Around Zion - a lonely cyclist


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

...And the Chrismas we spent together

Sitting in my balcony,looking up at the star-studded sky,I recollect his face.Almost nothing was noteworthy,not even worthy of a second glance-had it not been for those eyes,those large dark eyes.You could see his world thru them,you could visualize his inside,his thoughts,feel his pain and sense his restlessness.Initially I was often apprehensive of his cheerful gait,of his continued philanthropic interest in being the messiah of problems in others’ lives.But slowly when I got to know him this hesitation faded. I realised that all these were not the results of self-imposed hypocrisy but the prolonged pursuit of that one cherised goal in life-that of happiness.We bonded well in the days of my college.He was not an outstanding academic but a great enthusiast.The originality of his ideas and the penetration of his vision often left me awestruck.There was never a time when a person associating with him would leave empty-handed.
A Christian by birth,he celebrated Christmas with his family with great enthusiasm every year.The festivities continued till the beginning of the new year.He was always visibly relieved to finish off that December sem at college as he had to rush off to help his cousins in all kinds of preparations.It was the last year of college and quite a few of his friends(including me)had been invited to the festivities at his home.I did know much about wine,but with a little research here and there,I managed to pick up a fine one.I was greeted with the warmest welcome ever in my life.
It was a huge house-they were a family of professional lawyers.They were rich and famous in the city.His family members ranged from a 90+ to even a 6 year old(and they were literally uncountable).He switched several roles that evening-from that of a careful host to a cheery friend,of a babysitter to his nephews to that of a bartender.The most amazing thing was that he managed all of these with a natural prowess and a handsome smile.
I guess he was the only one in the party through whom the meaning of the occasion outshone-the celebration of giving unto those who do not possess what you have.He spread the message of the Lord like fire but without a deliberate and conscious effort.His unconditional love and care towards everyone and anyone made him special.Did he need any specific time to celebrate Christmas?-I wondered.
Some said I over estimated.I had no time to listen.Time was flying fast-he had so much to give,and I had so little time to grasp them all.For the first time in my life I found a true tutor of life,hope and love.He taught me to envisage life as a gift with too little a span to have any bitter feelings.He taught to forgive unflinchingly.How wonderfully in harmony he was with his natural self-he exemplified the meaning of ‘other’ in my life.I learnt to think and listen with compassion.He brought me to peace with my inner self.His only moments of pain and restlessness was when he saw others suffer.
Today when I recollect all these,I won’t say he has left a vacuum in my life.Rather I would say his vision still fills every corner of my life.Many said he was too magnamous from outside,but I realised that the simplicity he practiced was too unreal to believe from a distance.Many said he was too ordinary,but I realised that he was only an ordinary being with his mere extra-ordinary qualities.He will remain etched in my memory as an outstanding example of the beauty of life.

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