Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Promise, I will be there

Some bizarre incidents which defy the ordinary and border on the super natural happen in every one's life.   Many explanations could be given to them in accordance with one's own philosophy and outlook to life.  I was a witness to one such incident some fifty years ago; when I was still in school.

My father received an invitation from his Uncle in Kengeri  to go over there to participate in a three day long function.  He had probably finished his daily reading of "Kumaravyasa Bharata" and "Jaimini Bharata" and the function was to celebrate the occasion.  It was a holiday period for the school and he was free from the school work.  I was also idling at home in the holidays and he took me along with him.  I was fond of going by train and hence we went by bus from Kanakapura to Ramanagaram, a distance of sixteen miles which used to take a little more than an hour since the bus stopped whenever anyone on the road signaled with his hand.  The distance of 20 miles from Ramanagaram to Kengeri by train again took one hour with stops at Bidadi and Hejjala.  We participated in the function for three days and our plan was to stay there for a week.

On the fourth day I was woken up from my deep sleep early in the morning.  My father told me to get ready quickly as we had to get back urgently.  I was surprised by his urgency, but one would never question his decision.  I was rather disappointed over the cutting short of my trip during holidays but got ready in a few minutes.  We usually took the bus from Kengeri to Kalasiplayam and then another bus to Kanakapura.  Strangely on that day he chose the bus to Majestic, near Bangalore City Railway Station.  Bangalore's main Bus Stand opposite to the City Railway Station had not yet come into existence then.  I followed him without question.  Once we got down from the city bus in Bangalore, he moved westward instead of our usual Bus Stop on the east side.  I gently asked him as to why he was going in the opposite direction.  He told me to look out for bus to Govindanapalya and he would tell me the reason after we got into the bus.  There was no bus to Govindanapalya, but some conductor informed that we have to go towards Jalahalli side and then walk for one or two miles before reaching this place.  We got into the bus and sat down.  I looked up to him and he told by way of explanation, "We have to go and see Narasakka urgently". 

Narasakka was my mother's aunt, my grand mother's elder sister.  Being the elder sister of his Mother-in-law, my father going to see her was no surprise.  But why the urgency today, I did not understand.  Narasakka was a very peculiar person to look at with her entire body being a twisted mass of bones.  Her legs were stretched on the side, body sprawled on the ground and only the chest and neck above the ground.  She could never stand up or sit on a chair.  Her hands were very active and she had a commanding presence despite the Sphinx like appearance.  Her voice was very strong and authoritative and she could move swiftly on the ground by using her hands, lifting the body and dragging the legs, all in motion.  Despite her peculiar appearance and limitations of movement she was always doing some work or the other; cleaning grains, cleaning or arranging utensils, keeping guard over valuables, assigning work to farm workers and supervising them and many such things.  She was the model of an efficient administrator and nothing escaped her attention.  It was indeed surprising as to how she commanded total submission and reverence from all others.     She was the eldest of the four siblings, followed by two brothers and my grandmother in between.  She spent  all his life with her youngest brother, my uncle.  Her name was Narasama and she could never get married with such an appearance, but she was loved by everyone in the family and the villagers wherever she lived, everybody calling her affectionately as Narasakka.  We lived in the same street for several years before my uncle moved to a village north of Bangalore.  On the day of her departure to Bangalore, every single person known to the family came to see her and many knew that they may not be able to see her again.  Well past sixty and frail in her body she was dignity personified in bidding farewell to her long time friends.  Someone mentioned that Ramu (meaning my father) was the only one who did not come to see her.  She responded by saying that she knew Ramu was out of station, but will come and see her in Bangalore.

When  we reached our uncle's house in Govindanapalya after making enquiries about directions to the village, it was about 11 AM.  When we looked through the open large window as to whether we had reached the right house, we saw Narasakka lying on the bed and our uncle holding "Gangajal" in his hand (water from the holy river Ganges kept in a sealed small copper pot) indicating the time has come for her soul to leave the physical body.  I was too young to understand the real happening, but knew enough to understand the situation.  I ran to my aunt who embraced me with moist eyes.  My uncle told in Narasakka's ears that "Ramu had come".  She opened her eyes once and saw her beloved brother and Ramu.  There was a smile of contentment and a brightness in her eyes.  Uncle opened the pot and dropped Gangajal with Tulasi (leaves of a holy plant) in her mouth and passed on the pot to Ramu who did the same.  Seconds later Narasakka was no more and left on her heavenly abode.  Cremation was done in the next few hours.

Next morning we were on our way back to Kanakapura.  While sitting in the bus my father told me: "I saw her a few days before they moved to Bangalore. She expressed her disappointment that I would not be with her when she breathes her last.  I told her, "My Promise, I will be there.  Do not worry".  Yesterday night I felt she was asking me, "Ramu, when are you coming?".  I realised her time was near and she was probably waiting for me.  I am glad we left in a hurry and reached just in time.  I fulfilled my promise yesterday.  Paying our last respects to a departing soul is one of the most sacred duty in our lives".  Generally not a person to show much emotions, he could not speak further.

Whenever I ponder over the event, I am baffled as to how he got the message and proceeded to see her that morning.  There was no letter or telegram or trunk call.  No messenger was sent by them.  Yet he got the message and acted.  My father, uncle and aunt are no more.  But my three cousins and myself who were witnesses to such a remarkable episode in our lives fondly remember the bondage between Narasakka, her brother, my aunt and my father.  This may appear somewhat too personal and emotional to share with others, but that is how life is!

7 comments:

  1. Very touching and fascinating story. As you rightly said, maybe all supernatural events are mere coincidences, and then again maybe we call them coincidences since we don't understand them. Either way, it adds to the beauty of life.

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  2. it is truje that departing soul has the strength to get the people it wants to share the last moment in the boldy Like I reached to see my mom breathing her last.I came from Tanzania to meet her If I had not come considering the monetary aspects and salary cuts I would not have oppurtynity to meet her on the eventual day.Same thing has happened to me in five more cases.

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  3. Fascinating. I believe in soul connections. People very close to each other can communicate telepathically .
    When my elder uncle died suddenly , I could not go to his cremation . But the very next night, he was in my dream, mois eyed, sad, saying,' you did not come to see me !" I cried my eyes out that night. My father could not understand what was so upsetting about a dream. I know-- I did communicate with my Uncle that night.

    MW.

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  4. some people are blessed with strong intuitive information(also called the sixth sense) prior to its occurrence.

    A lot of research is happening in this field. A recent study in UK says that intuition is a system- wide process involving both the heart and brain working together to decode information.

    It is very well written and very touching to learn this about your father.

    Shambhavi

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  5. In this divine process, I see you as a witness to share this incident with all of us. What a great source you have become by divine gift of love.
    UR.....

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  6. Amazing ! I have also experienced incidents where some actions are done without any information being exchanged. It seems God has built-in communication methods for humans, much superior than anything humans have built.

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  7. Beautiful and touching story.

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