The sage of X-Point sat on the culvert at the cross roads, cross legged with a plain visage and a composed gaze, concentrating completely on the maid buying karela yards off. In front of him was a little less holy, but nonetheless holy disciple, squatting. Worshipful, deferential and all attention.
A passing crow lightened itself. The reverent found himself at the wrong spot. At the wrong moment. A groan, a look of frown, rage and frustration, the latter two almost completely dominating over the former bhaav.
His eyes rolled over to the spot.
“The vicissitudes of Kaala,” so began the reverent, “are truly tumultuous. We maanav raashi....eat the fruit of our karma. We are all misfits. Ethereally, to be sitting on this unholy man made structure at this very moment when this emissary of Yamaraj acted, is a real misfortune. But it was scripted in His abode and whatever the script, we are mere actors. We come, we act, we perish....the stage still remains for us to come tomorrow, the next janma. Sacrifice and resignation....is the key to nirvana. ”
At the chauraha, an urchin hurled a stone at a limping dog. Being an amateur, he missed. The dog. But not the disciple’s clean shaven head.
“Aah revered. Sacrifice and resignation….what a noble thought !!! O Gurudev, may I rise and impress upon that young aatma the wickedness of his action? That the path to naraklok should best be avoided? Oh revered, do excuse me a moment.”
The disciple sprinted after the urchin, who was a trifle slower than himself. But a couple of dogs too joined in although finally the forces of truth and sacrifice prevailed over himsa. He cuffed the urchin soundly and came back panting. He took a while to compose himself, brought back the tranquility he left over from his run and settled down beside his Guruji once again,
“Sacrifice and resignation…. How illuminating those two words seem to me. It seems as though someone has just cleared a pool of mud water that had formed in the annals of my shallow mind. The keys to life beyond. The key to nirvana. Please continue… Swami.”
X-Point resumed his discourse, “ Calmness....an unquestioned acceptance of all that fate flings at thou. The perpetual salesman Dale Carnegie did ensconce the truth when he said to co-operate with the inevitable. I have always admired the serenity of the cauliflower. If ever I were asked to explain tranquility, I would simply place a cauliflower in front of me....and remain muted. For it, calmness is not ethereal, it is eternal.”
“Learn to admire thou son…” the prophecy thus continued, “ Learn to accept fate the way the cauliflower takes it – unflinching in acceptance. You cut him, you boil him, you garnish your table with him, you eat him. And he....what does the pour soul do?”
The ever attentive pupil couldn’t suppress the doubt lingering in his mind, “But the wicked cauliflower… o Swami !!! What about them? You serve them to your peers after mincing them, frying them and spicing them. What do they do? They do all but bring pain to the believer of Lord…. He who was ignorant of the existence of the wicked seed. They give you diarrhoea.”
“Silence Vyasa,”growled the hermit.”It is your greed that compels you to eat more cauliflower than prescribed. The perfect amount of the sabzi never did a Lord’s true believer any harm.”
“But my Lord, does not the cauliflower commit an atrocious deed? Doesn’t it offer its soft and succulent body and entice the beholder into sinning? Although a believer of Lord, poor mortal amen’t I? How are we supposed to resist the wonderful seductress of the vegetable kingdom?”
“O idiot! You are deluded and corrupted. You have changed the gender of cauliflower with a sentence and brought Woman into the picture. Woman....is a maya. She is a source of temptation.... The repository of all the evil in the world…. The earthly avatar of Satan.”
X-point unfolded his legs and shook himself up from the culvert. The maid was returning after buying a week’s ration of vegetables from Pappu’s dukaan. As soon as she crossed, the disciple was mesmerized the smell of jasmine emanating from the bunch of flowers she sported on her hair that he didn’t notice his Guruji stretch out.
“The path to one's self is never straight. There will be a light to guide you, but you must recognize the light. You must also see through agents of Satan. Aaah vanity. Let us follow this path. Do not mind that maid before us. She is a test.”
With an expressionless visage yet a pair of gleaming eyes, concentrated fully on the maid’s behind, the sage started to amble along.
A couple of steps behind the disciple followed suit, the disciple. Deferential, silent....and eyes focused. Where his Guruji had taught him to focus....