I hear the chantings and the sublime aura fills my soul with thoughts of a different kind. From my room in this remote hill town, I can view a landscape that I’ve only ever imagined all these years. It is summer now and the emerald hills are beckoning to me—their allure so powerful, that I have no qualms about shaking everything off, that ties me to this life of commitments, responsibilities, duties and endless chores and take that step into the Great Beyond—into that journey of a lifetime. This is one journey that has always intrigued me, and now, as each day passes, I feel I’m only getting increasingly closer to it.
But, here’s an honest confession. I am held by the many ties that pin me down here and now, and I cherish them all. The bonds are my weakness, and some days, they make me feel like I belong here, with them forever. And then, there are times when I feel my heart and soul belong elsewhere—in another realm—and I am just another visitor here, who came in search for truths that we all seem to deliberate upon, most of the time but without reaching any conclusive answers.
I loved these introspections ever since I learnt to think about things, for myself, which must have been around age 9 or 10. That was when I realised that I had an entire world inside my head that would keep me company, even when I’d be in a room full of people. Perhaps, that was why Dad used to fondly refer to me the philosopher of the family. As a child, I always came up with questions popping up one too many, that my parents often found rather perplexing. (coming from a child). Dad did his best to answer some my questions but, honestly, I was never quite happy with his answers either. It did however deepen my curiosity even further, which then made me figure out ways to find my own answers. A few years later, I found myself gravitating towards Philosophy as one of my core subjects in College, and it helped provide a fair bit of understanding of the basic concepts about life, religion, metaphysics, ethics and so on. I’d often venture into this amazing place in Kolkata, that book lovers know as College Street, where I happily got engulfed in the sea of second-hand books. Such fond memories of those years, now!
So much has changed in life since then. And I’ve changed too, bit by bit, with the passage of time, metamorphosing into someone who has come a long way. But then again, in many ways, I haven’t altered much. That quest in my head continues even today. On quiet mornings, in that sanctuary of peace, when I send out my morning prayers into the Universe, I seek many of the answers that I was seeking then, as a child. And then, once in a while, I also get an occasional glimpse of that road, that lies waiting for me, somewhere—the road that I must take one day, to step beyond all my earthly sensations and sentiments that happens to be my entire world right now.
The mind questions me endlessly about the things that I do every day— it prods me to question if there is any meaning or purpose in all the busy-ness that keeps me occupied all day. Is it meaningful? Is it my real purpose in life? Is that what my soul was meant to do?
I don’t have the answers yet, but I hope to, someday. So many questions flood the mind, rising and falling, like waves on a seashore, where I am but a traveller, looking for pebbles and perhaps, some bit of wisdom.
Until I do, I shall live in hope. Meanwhile, the journey continues.
Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday freewriting exercise—a concept ideated by Vinitha, Shilpa and yours truly.