24 Jan
Started my day on a bad note. Had a disagreement with my husband and was very furious with him, vowing that I’d not speak to him at least for a fortnight, I set out for work. I was supposed to have a very important meeting with my offshore clients as soon as I got there. Cursing my company for not providing conveyance on that day, I took the now glamorous public transport Volvo-‘Vajra’ to commute to & fro, between office and home. Feeling upset about the latest turn of events, I plugged on to my earphones after claiming the window-side seat of the bus and listened to some of my personal collection of songs as I dreamily gazed out of the window. I have a different playlist altogether for days like these, which consists mostly of sad songs.
I soon got bored when my playlist threatened to repeat itself, adding to the woes was the fact that I had not even covered half my journey to work. It takes me a good 2 hours ride approx. to reach my office on a normal day with decent traffic. Running out of songs, and that too so soon, terrified me. I quickly turned to a novel in my backpack for rescue (about which I had easily forgotten, thanks to the way morning had taken off) & in the hope of saving my sanity, at least till I reached my destination.
It was a best-selling novel- ‘New Moon’ (such a situational name, reflecting my mood). I flipped past the pages where I was done with reading. Since my bookmark was moved, it took me few minutes to locate the page in the book I had last read . All the while I was blissfully oblivious of the person who sat on the seat opposite to mine. Having nothing much or interesting to do, he decided I was an ideal specimen to commence his observation on. Then, what I dreaded the most, happened: bottle neck and a long trail of traffic jam. Wow! I was now sure that things could not get any worse! I preferred not to look out of the window as it was sure to cause me a panic attack. Time now seemed to fly by faster than before, coming dangerously close to my log-in time, worse, my meeting time!
I took a deep breath, gave a small bribe, in the form of a small prayer to my favorite God and hoped for a miracle from the bottom of my heart. I hoped for a sudden announcement from the state government to declare that day a holiday due to unheard of traffic blockages at several parts in the city. This crazy thought convinced me that I just suffered a symptom of panic attack and my sanity was menacingly thinking of deserting me. I quickly untied my watch and dropped it into the abyss of my bag (to resist my temptation of looking into it every few seconds!), with the feeling as though I chucked the very time itself somewhere, somewhere from where it could not tick!
That was when the stranger who sat opposite me, decided to talk to his specimen for the first time, maybe to gather more information needed to conclude his observation. He looked at me and exclaimed: ‘What a traffic block! I think WE would surely be late for work today!’. Like as if I didn’t know that already and I did not miss the ‘we’ in his exclamation. It was in other words, an invitation to join the conversation.
I faked a smile and nodded in approval. Asked a few formal questions like where he worked, his nature of job, etc. A little doubtful if I should befriend this stranger, I realised soon, that I was left with no choice. He started off jabbering whether I liked it or not, listened or not. I gave up hope and dropped my novel into the unending blackness of my bag too. I used the right exclamations at the right places. He did not seem to understand my subtle hints of disinterestedness even after I plugged myself back to music. His direct conversation with me, forced me to go off music every now & then. It was now time for my earphones to do down my bottomless bag. I then folded my hands across my chest and surrendered to his conversational onslaught which never seemed to get discouraged. His enthusiasm did not seem to get discouraged even by my hostile ‘don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about’ body language too.
Then something that he spoke made me sit up and pay attention. He mentioned something about his interests in supernatural existences. He said he had experienced one himself, when he was once working late into the night in his office with no one to give him company. That was when he heard someone, a woman it sounded like, screaming and wailing. He was surprised by the proximity of the sound. It sounded as if he heard it from the room besides him. His gut feeling told him that not everything was fine on the floor. He was still thinking about what he had just heard, when the chair in front of him started rocking like as if someone was holding the back of the chair, pulling it backwards and then dropping it back to the floor with a thud! This happened at least 6-7 times before he got unnerved and fled from the place, all the while praying hard to God to get him out of the office before he fainted mid way… I was very skeptical to believe his story initially. He continued saying his Process Head, a woman named Kelly collapsed the following day after seeing something so horrifying that she could not remember what it was after being forcefully bought into consciousness, due to shock. He told me of another girl who came running and screaming out from the rest room, saying she saw a strange apparition on the ceiling of the restroom. It was much later, he said, that he learnt of the violent end that a laborer had met in that very place, where his office building now stood. He told me that such souls find no peace and that it would take a long time before they could attain salvation. I shrugged. He concluded by saying ghosts or spirits surely exist & that he has personally felt their presence on several occasions. I was very,very unsure if I had to believe whatever this stranger was telling me, but then something about this guy made me feel he was genuine & what he was talking about was also genuine. There was definitely some truth in what he had narrated. I was beginning to ponder over all that he had just shared with me and was also contemplating on asking him a question or two about it, just to confirm the truth in the stories.
But then it was his time to alight the bus. He bade a quick goodbye and went his way. I had not realized that I was now nearing my destination too, thanks to all the non stop talking of this stranger, it actually helped take my mind off the snail-paced journey. When I got off the bus and walked towards my office, I was re-running in my mind, all that this guy had told me about. I suddenly realized on an instinct, the hidden message of this whole incident that had happened.
Firstly, life was all about forgiving. It is as true as it is human to err. The more you hold on to a grudge, the more stronger, darker and meaner it  becomes. Like a great man had once said- “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it”. We must always be quick to forgive our loved ones and not harbour any ill feelings towards anybody for that matter. The reason being- none of us know the exact tiME & place of our death. It could come suddenly, so suddenly that we might take time to even realise that we are no more now. We would never be able to move on from this life in peace. All our ill feelings, hatred, grudges would hold you back like gravity, not giving you a chance to leave these dark vibrations behind.
Secondly, I came across this stranger for a reason. He was there to subtly warn me from harboring any sad feelings towards love ones. Forgiving makes us light, it rids us off our emotional baggages and makes travel to another land (read: salvation) easy & light. The laborer woman who had died on this stranger’s office plot was still there- haunting the place because she was unable to let go, let go of her mortal remains, mortal existence, unwilling to forgive. This messenger in the bus today, warned me about what not to be doing. He happened for a reason and his purpose was achieved, for I turned out to be a good student and heeded to his far from direct, warning.
That evening, when I went home, I kissed and made up with my husband (much to his surprise, of course). He asked me confused, if I was possessed by some ghost or something, that was making me do all these unbelievable things. Adding more confusion to his already confused & perplexed mind, I smiled and replied that I was doing all these so I would not become one myself! 😉 I thanked the stranger in my mind and hoped that he would receive my thanks in the form of positive vibrations around him. He was a classic example of how even seemingly negligible incidents in our lives could mean a lot if only we paused to give them a second thought!
towards salvation

towards salvation…

20 Responses to “MOONLIGHT”

  1. Lopa September 23, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    A superb post that says a very special thing in a very special way!

    • Teju September 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

      Thanks a lot for the appreciation Lopa! I’m really glad that you liked it 🙂

  2. MegBryan September 24, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    October 2, 2010 7:34 PM

    teju is one of the very few people who has the talent to express thoughts in words.. at the outset moonlight gives you the impression of being an article about a casual ‘everyday’ experience..the sarcastic humour is striking. but it later goes on to reveal some deep meanings of life. it makes you introspect.. personally i loved the way teju has concluded it.. i have always found it easier to forgive and forget and this article only reaffirms what i already believe in.. perhaps a person who finds it more difficult to forgive would richly benefit from reading this.. teju ,good job!

  3. soonie2 October 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    A gift from a stranger, a beautiful lesson learned. Love this post.

    • Teju October 4, 2012 at 9:45 am #

      hey Susan, I’m really happy that you liked this piece. Thank you and thanks for stopping by. Looking forward to seeing you more often 🙂

  4. Where God Takes Me March 1, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

    Dear Teju,

    I adore this post. First of all, of course, because it made me laugh out loud. Your descriptions of your frustrations as exhibited by your internal and external reactions are brilliant and hillarious.

    And of course your resolution, forgiveness, salvation. How could I not adore this?

    Thank you for allowing me to start my day with one of my favorite authors.

    With my deepest affection,

    • Teju March 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      Thank you dear Vivian, for the very kind words of appreciation. You know I always eagerly wait to hear from you & I love to start my day with a warm message from you too 🙂

      cartloads of love,

  5. terrytrekker March 2, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    a very nice inspirational post! Congratulations on your blog. Sometimes strangers are good therapy.

    • Teju March 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

      Hey thanks for the appreciation. Looking forward to seeing you around her more often!

  6. Chancy the Gardener March 8, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    I could not stop reading this until I had read every word. Excellent post! Hugs, Mumsy

    • Teju March 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      Thank you so much! Glad to know you enjoyed it.
      Love, Teju

  7. Wendell A. Brown March 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Teju, it is actually nice to have an angel pop into your life, especially when you see one and you think I would never talk to them, or give them the time of day! When we share our time, our precious moments in life with another, when we listen and not turn away, when we share our a piece of our soul, we renew ourselves, you helped him because he needed to get it off his chest. You shared with you and when you listened you had to get the bad karma out of your body, your heart, and your spirit! Never leave home after an argument without forgiving your spouse and letting them know. Because you may not see them again. One day my son Ian who had been in and out of the hospital since birth was in again. I thought it was because of a cold he had as he was born premature. I was very tired after spending about 11 hours there with him, and I started to leave and he looked at me and smile. I felt guilty but I had to get home! So I hugged him up and played a little bit more with my 9 month old son. He gave me a look and a smile, like to say I love you go home and rest! I had given him all of my love totally, me and my wife for his whole existence, and our daughter too. The next day was mothers day, and we got a call that morning to come immediately,,,we knew he must have passed but it was hard to accept for we often take for granted that our love ones will always be there but we know not when our time or anyone’s time will come…He died that morning on mothers day while doing his favorite past time, swinging in his swing. Always show your love all the time, and embrace the ones you love each day, you may be gone or they may be gone in a moment! I am glad that I spent all the time I could with my son, and gave him all my love. Most parents could not do that in the neo-natal unit! But when we stop thinking of our selves, and think more of others, we free ourselves already, so that when our moment comes we will have no regrets and enter the new life freely. Excellent post my sister, and what a wonderful message you heard in your heart as it was very thought provoking! Hey there is an Artist called ‘Slim Man”, he only has about 4 albums but if you put him in your collection you will sing all his songs over and over again on the way to work and you will surely begin your work day very positive! Thanks for sharing my sister…god bless you and much love always!

    • Teju March 10, 2013 at 8:37 am #

      My dear brother Wendell, it really broke my heart to learn what you’ve been through and I’m really sorry for your irreplaceable loss. I hope & pray God for Ian’s nirvana.
      You are like a candle illuminating the lives of everyone who crosses paths with you, with your rich treasure trove of knowledge. You have so much to share. I’m so glad & grateful to WordPress for having made me stumble upon you, dear brother.
      And oh yes, I’ll look up for ‘Slim Man’ right away. Thank you for suggesting this artist!

  8. Photographs by Peter Knight March 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Teju what a great read! I loved your story and I see so much truth there.
    Your writing style is compelling and keeps me reading along happily.
    I read a book recently that compared harbouring hatred and bitterness to stabbing yourself with your own sword. Usually, the only person you hurt by hating, is yourself and the object of your hatred and bitterness feels little or none of the pain!
    I am definitely with you about things happening for a reason. I recently had an experience that made me feel as if all the roads I’ve been wandering in life had been leading to that place, at that time.
    Glad you had that bus ride and that conversation 🙂

    • Teju March 10, 2013 at 8:01 am #

      Thank you Peter! You have always been very generous with your appreciations. I completely agree with every word you’ve said & with Buddha, when the great man said- ‘ Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.’
      True, I’m really happy & grateful that I had that bus ride on that day.
      Thanks again, Peter 🙂

  9. innovateinvestmentbanking March 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Thats a wonderful experience shared. I do i have some of my experiences that i wished to share but i was a but i was not sure how should i share. Ur psot has given me the inspiration.

    • Teju March 22, 2013 at 10:34 am #

      Thank you, friend. I’m glad it inspired you. 🙂

  10. Blood-Ink-Diary April 10, 2013 at 12:38 am #

    Aray wah ! Teju, you certainly have a brilliant talent to express in writing ! What a suprb post albeit of the bad day !
    keep ink-ing — I love your ink, my friend ! xx

    • Teju April 13, 2013 at 8:13 am #

      Thank you Shaheen! Really glad that loved what I inked!
      Have a great weeekend, friend 🙂

      • Blood-Ink-Diary April 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

        You too, dear Teju !
        We shall catch up soon. Great weekend to you !

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