Lazy morning, I get up to pick up the phone beside the bed. It’s the first thing in my daily routine. I wake up seeing the messages and tweets on phone. Its a kind of pleasure to see the many notifications waiting for me to check!
While casually browsing, I notice that my friend Shiva was active in our school buddy group. As always with every group, my school group has 3 sets of people.
- One, who never stops sending good morning message and never reply for anything.
- Second, replies the next minute you post something, relevant or not.
- Third, those who said Hi the day they joined and then went into hibernation.
Shiva is of the 3rd category. So, when I see his forward message on the recent Kerala rains, I was a bit surprised. Add to that he is still online.
Seeing him online, thought of calling him to talk.
I dial the number and wait for it to connect.
There was a music of “Nama Shivaya, Nama Shivaya Om Nama Shivaya” song playing on another side. I know he is very spiritual even in school days, but even after all these years with such caller tunes my respect towards him immediately increased.
After a brief wait, I get him on the other side.
Me: Shiva, this is Mahesh. How are you?
Shiva: Good, busy with managing the process to maintain balance.
Me: How are the kids?
Shiva: Doing great. My younger son had gone to the south for some festivals. And my elder one is happy and excited because of his birthday coming up this month.
Me: It has been a long time since we talked right?
Shiva: Yes, you people are so busy that you almost forgot me.
Me: No yaar, we always keep thinking of you.
Shiva: Really? When was the last time you thought of me?
Me: We have been talking every day in the group. But you were very silent, so thought you are busy.
Shiva: Ha ha ha. I am not talking about the group on WhatsApp.
Me: Then? Facebook? I am not much active on there.
Shiva: Come out of the illusion world. Have you still not recognized me?
Me: Come on, stopping making fun. I know you are Shiva, my classmate. Living in Delhi. Is that enough? Or do you want me to spell out your family details too?
Shiva: Hmm. Interesting. Yes please go ahead.
Me: Your wife name is Uma. Your elder son Vignesh is working, and your younger one is called Karthick. You also said he had married before his elder brother. Correct?
Shiva: Yes, it is cent percent correct. But still, you are wrong.
Me: Oh yaar, how can I be correct & wrong same time?
Shiva: The details you said is correct. But the person you think you are talking to is not correct.
I was amused by the way the conversation was going. Cursing myself why did I call this guy early in the morning.
Me: Shiva, don’t play. I saw your message in the group and thought of having some nice talk and here you are making me thinking why did I call you.
Shiva: Ha ha ha. Mahesh, it is very easy to forget me in times of good. But you can never go without talking to me when you are in trouble.
Me: I do not remember when I came to you when I was in trouble. Why are you showing off? Is something wrong?
Shiva: Hmm, let me remind you. Didn’t you come to me last month complaining about all the good work you have done but still got lesser increment? About your manager not giving you a better opportunity?
I was astonished by the comment. It is true that I complained about all these but do not remember calling and pouring out to this guy.
I cannot recollect when did I share all these with Shiva. The only time I cribbed about this was during my visit to Mylapore Kabaleshwarar Temple. That very thought gave a shock until my spine.
Oh my God, oh my God. It’s MY GOD.
With a shaking voice, I ask.
Me: Is it.. is it… are you… are you… Sivaperumaan? Mukkannan?
A loud and scary laugh comes as the answer.
Shiva: Yes, I am Lord Shiva.
Suddenly my body goes cold. My hands shaking, and voice breaking. I felt like 1000 lighting went through my body.
Shiva: What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of me, my child?
Me: yes, yes. No.. No.
Not sure how to respond, I repeat every possible answer.
Shiva: Relax. Close your eyes. And see me again. Am I frightening you?
I close my eyes, I see a smiley face with the Naga crawling on the blue neck. Two loving eyes. The third one is in the middle of the Vibhuti on the forehead. But it is closed. The Ganga flows out of the head. Trident on one hand, and the other posing a blessing to me.
Even without the instruction from my brain, tears start to flow from my eyes. No, I am not crying. This is the sign of extreme happiness and sense of fulfillment.
Me: Oh my god, why did you chose to talk to me?
Shiva: I give chances to all. All are my child.
After a while of chatting Lord Shiva comforted me. And the conversation went in a different direction.
Me: Oh God, I know that your duty is to destroy the evil. But doesn’t it explicitly mean to save the good?
Shiva: Yes. Sure. I do what the living being deserves.
Me: So, why do you do nothing when your children are suffering from calamities like the flood and earthquake?
Shiva: Seems you assume that me being the destroyer, destroy all these as a part of my duty?
Me: Yes. Is it not?
Shiva: Well, my duty is to save and provide shelter to all as much as I destroy.
Me: Being a God, why do you have a duty to destroy? Is it right to destroy?
Shiva: Haha. Not all changes can be called destroying. When the clouds changs and get to the earth as rain, we do not cry of cloud being destroyed. It just changes its form. Same way, I change the forms in the universe and the Universe is made of the same energy as it was millions of years back. Nothing is destroyed as you mean it.
Me: How is it possible? If the flood uproots a tree is it not destroying it? How can we say its just change of form?
Shiva: Yes, it is the change of form. No one can take the tree out of this Universe. The living tree is destroyed but remember that it becomes a mineral by decaying itself into the Earth. So, nothing is destroyed nor created. The balance is still maintained.
Me: Does it mean everything destroyed even in the earthquake is still a change? How many people lose their life?
Shiva: Have you ever wonder how come even in a big calamity, there are still many people who survive? Aren’t people saved even after days of earthquake and floods?
Me: Yes, many examples. Even the recent one in Thai Caves is an example.
Shiva: Correct. The whole universe works on the Karma. Do you know that every child born into the world has his/her life scripted till the day of death?
Me: Yes, heard about it. My grandmother also said that Bramha is impartial and gives the same amount of life counts to every child born here.
Shiva: Correct, the optimal usage of this count is what makes the difference between one’s lives. Sages in olden days were able to live for centuries by controlling this count and using it very minimal by means of Yoga and meditation.
Me: Then what about the child that is dead while born or in a few days of birth? Is it not impartial?
Shiva: No, there is no place on the universe where Nature is being impartial to any living or non-living things. Nature also has its duty to follow the Karma. Else, what reason one could have for a newborn child, known to be God, to die?
Me: But still I am not convinced that causing floods like this is doing any good for anyone. Why don’t you stop this rains for a while? Or schedule it optimally to fulfill your duty?
Shiva: It’s Strange. Even I am surprised on why you humans ask someone who does their duty right to stop. And never care about the ones who do not do their duty.
Me: What you mean?
Shiva: Look, my duty is to nurture the nature. Nature has its duty to maintain the cycle. The rain should reach underground, provide water to all living plants and animals, serve as a source of drinking water for humans and others in the form of river etc and finally reach the sea.
Me: And this is happening even today. Isn’t it?
Shiva: Yes, but humans are breaking the cycle. They concreated the earth thereby restricting the flow of rain into the underwater source. Once it stopped reaching underground and groundwater level lowered, you started making holes deeper and deeper to suck more water from Earth.
Me: We need drinking water and its obvious that we need to go deeper to find water. What is wrong?
Shiva: The groundwater is served mainly for the plants to feed through their roots, and send it back to the space like clouds. Which will return as rain? By stoping these water to Plants and trees, you are becoming a treat to nature.
Me: So, nature reacts to destroy all of us?
Shiva: No. Mother nature just cleanses the earth to get ready for new life. If you have maintained the cycle healthy there would be no reason for the cleansing process.
Me: How do we stop this cleansing process? Is there a way for humans to stop it?
Shiva: Of course. The only way is to help nature maintain the cycle. Use water wisely. Plant more trees. No, I am not talking of dead concreating trees, but the real green and living trees.
Saying this, Shiva extended his hands to present me with a sapling for me to plant in my garden.
I try to receive the plant and hear a loud noise. My dreams are disturbed, and I see my wife standing in front staring at me.
The coffee cup is rolling on the ground over the spilled hot coffee.
Wife: What happened? Started your daydreaming again? Please get to real.
And she continued cleaning the place.
I got up from the bed, with a fresh life. A new Me was born.
I went straight to the open place behind my house. Started to dig a pit for planting the sapling. Now, I am not dreaming. I am making a place for the planting the saplings I will bringing while coming back from office.