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For A Moment..
The boy didn’t utter a word..
Slowly composing himself..
He started talking..
Breaking the silence there..
Melting the hearts there..
Touching the lives there..
Wetting the eyes there..
Triggering tears there..
Here’s what he had talked..
“Anna, I may not be knowing the literal meaning of ‘Janana marana bhaya soka vidhooram’, but, I know it’s practical meaning, Anna.. I know what death (maranam) means and I also know what it means when it delivers a deadly blow not on the life of it’s victim, but, on the lives of those associated with the victim.
I also know, Anna, how much unbearable sorrow (sokam) a death causes to those associated with the death’s victim.. Because, Anna, am one such associate of a victim of death in my own family..
Anaa, like for many in this world my Mother too is my strength, my everything; my light and my source of living.. It was she who had introduced me to music and it was she, who through her music had introduced me to my Lord Srirama Chandra Murthy..
For my Mother, Anna,
Rama was not just a God, but, a way of living, Who would lead her from the front;
An Antidote, Who would alleviate her pain;
A Healer Who would remover her sorrow;
A Father, Who would listen to her inner voice;
A Mother, Who would take her pain away;
A Friend, Who would share her joy;
A Shadow, Who would never leave her;
And a Torchbearer, Who would light her path and show her the way.
Anna, all through her life, my Mother had gone through enormous pain and suffering, but, she would never share it with anyone not even with my Father or with her father but only with her Rama, my Rama and our Rama.
However, during that sharing, Anna, my Mother would never weep nor present before Him a long list of her problems..
Instead, she would just humbly place her problems like flowers at His Divine Lotus Feet, through her singing, and would pray for His mercy not to remove her problems but to give her the strength to face the problems..
She was not only a noble lady, Anna, but was an outstanding singer too with a mystic voice.. She used to sing many Thyagaeaja krithis and Bhakta Ramadas Keertanas not just to praise her Rama but to share with Him her inner pain and silent suffering.
That’s the only way she would see her Rama and show me too.. Every time she would sing any Krithi or Keerthana, the voice vibration in her singing would draw a picture of Rama in front of my eyes which I could clearly see in sync with the bhava (expression or feeling) in her singing.
She used to sing Sri Thyagaraja’s “Marugela raa O’ Raghavaa” Keerthana in Jayantha Sree raagam, whenever she would feel lonely despite all of us being around her, and invite her Rama to come and sit before her..
To my utter astonishment, Anna,
The Sita Sameta Sri Ramachandra Prabhu would come and sit beside her.. I used to see the Divine Couple in dazzling Silk robes and Rama, with His mercy filled eyes, looking at my Mother to prove to her that she’s not alone and He’s always there with her.
On some other day, whenever she’s in any helpless situation, Anna, my Mother would sing, in Raag Khamas, the famous Mysore Vasudevachar Krithi, “Broche varevvaru raa, ninu vinaa Raghuvara” and I would see a fully armed Raghuveera Sri Ramachandra Murthy standing beside her to prove to her that He’s always there protecting her.
And, whenever she’s in any joyous mood, Anna, my Mother would sing Bhakta Ramadas’s “Paahi rama prabho’ paahi Raama prabho’.. Paahi Bhadradri vaidehi rama prabho” in Raag Madhyamavathi and I used to see a fully impressed Dasaratha Nanadana Sri Ramachandra Prabhu looking at her with a gentle smile.
Anna, my family is an ordinary middle class family.. My father, Sri Someswar Rao’s income was never sufficient..
Like darkness and light in nature, misery and money too were two different shades of our life.. Still, my Mother used to face all the problems with a simple smile.. Today, I would say her Rama would give her the power to smile.
And whenever there’s any shortage of money for needs at home, Anna, she would sing in Raag Atana the amazing Thyagaraja keertana, “Yelaa nee daya raadoo, paraku jese vela samayamoo kaadu” and I used to see Asritha Vatsala Sri Ramachandra Murthy coming and showering flowers on her.
After about an hour that day, miraculously so, someone would come from somewhere to our house, Anna, and would offer some money to our Father and go.. This happened not once but many times and every time I would see our Bhagawan Srirama Chandra Murthy in that stranger.
it was raining heavily and there was pitch darkness all around in our area due to power failure.. My Father went out on some office work, that evening, and didn’t return home till 10.30 pm.
Normally he would never stay out beyond 8 p.m, but, on that day he again went out on some urgent work, after coming home at 6.30, and didn’t return home till 10.30 pm.
Anxiously waiting for him, my Mother was a worried lady, so, was I, because, of darkness and heavy rain outside.
At one point,
Unable to withstand my fear, I told my Mother, “Amma, this darkness is too frightening for me to bear with.. When will Father come.. If he’s here I wouldn’t be fearing so much.. Where did he go”.
Without uttering a word, my Mother quietly took me to our Puja room and increasing the brightness of the ‘Akhanda Deepam’ (an eternal burning oil lamp) there, she started singing, in Raag Vasantha Bhairavi, the great Thyagaraja keerthana, “Nee daya raadaa, Raama, nee daya raadaa”.
Amazed with her mellifluous rendering more so with her audacity to sing a song during such a frighteningly dark situation, I was admiring my Mother with wonder filled eyes.
Suddenly, while singing the last stanza, “Rama, Rama, Raama, Raaamaa, Thyagaraja hrith sadanaa.. Naa madi talla dillagaaa, nyayamaa raa vegame.. Nee daya raadaa” she broke down into inconsolable tears worrying about my Father..
(Meaning : Rama, Rama, Raama, Raamaaa, the One Who resides in the heart of Thyagaraja; my heart is aching.. Is it fair not to show mercy now.. Please come soon)
Unable to know how to respond to that unprecedented situation of my life, I too started weeping trying to console my Mother.. Exactly, at that same moment, we heard a knocking on our door accompanied by my Father’s voice calling my Mother by her name, “Lakshmi”.
Quickly getting up from the floor, we both went running to the main door and in one go have opened it.. To our sheer happiness, our fully drenched Father was standing outside the door with another man standing much behind him in rain at the main gate.
Quickly moving aside, my Mother paved way to my Father, but, I just stood at the door, unmoved like a rock, looking straight at that strange looking man standing in darkness and rain at our gate.
He too was looking at me..
We looked at each other quietly for some time.. I noticed a great glow in his face and a greater brightness in his eyes which I could clearly notice even in that darkness..
Inside the house, my Father was telling my Mom, “My work was complete long ago, but, I could not immediately find a Cycle Rickshaw to come home.. No Rickshaw fella was ready to come this far due to heavy rain and I could not dare to walk not only due to rain but also due to the distance.
As I was haplessly waiting under a bus shelter there, this fellow suddenly came from nowhere, and even before I could ask him, said, “I know your house.. Come with me, I will take you there”.. Saying so, he safely brought me home today.. Else God knows what would have happened to me this night, Lakshmi”.
My Father was still telling something to my Mother and my Mother too was telling something to my Father, but, I didn’t pay much much attention to their conversation, instead, kept looking at that man with increasing curiosity.
After a few seconds, I slowly walked to that man, with no fear whatsoever, and standing right in front of him and looking fearlessly into his eyes, asked him, “what’s your name”.
Smiling gently and also looking straight into my eyes, he said “Ramachandrudu”.. For a moment my whole body shuddered with jerks.. I just kept looking at him with awe and dismay..
Then, looking deeper into my eyes, without even battling his eyelids, he said, “it’s raining heavily here with a lot of winds.. Not good for health.. Go inside”.. Saying so, he slowly turned away from me and started walking out of the gate.. However,
I didn’t move..
Didn’t move a bit..
Didn’t want to move at all..
I just wanted to stand there at the entrance and keep looking at him forever and ever.
Without looking back..
He started walking..
And was walking,
As though he owns this Earth..
As though he controls everything..
As though he rules the eight sides of this Universe..
As though he is the Commander – In – Chief of the Cosmic forces.
And while walking so..
Slowly turned back..
Looked at me..
Kept looking at me for a couple of seconds..
Suddenly, there was a huge lightning..
Followed by a huger thunder..
I quickly closed my eyes and opened them as quickly..
And looked at his eyes..
There was great brightness in them..
As I was so looking at them..
His face slowly started turning into Golden Yellow color..
And started glittering much brighter than Gold..
It all happened in about a few seconds of time..
Smiling at me..
He suddenly turned away..
And started walking off..
I tried to run behind him, but, I couldn’t move my feet an inch..
Standing haplessly there..
Looking helplessly at him..
And, finally, falling down on my knees..
I started silently reciting my favorite Srirama sloka that my beloved Mother taught me..
“Sri Raghavam Dasarathaatmajam Aprameyam.. Sitapathim Raghu Kulanvaya Ratna Deepam.. Aajanubaahum Aravinda Dalaya Taaksham Ramam Nisachara Vinasakaram Namami”
Continued in the next part of this story that I would be posting after a week.