Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A Collection of True Stories - Part V

When I was led by an Unknown Beam of Light – a true story
By Vijay Khosla (Part –V of the Story)

I covered rest of the stairs with shaky and wobbling legs. The moment we reached the plain mountain road, we left the stairs thankfully and opted to walk down the safe gravel filled pathway. Aunt Nirmala cautioned me to keep on chanting the mantra ‘Jai Mata Di’ with each breath religiously.

We kept on walking with a never ending chant of ‘Jai Mata Di’. It was almost dark now. There was no moonlight and visibility was getting poorer and poorer. Come to think of it, I have a vivid memory that perhaps we were only the two souls, going down the hill on that fateful night. Because we did not hear any chant of ‘Jai Mata Di’ either ahead of us or behind.

Occasionally, we did find the people climbing up the hill. They were all in small groups of eight to ten people. Some of the groups were carrying the drums which they were beating along the chants of ‘Jai Mata Di’, while others were carrying battery torches to light the kutcha mountain path. We were the exception, a forlorn odd pair who neither had any torch nor any drum and on top of that we were descending the hill, not ascending like others. At times it felt strange when no group of devotees crossed us for a stretch of fifteen to twenty minutes. Those stretches felt very lonely. Yet we kept on walking down the hill. I was leading and aunt Nirmala was following me. The sound of our chants of ‘Jai Mata Di’ was getting reverted back as a ricochet in the mountains.

We were continuing our journey as usually that at one place aunt Nirmala halted and asked me to hold the other end of her bamboo staff as she was finding it difficult to see her surroundings in the darkness. She wanted me to lead her down the mountain path by holding her staff, as anybody would do to guide a blind man to cross the road. Now, I carried my bamboo stick in my left hand and caught the other end of her staff in my right and led her. We continued our trek down the hill chanting ‘Jai Mata Di’ as before.

The path was showered with gravels of all sizes. It was pitch-dark now. Aunt Nirmala advised to remain nearer on the mountain side as a safety measure. A few lights twinkled far off down the mountains and we knew that place to be as ‘Ardh Kuwari’. However, there were no other option open to us except to continue walking.

 I was starting to worry about aunt Nirmala as I noticed that she was not chanting the mantra as vigorously as she was doing it earlier. She was just holding the bamboo staff and trodding down the hill behind me with her head bowed down. We did make a few halts to recover breathes and sat down on stone boulders by the roadside. I knew her to be old and tired, yet we continued with our journey.

We were going down the hill with that incessant chant of Jai Mata Di on my lips, when suddenly I noticed that a faint yet clearly visible circle of ‘greenish light’ had appeared in front of my steps mysteriously. The circle of greenish light was like a beam of torch light but with out any visible beam. It was just a small rounded patch of bluish-green light on the ground which was lighting my path a step ahead of me. I was able to see each and every pebble distinctly in that light.

I was perfectly perplexed and astonished at this.

I looked around to find the source of light. But there was none to be found. It was simply a circle of strange bluish-greenish light moving just a step ahead of me. I looked back at aunt Nirmala several times to check if she was doing this or if she was aware of the things happening!

 But, No! there was nothing unusual. She was walking behind me with her bowed head in perfect innocence. To test that guiding light, I even stopped on the way twice. And it stopped too. Aunt Nirmala inquired, but somehow something stopped me from declaring the source and strange working of that miraculous light !

My heart was telling me that aunt Nirmala is the reason and this noble and pious beam of light has arrived to accompany us and guide us to the safety. I did not understand the source of that light, but it was clear to me that it has come to help us. I offered my salutations to that beam of light several times from the inner core of my heart!

I was completely overwhelmed by this miracle! It was beyond a young man’s comprehension.

I was unable to think anymore. Probably, I started chanting ‘Jai Mata Di’ with such fervor that all time limits and surroundings lost their meaning to me. I got drowned myself in the echo of that most holy and pious chant. I did not know anything else. I was following that guiding beam of light blindly with the incessant chant of ‘Jai Mata Di’ on my lips.  

I was lost to everything else and immune to my surroundings in that dark night. I never wanted that moment to end.

Under the influence of this unknown realm, how we reached ‘Ardh Kuwari’, cannot be explained in words. However, this much I remember that before reaching ‘Ardh Kuwari’, aunt Nirmala asked me to leave her staff as she wishes to walk again on her own as she can see her surroundings a little bit better. Hearing that, I put her bamboo staff on the ground and turned to walk towards ‘Ardh Kuwari’.

Lo, behold! The beam of light was gone!

It was no where to be seen. As if it had meant to give us company up to ‘Ardh Kuwari’ only, or perhaps there was some indescribable connection between holding aunt Nirmala’s bamboo staff (in my hands) and the moment I had put it on ground before Ardh Kuwari. Remember, that beam of light had arrived after holding that bamboo staff in my hands. 
Well, whatever the truth might be, the 'charisma' will remain through out my life!
We had reached ‘Ardh Kuwari’ and aunt Nirmala ordered to make a halt for the night. I was tired as well as rightly impressed by that beam of light. The spell of that strange walk under the guidance of that benign 'light' was still afresh in my mind. I gladly accepted her advice and we stayed for the night at ‘Ardh Kuwari’.   

While trying to keep myself warm in the blankets at mid-night and sleep, I kept thinking about that beam of light and aunt Nirmala…. and slept pondering these…. tired but peacefully!

                                                                                                                               Cont'd to Part- VI

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