WHEN FATALITY MAKES YOU REALIZE EMOTIONAL FUTILITY
It was a hard Monday morning for us, harder than any other we have ever possibly encountered; running from the hospital to the mortuary to the funeral home, trying to figure out what needed to be done, while still trying to grapple with the harshest reality that she was not here for us to call, or reach out to for comfort, for advice, guidance - because she was actually gone from our realm. Our pillar, our rock, our teacher, our Mahima ji was gone and we had to live on, inspite of that ! Every breath was painful, words were enveloped in gasps, and as we sat in the car, at 3:45 in the afternoon, in downtown Mountain view, we silently sought refuge in the fact that we were going to be late for the show - the world famous Pam Pam show - the stress buster of a show that she had designed for every bandhu to forget their distress and actually de-stress for those few minutes that they brought us into their lives. How, oh how could we go and do a happy show? Neither of us said a word, how we got to San Jose is still a haze, but we were jolted out of our reverie, when both of us exclaimed - "What ? 3:55 ?". How was that even possible - there is no way that one could get to Tully Road on 101s in peak hour traffic from Downtown Mountain view in 10 mins. We began to panic as we did not know what or how we would do the show. Per her plan, it would have been Magnificent Monday's - the theme she had picked as part of our monthly program agenda. But here we were, feeling melancholic, morose, morbid and there was not one fiber of our being that was not feeling drained, beat and hopeless. We pulled into the parking lot still trying to find comprehensible words to talk to each other about the show. I suddenly found the courage to say - "you know she used to say the show has to go on.... so let's think fast !" And I rushed away towards the water dispenser almost hoping Altu would go into the studio and start the show; but he followed right behind, hoping the same and why not? Both of us were drained, parched, tears had run dry, even saliva was refusing to go down the huge lumps of grief we felt in our throats, and whoever said, "emotional hurt is painful" must have experienced the loss of a loved one. We stood in silence at the dispenser, it was 4:03, the board operator texted us saying we had 4 mins to "show time" - that's all the time he could buy us with commercials and a song. As we looked up at each other, we broke into uncontrollable sobs, which we quickly hushed up, as we heard voices down the corridor. He turned around the corner and we hurried to make our way to the studio down the other corridor, when he marched up to us and said, with a very stern face, "what are you doing here ? It's 4:05 - is it not time for your show ?". We nodded and I managed to mutter, "Master ji, Aapko shaayad maaloom hai (you possibly know..)..." and he cut me off mid sentence, "haan maaloom hai, aur bahut dukh Hua (yes I know and it was very distressing) ... par ... aapko Jaake show Karna Chahiye ... (you should go and do your show) ... bilkul waise hi jaise woh chaahti hogi ki aap Kare ... (exactly the way she would have wanted you to)". Tears rolled down my eyes as Altu held on to me as I shook with grief, and Master Deepak stood in front of me, unmoved, as he continued speaking, "Jitna Rona hai Abhi in 13 Dino mein ro lo ( cry to your hearts content in the next 13 days ) par usi samay jo jo Kaam Mahima ji Ka most important Adhura Reh Gaya ho use inhi 13 days ke andar pura kar dena..... woh Yehin pe hain.... unki aatma 13 Dinon tak aap ke around hi hogi, toh unko jo Pasand Hoga waise hi karna, aur isiliye keh raha hoon ... aansoon ponch lo ... Mahima ji Ka station aa Gaya woh utar gayi ... hum Sab Ka aayega ...train Chalti rahegi..... (but during this time, do everything that she would have wanted you to do, the soul is around you and she's watching you, do everything that would please her, fulfill her wishes, and let her go, since her stop on this train journey has come - she had to get off... each of us has to at our respective stops ... this train will keep going ...)".
We stood transfixed, it was almost as if Time stood still, as we heard the board operator down the hallway yell, "guys - a minute and fifteen seconds ..". Master Deepakji smiled at us, the same way Mahima ji would, patted me on the shoulder and said, "Jao, aapki Vani aapka sabse bada astra hai, jab aap Bolte ho, log sunte hain, khushiyaa baanto... Rona nahin.... Khushi khushi Mahima Ka show Karo (Go, your voice is your best aide, when you speak, people listen, so use it to spread cheer, joy, and don't cry; go and do a Mahima show happily")!
We hurriedly thanked him as we rushed to the show. He did not meet anyone, did not drink water (since the water dispenser is where he was headed) and he walked out to the main foyer, and stood there watching us through the glass as we began our show, and then after about five mins of just watching us, he walked away. We never met him after that much, never had really spent much time with him before, never really even had a conversation to this effect, but that day remains etched in our memory. He mentioned just once, briefly to us, that he felt compelled to walk around the corner of that corridor that day, and to say the things he did to us. We attribute it to "Mahima (Divine Grace)". For us, he will always be the person who gave us the "mahima" that fateful Monday. Today, September 5, 2017, Master Deepakji arrived at his stop and he disembarked our mortal train. It is hard to comprehend how he departed, but we just have this to say, to everyone that has known him, because this message that we want to share rings true yet again : it is futile to wonder about what people say, how they behave, why they do what they do, and for us to react to what they say and do, because all it takes is one fatal incident to make us realize how insignificant everything else is when compared to "life and love". While it is sad that we couldn't travel farther with you on this train of life, sir, In your own words, "Master Deepakji, Aapko Hamaari shubhkaamnaayein Mangalkaamnaayein" - may your soul and those who departed with you today on Rte 33 rest in eternal peace !