Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Friday, April 6, 2018
Saturday, March 3, 2018
I have been long wanting to write this tale but now that 20 years away elapsed I think I can put this lovely story on paper. Close to the place where I stay is a small Dargah. It is dedicated to Pir Badshimiya Qadri, but though I am not a Muslim, I would make it a point to visit this Dargah. I used to go to this Dargah in the morning and then continue to the office. Mostly my chauffeur drove my car but sometimes, when it was raining he would not come and then I would drive the car myself.
One day my driver came and told me that he needed about 40 days leave and requested me to sanction it, as he had some urgent work back over in Bihar. I agreed and let them and go and resolved to drive every day myself to the office in my Mercedes. As usual, I drove the car on the first day to the Mazar and after a brief salutation continued forward. However, when I entered that day, I was struck by a lovely perfume which seemed to float in the dargah.I let the incident pass thinking that this could be a figment of my imagination. As I drove my car forward the heavens broker asunder and a heavy rain began to fall all around me. The rain created an arithmetic pattern on the ground and visibility was greatly reduced. I slowed down and then all of a sudden the car stopped. I was wonderstruck that my Mercedes should have stopped, something that has never happened before. I was wondering what to do when I espied a small stall just about 10 feet away from where my car had stopped. I was wonder start that my car had stopped so close to a tea stall, for this was exactly a small tea stall. With the rain belting down, I was in the mood for a perfect cup of tea, yes very hot tea. I thought I would start the car later as I got out as I rushed towards the small tea stall. I went inside and found it was a neat place and at the corner of the store I saw a young girl. She was obviously managing the stall. I could make out that she was pretty young maybe about 20 or 22 and to top it she was extremely attractive. I will be a nerd if I tell you that I was not aroused at seeing such a beautiful girl in a tea stall with the rain belting all around. I asked her
" Can I have a cup of tea"
" Sure" she replied" yes, what happened. Did your car stop? "
"Yes," I replied" it stopped magically here only and I shall go soon. "
" OK" she replied and lit the stove to prepare the tea.
She prepared 2 cups of tea and I realized she was going to take one cup for her. I looked at her and observed she was slightly wet. Her blouse hugged her body accentuating her raisings. On the spur of the moment I asked her how was it that she was wet when she was inside the stall.
She replied "oh! I had been to the dargah and I had to run back as the rain started"
I just sat and watched as the rain continued, wondering what to do. She looked at me and smiled" Just sit here and relax till the rain stops. After some time I will make you another cup of tea"
As I sipped the second cup of tea, we got into an animated conversation. Then, I observed that on her back and neck there were welt marks.Obviously, she had been badly beaten. I wondered how a woman went to the Dargah with so much faith could be beaten. The Pir was supposed to protect her and I wondered about it.
I left that time and thought to let sleeping dogs lie. I wanted to get to with my work. I reached the office, but the incident at the tea stall remained in my memory and I somehow could not get out of the image of the lovely girl. I could make out that she would have been about 20 years younger to me but my heart fluttered and I felt an ache. I mused as to who had beaten her and wondered if it was her husband or somebody else.
The next day I again drove my Mercedes out of the garage as usual. I stopped by the dargah and wondered about the Invisible Pir. I prayed for myself and hoped I would be successful. When I was about to leave I once again had the feeling that there was a perfume in the Dargah I put it down to the weather and went to my car. Just as I entered my Merc, the heavens opened up and thunder and lightning flashed across the sky and thunderbolts boomed and boomed again.
I put the car into gear and it and it moved forward smoothly. I wondered about the events of yesterday and wondered why the car had stopped. I also remembered that the car started easily and yet the car had stopped as I was nearing the tea stall. This time again something unique happened, the car on its own spluttered and there was his loud bang from the silencer and the vehicle ground to a halt. To my wonder, it has stopped again at the small tea stall
The girl saw me and she looked happy as it was raining cats and dogs with thunderbolts flashing across the sky. She asked me to come into the store and spontaneously she caught my hand and pulled me inside the wooden structure.
"Come," he said "I will make you a cup of tea till the Thunderbolt go away"
She looked happy today and I asked her the reason for it. She replied "today I had been to the dargah and something strange happened"
She continued " You know sahib, there was a wonderful perfume and something tells me in my heart that I am going to get my wish"
Magic was in the air as I without thinking put my hand on her back.
Gift of the Pir?
How did this happen? I have asked but I have no explanation.I cannot explain as I gently caressed her bare back as an electric current began to flow. There was definitely some Supernatural force acting and then did something which I have never done in my life, I kissed her and used a little force to get her to open her mouth. As I was kissing now I realized that a supernatural force was acting and I could have done nothing to stop it. Obviously, something strange was happening the result of all this was inevitable and with the rain beating down on the ground and thunder flashing in the sky I ended up making love to the lovely girl. It was pristine pleasure and at the back of my mind was perhaps this was the handiwork of the Pir. After it was over I just got up and left
For the next 3 days, I continued to visit the tea stall. This time my Mercedes did not stop on its own but I always shut off the ignition myself. This entire incident began to look like a fairy tale. Everybody knows the monsoon in the Western Ghats is tremendous and with the rain going all over I thought meeting my lovely friend was the best thing in the world. It was a pristine delight as I felt strong as ever and again I marveled at the transformation. After 3 or 4 days I told her I would be gone for some official work but I would come back. I asked her " What will you do ?"
She gave an enigmatic answer, " I shall wait for what the Pir promised me".
These words are history now and I wondered at that time what she meant by these words. I came back not after few days but almost a month as I was stuck up for some extra work in Dubai. On return, I started my Merc and went straight to the stall. I wanted to gather the girl in my arms. I was in for a shock as there was no girl there but an old woman. With a beating heart, I asked her about the girl.
"Where is the girl," I asked.The lady replied with a smile "She has gone to her village as she is with a child. You know Sahab her mother in law and husband used to beat her every day for not conceiving. She used to pray at the Dargah and the Pir Baba blessed her and give her a child".
My legs became jelly and I did not drink any tea as I rushed back to my car. With a thumping heart, I started the car as the realization dawned on me that the Pir had given her a gift which he had manifested through me. I drove away wondering at the superpower that had been manifested. My car stopping, the perfume, and the Dargah followed by ferocious love all were the hallmark of a super power. I went to the Dargah and this time it was filled with a lovely perfume. I knew it was Real. Two days later I got a senior appointment at Dubai and wondered, was it the Pir's way to reward me. It was an appointment I never expected. He had paid me for helping him fulfill the dreams of the girl. I never knew her name or where she went. It was a tryst as per the gods.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
A Monumental Novel
Mikhail Sholokhov is Russian writer who wrote his epic “And Quiet Flows the Don”. It’s a lovely book that won a Nobel Prize for the author in 1965. Sholokhov was an unabashed communist and supporter of Stalin. This is something that was not liked by Western authorities and for long Sholokhov was denigrated as a writer of “no consequence”. Unfortunately, there were many academicians who were convinced that Sholokhov was a great writer and this led to him being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. It was a richly deserved prize.
Mikhail Sholokhov’s novel runs into 5 volumes and is a monumental work, which needs some time to read. I read this novel over a period of almost a month, but I liked it and realized that Sholokhov is a great writer. His theme is simple. The novel recounts the lives of two protagonists who see Russia through a period of wars, civil war and the Tsarist and communist rule. There is violence and war and love all around. But in this turmoil, the river Don flows quietly and eternally into the sea.
I understand it took him almost 14 years to write. After reading this novel one is apt to get nostalgic of communist rule under Stalin. Despite the propaganda by the West I am convinced Stalin was one of the greatest figures of the 20th century.
Sholokhov was born in 1905 in what is known as the land of the Cossacks. He died in 1984 and did not live to see the disintegration of Russia. Sholokhov also wrote Virgin Soil Upturned, which earned the Lenin Prize, took 28 years to complete. He also wrote Seeds of Tomorrow (1932) and Harvest on the Don (1960).
Sholokhov has a permanent place in Russian and world literature. He earned his respect among western writers as well, but he was a strong supporter of the communist regime and accompanied Nikita Khrushchev on his visit to USA in 1959. This contrasts with the anti-communist approach of Boris Pasternak who also won the Nobel Prize, but merely because he wrote against Communism.