Vishwas Naagar, was strolling inside a garden. It was a beautiful place, amidst Himalyas, in Himachal Pradesh. From a distance one had to walk on his feet to reach out to that place. It becomes cumbersome for 4 wheelers to reach there because of clumsy road with narrow width. Quite a scenery it was, white snow clad mountains lapped this botanical garden. At this point, where he was standing and studying the pattern, he observed symmetry.
They had constructed a maze, though not as confusing as one could be, but after every third wall built with boxwoods, there was a cube, that encapsulated flowers like rhododendrons and tulips and lilies, that color pattern repeated itself, though with a different set of flowers, exotic ones at times, and they maintained it well. The curious truth of a hill station is one can’t stay there for a lifetime. Parts of it may be, not in totality. After all one needs urban lifestyle and many times also a reason to show off success.
Naagar was a journalist and did stories on tourism, travel, culture, art etc. He very well understood, long ago that the day he would start reporting, politics, crime and other things would not be his forte.
To this botanical garden, he made his way with the help of a musician friend. Very few people knew about it, because it was slightly remote, limited visits here had allowed better maintenance. The weather there was pretty cold, it usually was chilly there, but today it appeared slightly on the other, colder side. Even at 2 o clock in the afternoon it felt as if it was a morning and it felt really fresh, with clouds floating around together moistening roses that right now, were on his right. The whole garden, because of clouds, wetted. And every color around him, glossed.
Vishwas knew reality, he had to go back to his office, and write about this place, while his heart was unwilling to do so. If he could, he would stay here, nearby somewhere. But after all, urban men had responsibilities, and those who were strong willed enough to do what they wanted to, for them, their responsibilities were not compulsions, they accepted them happily and Naagar was one of them. Unlike most of the other Indians, who would not really choose anything by themselves and later on the responsibilities of a human being turn into compulsions and very sadly they pass by them. He turned around to move towards a forest. That was basically on the other end of the garden and quite a distance to walk, as it was not exactly within the perimeters of the garden, and moreover slightly on a height.
Officer there told them it housed a lot of pigeons, unique and varying in colors. He went inside the forest. There was a patch, without dense vegetation. A man varying saffron cloak stood there, feeding the pigeons. He looked like a Buddhist saint, who observed Vishwaas Naagar coming, he smiled and nodded to say hello, to which Vishwaas reciprocated. Vishwas approached him, and could not resist from talking to a very charming personality, “Hi, I am Vishwaas”, “God bless you, my name is Ashok”, said the saint. “Whenever I find a saint, a lot of questions pop up in my mind; can I ask you a couple of them, if you don’t mind?” asked inquisitive Vishwaas. “Please ask, though I can’t guarantee I can answer all of them to your satisfaction, but I can try, for sure”, he replied in a charmingly polite manner.
“People tell me, a saint knows answers to all questions, really?”
“My dear friend, there is no difference in being a saint or being anyone else, knowing answers to every question doesn’t make you one, knowing answers to your own questions does, and you immediately establish the foundation once you step out to find the answers to your questions, when you take a step forward in your search for truth”.
Vishwaas nodded, he looked at the hoard of playful pigeons in front of him. He thought may be staying here, is his ultimate truth. He was continuously thinking about a lot of things, what should he ask, or he should simply cherish the moment. The problem lied there, he was pretty content with his life, and he knew that nothing can be perfect.
“I can see, something leaves you confounded, speak, as you should, don’t worry about what I will or anyone else will think, it doesn’t make a lot of difference, really”, Ashok, was not really a very old man, rather a young man, and like any other human being he liked talking, and he liked listeners.
“Ashok, what if, you are inside a class and you have a teacher in front of you, but you don’t have questions?” Asked Vishwaas, abruptly.
“Perhaps you are sitting in the wrong classroom”, replied the wise young saint, smiling, pleased by this situation.
“And what if the teacher asks me a question?”
“Then teacher is trying to evaluate whether he is successful in doing his job or not”
“And what if the teacher simply takes his class, and he doesn’t ask anything from his students, students don’t ask anything from the teacher?”
“Well, then that would be a perfect situation, a perfect disorder, failure for both, the teacher and the students, Vishwaas, this life is a classroom, whatever around you is your teacher, and you are the student. If you do not question the correctness or wrongness around you, then you fail as a student, and your surroundings fail as your teachers. You are here, amused by the prettiness and poetry of this place, but what if, it existed only to attract? Truth is not what you accept, but what you find, by asking and looking for it”
“If it exists to attract, then it would attract me to something good or bad?”
“Not necessarily, few things exist only because they look good, that is their purpose. They don’t lead you anywhere, or solve a bigger purpose”
Vishwaas could absorb what he said, perhaps, beauty never lied in looks and anything that looked good, but we simply run behind them, in this world, filled with greed and brutality, he looked at the saint, who was just not afraid, not afraid of anything, he was, in true terms, free, but this never meant that everyone should be one, after all everyone is needed in this chaos, may be this chaos needed lost individuals, to maintain stability to it, or perhaps, add poetry to it.