If you wish to visit them, what prevents you from going?” asked the Baba.

Didn’t the Baba ever miss his family members?  Mahendra wondered again and again as he sat in the bus that crawled along towards Kurukshetra, the place that he had forgotten for a long period but beckoned him now with a strange fascination.

It took him a while to understand the reason for that fascination.   He had a son waiting for him in Kurukshetra.  The day he left his home and people, his wife vomited.  When she vomited again, the local vaidya was sent for. 

“She is pregnant,” the vaidya declared after examining Deepali.
 
Sitaram Rana was born about seven months after his father abandoned the family in pursuit of what the boy’s grandfather later described as “his personal pleasures.” 

The boy grew up to resemble his father in every detail.

“This child is the reincarnation of his father,” declared  grandfather Rana who went on to take the liberty to assume that the father must be dead.  “How can he be reborn unless he is dead?”  So he arranged a priest to conduct the funerary rites of Mahendra Rana.

When Mahendra Rana appeared from nowhere after more than a decade of his presumed death, the family was thrown into a brief turmoil.  They forgot the funerary rites quickly and forgave him for imposing such a rite on them.
 
“My son, my son!”  He kissed the boy again and again.  He suddenly realised that he had a heart after all.  “I will make you a great man.”  He vowed solemnly putting his hand on the boy’s head.
 
“If only you had given me that son a little earlier,” he told his wife that night when they were alone.  “A few days earlier!”  And he kissed her.  He felt the stirring of love within his body.  The love turned into tremors in their bodies.  Deepali looked younger by a few years the next morning. 

When he returned to Devlok Ashram, Mahendra Rana was an altered man.  He had a reason to live now.  He had to live for his son.  The first thing he did was to erect walls around a large area of the Asola forest adjacent to Devlok.  “My son will need it,” he explained to Amarjeet. 


*

PREVIOUS PARTS

Chapter 1: The Original Sin


Chapter 2: A Gospel

2.2 Dkhar
     2.4 Cry from Calvary
     2.5 The Lost Sheep
     2.8 The Y Chromosome
     
     Chapter 3: Heart of Darkness
     3.1 Heart of Darkness


4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes.
      And these sons are important in the novel since it is they who kill Kailash Public School...

      Delete
  2. We all are sort of opportunists. Mr Rana's mind changed at the turn of events! :D

    Nicely penned!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't call it opportunism. Meaning in life is an illusive thing. For people like Mr Rana it is nothing more than reproduction and prolongation of self!

      Delete

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