Jyoti and Jeevan were ready to explore their new world. Jyoti the ever calm, ever obedient, unfazed. Jeevan full of life, curious, adventurous and volatile but well meaning. Prakriti’s offspring were well brought up and hardly went wrong.
The moment had come for their great journey – a learning experience as their mother had explained.
“Ok my dear children! Time for you to set off. Just remember the rules- No straying. Stay on course and observe. You are to return by Dusk. You will find many like yourself. Many temptations, many new experiences but ultimately you are to remain focused and observe as much as you can without causing harm to any being or yourself. You are to earn your bread by nurturing the plant that I will be giving you both , as soon as you reach midway after your orientation You are to help anyone in need but finally you are to return to me, here and nowhere else.”
“O mother why are you sending us away? Have I disappointed you in any way? Let me stay here with you. I have no fascination nor any urge for the outside world. You are my world. You are my every thing” Jyoti the obedient was desolate to leave her mother
“I know my dearest, but this journey is essential. Call it the law of nature! To be taken at least once”
“I am ready mother. What surprise do you have in store for us?” ever effervescent Jeevan asked eagerly.
“Your enthusiasm is good but you should practice some self restraint too, It will do you good” said his mother ruffling his hair lovingly.
So Jeevan and Jyoti set off on their great journey -The journey that has to be taken at least once. They were amazed with the magnificent sights that they came across. Magical sights that seem to awe and fascinate them at once. Sights that beckoned them to get lost in their intensity. The sunrise, the vast ocean, the rain soaked woods, beautiful flowers, rustling brook, awe inspiring mountains, and colorful birds. Both of them were awed by what they saw, but Jyoti checked herself and tried to disinterest herself from them, remembering her mother. She missed her mother and remembering her loving face soothed her restlessness. She concentrated on the path ahead of her and tried to remind her brother about their mission. But Jeevan was completely immersed in the scenes around him. He sang with the birds, smelled the flowers, and gazed at the mountains and the sun. He had not forgotten his mother. He thanked his mother for sending him here to experience it. No matter how moved he was by everything, he did not stray away from the path and he carried on with a light heart and springy steps. Everything was smooth till now.
A little later, the sun had become hotter and the sights becoming stranger. They found themselves in one of many parallel courses. Some remained remain parallel throughout, some intersecting and merging and then again diverting after some distance. They found many children like them in these paths in various form of activities at stages. Some playing, some crying, some talking in a group, some totally running away from their path. For some, their paths took a sharp turn to enter homes. Children waving goodbyes to others. Both were totally confused at the chaotic activities going around them. By then they had started feeling hungry. So they took out their plants and started watering it, fertilizing it. At some distance they saw some other children doing the same too. After sometime their fruits of labor began to show and show it did… the amount of their labor. If they had worked hard the fruits were large, but if not, then it was obvious what they had. Wasn’t it? Some sighed, some cribbed about their mothers for handing out bad plants, and some tried to redo it again while the fortunate ones relished them. Both their plants had yielded good fruits and they were quite delighted, when, they chanced upon a crying child. Her fruits had accidentally fallen down in the river in a moment of negligence and she had none to have now. Jyoti calmly gave a portion of her share and advised the child to be careful in future but she did not stay back to converse with her. Jeevan was sorry for the child and immediately befriended her whose name was Maya and out they set together. They played together, laughed at silly games, cried when they fell, helped an injured bird and continued their journey behind Jyoti who was in a hurry to meet her mother.
At a point they came upon a diversion. Jyoti knew the road was straight ahead, but Maya set off the other way. Jeevan was tempted to go after her but he knew he couldn’t. He pleaded her to stay but to no avail. He wailed, wept and was utterly devastated, but after crying his heart out, he straightened up and continued with his journey, determined and wiser. They came upon many children whose path intersected for a while with theirs. Jyoti was polite but she befriended none. She helped when needed, advised when asked but she had only her mother foremost in her mind. Jeevan as animated as before, was friendlier of the two. He laughed with them, joined them in their grief, played with them, became angry when he saw someone behaving unfairly, helped the needy and was sorry when they had to part but it was not devastating for him anymore. He met Sangini who was very fond of him and promised to stay beside him till he reached home She was true to her word. She was beside him at every moment helping him… Lending him a shoulder to lean on when he was tired. Finally he felt calmness descended in his life along with the setting sun with the coming of Sangini.
Jyoti fervently started remembering her mother with the approaching end of their journey. She was inwardly elated that ultimately she will be with her mother. She cared for nothing other than being with her mother. But Jeevan was in turmoil. Of course he was glad that he will finally see his mother but what about Sangini? He had so less time with her. Will he meet her ever again? Was this the end of their journey together? They wept at their impending separation and held each other’s hand willing it otherwise. Why did it have to end this way? He looked up at his sister Jyoti and thought how lucky she was not to be attached with anyone, but was she. ..Though momentarily, he had come across his soul mate Sangini, he was happy to have met her and would never let go of the experience if it could be repeated…If only she could be with him even after this…
Finally they came to the end of their journey! They both reached the threshold of their home- their world. He watched Sangini walk by to her onward journey with a heavy heart and tearful eyes, never to know if they will ever meet again.
Their mother met them at the door. A strange peace pervaded them. Both hugged their mother and all their exhaustion and worries were swept away.
“Oh mother! How I have waited for this moment.” Jyoti exclaimed. “I want to never be away from you. Never let me go I beg of you. !”
“No my children! The ordeal is over and now we will be walking off together to the Great Door to be together forever!”
“Mother!” Jeevan held her back and softly said, “Mother I have a question for you” his eyes downcast.
Prakriti bent down and holding up his chin asked “Yes my son? Something seems to trouble you”
“Mother, don’t get me wrong! I love you and you are the essence of my being but I seem to be wanting to go back their again. With all the hardships and sorrows I faced I still miss them- the sights, the experiences, the exhilaration of being successful as a planter, my companions…and Sangini. I know I could not stay focused like Jyoti and I laughed with the brook, ran with the wind, sang with the birds and played with my friends. I harmed none. I helped when I could. I fell down a couple of times too. But I stayed in the path and never strayed. Now I remember everything and wish for them. You are the most important and I know that mother, but why cannot I curb these thoughts of longing ?I had indulged my senses there, I had attached myself, Now I long for them – them with all the good and bad, does that make me vile? Now that it is time to go through the great door, I am experiencing doubts, does that make me a failure? When that was supposed to be a learning experience, why do I feel that I learned nothing except to question you this- what ultimately was the purpose in sending us there-Does this make me a rebel? Jyoti is the enlightened one of the two of us. She can see happiness beyond even unseeingly. But I, O mother relate only with things I feel, I experience even if they are illusions… I feel moved by them, uplifted by an unknown feeling called love. attachment. Maybe you will say I have my eyes shut and shunned to The Light of Knowledge but this is the way I am. Does this make me fall from your grace, O mother”?
Author’s Note: Well I don’t know what Mother said and nor do I hope to know it in my lifetime (maybe because I doubt if anyone can know this for sure in one’s lifetime) but if anybody can complete this story then you are welcome because my imagination could not go beyond this. Otherwise it is entirely a work of my imagination and bears no semblance to sanity. I do not wish to contradict nor propagate any stream of thought by this nor does this article show any disrespect to anyone’s opinion. If unknowingly I have hurt anybody’s sentiments, then I apologize profusely for the same.