What is it that keeps a person going in the dark? Why does he keep fighting even when defeat is inevitable? What is it that makes us all completely impenetrable and hence invincible in difficult times? Well who knows, honestly In this little life of mine with limited experience I am not the right person to answer any of the above mentioned questions. However, I am entitled to ask and ask I must.
She knelt in front of one of the four heads of deity without knowing if it’s the right head. I watched her from some distance. Pain pouring from her face, hands folded, eyes closed as she spoke to that stern countenance. She has asked for the services of dancers to attract deity’s attention. A devotee saw me engrossed, watching the ritual as the dancers moved in unison and asked, “Aar you fram EEndia?” I turned around to find a young Asian about my age but certainly not from that country. Till the time you haven’t visited south east Asia or don’t have friends from countries like Vietnam, Thailand and North Asian countries like North and South Korea you may find all of them looking similar. Many crack heads actually made too many jokes about this topic. However, the rule that every rule has an exception meets its exception here. Each and every human being is unique and you can distinguish a person of Vietnamese ethnicity from a person of Thai ethnicity with a similar ease as you can differentiate a south Indian from a North Indian. “Yes, I am”, I told my newly formed Korean acquaintance. “Which part of Korea are you from?” I asked. He looked perplexed for a while and then gave me a name. Strangely enough he didn’t mention North Korea or South Korea. Why? Well let’s just say it was out of the purview of vista in front of me so never asked. I nodded and stared back at the kneeling woman.
Ever noticed a man/woman kneeling in front of a stone? Helpless, surrendered, lost; they give up everything that they have acquired in that instant. Name, fame, ego, wealth everything; what remains is the matter that they are made of, the purity of their existence; Almost as if the pain has rinsed their karma and has given them a glow.
Taphon gonged and hips swirled as she knelt silently weeping. Her palms joined forming a truly Indian Namaste in front of her face with fingertips touching her forehead making it difficult to see her face and gauge her expressions. However, I was watching her for long enough to understand her emotional state. I don’t know what she was asking for, what her pain was, what is it that she wanted or needed? But the view was captivating and phenomenon fascinating. I felt connected.
The only other static thing in that instance in that place was the statue, the stone in front of which she was kneeling. It was sitting on a throne with straight back and stoopy eyes, watching all beneath its gaze but unaware of all others. In that instance it was looking directly at her only, as if drawing strength from her surrendered body, gaining energy from her pain and admiring her faith. It was when she stood up I realized what was happening and the synonymy they both displayed startled me. Her face assumed the stony resemblance that the statue had (when she was kneeling down) and she walked past me without even a glance at anything or anyone else. The stone sat there in the middle of the square waiting for someone else to kneel down so that he can have a better look. The only thing that made both of them alive were their faith in each other.
Tall story short stones are just as faithful as we are or in other words what are we but faithful stones.