Hesitatingly I dragged myself out of bed on a Sunday morning and got ready. Today was the big day, the day I was to meet Guruji. Who might be this, you may wonder. My dear friend and ardent believer in Guruji had tried to convince me for much time now, about Guruji. She kept telling me about the catharsis in one’s thoughts on meeting him and how life changes. I, being the logical me refused to believe any such thing. All Guru’s are a sham, I told her. It is pointless to convince me because I do not want anyone telling me how to lead my life and what all I am doing wrong. I am very much capable of doing that, thank you very much.
The attempted brain washes continued for six months, many fell on deaf ears and many I nodded furiously whilst laughing in my mind. Guruji decided to visit on what happened to be the coldest day in Delhi. Jessica, my dear friend’s happiness knew no bounds on that news. She immediately cornered me and resorted to every possible method in the book or even outside the book to make me agree to meet him. To avoid the constant nagging, I agreed.
Now we come back to the cold winter morning, where I sat in my car cursing myself, at having agreed to meet Guruji at 7:00am on a Sunday!! I consoled myself by deciding to sleep through the preaching and get back home to my warm bed.
The crowd was enormous, it was like a concert night where people waited patiently to catch a glimpse of the idol. Jessica with her press pass managed to get inside the building dragging me with her. We waited and soon Guruji stepped out. He was wearing a white kurta with a loose dhoti and looked very handsome, I must admit. He sat down and smiled. There was something very serene about him. This made me uncomfortable, I was not supposed to like him. He would soon begin preaching, I said to myself frowning. He started casually asking our names and what we do.
When my turn came, he smiled even more and asked why I was worrying so much, I should let things be and learn to let go, forgive myself .. it is not your fault, he said. I was furious, I mean – seriously, he does not even know me. Gulping down my anger especially with Jessica gesturing me, I sat down and frowned even more.
He spoke for an hour after that, about life, about people, about the political developments and cracked multitude of jokes which got me to smile and giggle a couple of times. His talk was very non- preachy, he spoke with much ease and spoke as if he were speaking to each of us individually. In his discussions about the nuclear power and environment, it seemed like he was talking about every day incidents of our lives, our fears, our problems, our insecurities. The answers were latent but were direct, were about unrelated issues but very related to us. I saw myself hearing attentively and nodding at several places. A couple of times he looked at me and spoke. The feeling was very unexplainable. Just when we were leaving, he patted my head and said “My child, make peace with yourself and its all within you.” On any given day I would have frowned and reacted but I was spell bound and caught in the moment that day.
Later, as I drove home, I opened the window and enjoyed the cool breeze against my face. I smiled at passers-by and I felt on top of the world. His voice echoed in head –“ our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, Not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. Give and don't expect. Advise, but don't order. Ask, but never demand.” I looked back at various instances of my life where my attitude, my reactions, my expectations caused me much hurt but what I failed to see till date was there was a big “my” before each of that.
That cold dreary winter day changed my life in many ways… It made me change my attitude towards myself, life and everything. It was a catharsis of sorts and to this very day, I can relive that day, as if it were just yesterday and every time something goes wrong, I revisit Guruji in my heart and mind.