Nirvana Ashram

It was 4 AM. Dark and chilly. Few moments before the dawn. Beetles and other insects too were quiet around this time of the night. Few people were walking along the course of the Ganges, indifferent to the spine chilling weather. It was their routine. Rudra glanced at sky once and realised they would still make it before sunrise to the Ashram. Without a word, he kept going.


Nirvana Ashram was a home for countless number of people. There was no rich, no poor, no black no white. There were no idols of worship. Aghora baba lived by and had taught everyone but one principle; “Aham Brahmasmi” or “I am the Infinite Reality“. Whenever the people felt tired and lost hope, they would to walk into Nirvana Ashram. It was open to anyone who could reach there on their own feet. Aghora baba, was a legend according to many. No One had seen him in last 50 years. Many feared him dead but none could say that in front of Mahakaal, current supreme of the Ashram. He never claimed that position but was most cherished person in the Ashram. No One knew his real name or his birthplace or for that fact of matter his age. Mahakaal believed in complete well-being. His chiseled body, calm as ever face were evident of the same.


They have arrived”, said Mimansa in a low tone as she entered his wooden cabin. “Send someone to summon them for the morning routines.”

“Are you sure about it? They must have been tired,  have been traveling continuously for a few days now. Some rest is required.”

“Everything else can wait. This is really important” said Kaal, stroking Mimansa’s chin. She was going to say something in protest but he silenced her with a deep passionate kiss. They broke the kiss before the things slipped off from their hands.

“The sun is about to rise, I’d better get going” she said and left the room with a smile on her face. Kaal adjusted his clothes and started preparing for Nitya-kriya, shifting his focus from the passionate love making with Mimansa the previous night.


At Nirvana Ashram, nature was considered supreme. Every individual staying at the Ashram followed the routine of bathing in the Ganges followed by Surya-Pooja, worship of the mighty sun. This followed an hour of physical activities and ended with meditation. People then engaged into activities like cleaning , introspection and anything else that suited them.


Rudra and his men appeared in front of Mahakaal  within a few minutes and offered namaskara. He smiled and signaled them to follow him for the rituals. “Tell me what is happening?” asked Kaal after the rituals. When Rudra finished narrating him the whole story, Kaal was already out his seat and ready to move. Rudra realized that he had underestimated the situation at hand and followed Kaal in silent.




A tale of the rains

Rains had decided to take a break after a daylong pouring. Clouds were however running fast, as if in a hurry to reach elsewhere to meet the earth again. The Sun showed up for a while only to set in the west again. Yet another day was coming to an end. There sat Raghav, in the porch of the house, with his eyes closed. There was utter silence apart from the chirping of the birds. The smell of the soil post rain was heavenly.

The doorbell rang. Raghav ignored it mistaking it for hallucination. He had made this house his home for quite some time now. None of his friends or his family members which could counted on finger tips knew of this house that he now called his home. This house was the place where he used to seek solace whenever worldly issues were hitting too hard. It was his recharge therapy. He lived by a funda of “Taking a pause and re-think when necessary, rather than marching ahead with a clogged mind.”  When bell rang for the third time, he was out of his Zen mode.

Raghav was surprised to have a visitor. Keepers and cleaners stayed in the same compound and hence had they keys to the gate. After his self-imposed exile, people who once used make sure of Raghav’s presence to their parties, hardly made any attempt to look for him. He thought of shouting out to the unexpected visitor but then decided against it. Slowly he got off his chair and walked towards the gate. Normally it would have been his servant opening the gate, but today was a different day. He had sent the servant to town in disguise of buying necessities. He wanted to spend this day alone. After all, it was this fateful day that had changed his life forever many years back.

Kailash, his country side home hardly had any visitors. The name Kailash, was given by his father to this home. It was a simple house, yet for Raghav it was palatial. The house was surrounded by lush green garden which had come to full life with lilies, roses, bougainvillea, Indigo, Cape jasmine and many more other flowers. There were mangoes, coconuts amongst trees. Neem was planted to provide cool. The verandah was of the length of the house, roof made of clay tiles. There was several decorative plants there too. A hammock from colonial era was still present. An old armchair which was used by Raghav’s grandfather, was his place to sit. House was made in such a way that there was no need to turn the lights on until late evening. House had gained no touch of modernity in last half century apart from change of electric fitments whenever needed.

It was dusk by then. He slowly opened the gate. “Yes?” He asked at the visitor. “Actually.. Um, I’m in a bit of trouble. I’ve been traveling in the jungle around and have lost my way to the city. I tried looking around but could only find your house. Could you please guide me to the city?” Said the young lady hesitantly. The clouds were building up again. “Please come in. It’s too dark and dangerous to travel alone in this area during the night if you are a stranger.” said Raghav. He gestured the lady to come in. She followed him without a word. She has no option but to trust him. She felt strange kind of familiarity. She felt as if she belonged there.

When he turned the lights of the veranda on, he was by taken by surprised. His heart started pounding. The visitor was an exact copy of Maya. His Maya. Same blue eyes, dark hair, round face, tall stature and athletic body. He had grown old, but he could recognize these features even after 21 years. There were so many questions he wanted to ask. He somehow controlled his nerves. He directed visitor to the guest room. Hot water was arranged for her so that she could get rid of cold. When she excused herself, Raghav was lost in the thoughts again.

The visitor had introduced herself as Meera Palash. She had been raised by her mother who never told her name of her father. She was told her father died even before her birth. Whenever she tried talking to her mother about him, she was silenced either with scolding or tears. Eventually she had stopped asking about him for all her efforts, she knew would end up in vain.  Later than night, duo sat in the veranda for long hours, bonding over their love for nature like long lost friends.

When Meera went to his room next day to bid him goodbye, it was her turn to be surprised. She found a life size picture of her mother with her host. Image was clearly very old. Questions now were in her mind. She looked around for him. He was nowhere to be found. What she found instead was an envelope addressed to her. She took it and left the place. On her way to her city, she read and re-read it. Tears rolled down her eyes. She hugged the letter and cried her heart out.

“Dear daughter,

Forgive me, for I’m weak. I don’t have what it takes to look into your eyes and answers all your questions. I was never present when you needed me. 

I and your mother grew up together. Since a very young age, we knew that we were destined to be together. Who knew then that, we were not meant to be together forever? Maya and I used to spend time at Kailash all the time. We were barely of the legal age when we got married.  We were young and restless. You will not be aware that you had a twin. Just a few months after your birth, we took yet another journey to the Western Ghats. Your sibling was in my lap while I was driving and you were in your mother’s lap. We were hit by a lorry which resulted our collision. We lost your brother in that crash. I cried, begged, did all in my discretion to convince Maya that it wasn’t my fault. She however had made a choice already. I too was dead for hear that day. 

Tired of not being able to convince your mother, I left the city. For years I stayed in dark rooms thinking where did I go wrong? Was it my fault? There was lot of ifs and buts that went through my mind. I used to cry every hour of my day. She had lost her son, but me, I had lost my universe. I finally accepted it was my fault to take the journey against Maya’s will. It was a choice I made. She forgave me but never accepted me. After that day, I as well made no attempts to get in your lives. In the end we all are slaves of the choices we make.

Yesterday was 20th anniversary of that fateful day. It was fate that you stopped at your father’s door. I was too scared to tell you anything for the fear of losing the chance of spending some precious moments that I spent with you. I do not expect you or Maya to come to me but if you ever decide to come here, I’d be more than happy. I’m ageing now, do not know till when I shall last.  If possible please forgive this unlucky father of yours.”


The Chase Begins

It was a busy day at Dalal Street. Sun was in no mood to be merciful. At the end of the street was an old Irani café. The generally busy café was little less busy at this point of time. The market would close in next 40 minutes and then be closed for several days due to festive season. Street brokers were busy making final biddings.  A man was sitting there on a rickety chair fiddling with the phone and looking outside the window as if was awaiting someone. Just then another person entered the café. KK had chosen this place intentionally. This was the same place from where he had begun his career as a street broker and had gone ahead to become one of the big-guns in share market. He straight away walked to the person sitting at the rickety table. The visitor looked at KK and got up to exchange greetings.

“I’m not here for formalities Ajatshatru. Can you give tell me some concrete news at least this time? It has been 12 years you’ve been on this assignment and you haven’t given me any news so far. In case you can’t do my job, stop wasting mine and your time.” He said screaming slowly.

“This time I’ve spotted him..; well most certainly.” Ajat replied. KK narrowed his eyes, shook his head in disappointment and was almost ready to leave the place. Ajat however continued speaking. “If my information is not wrong, they have left for Varanasi and will be reaching there in couple days.” KK sat back with double the speed and signaled Ajat to continue. KK spotted THEY instead if HE in Ajat’s statement.

“I’m surprised that in this world of technology also, you haven’t been able to find him for once Ajat. Never mind, tell me what about Varanasi?” He looked straight into his eyes and questioned.

“KK, you have given me picture of a 15 year old boy 12 years back.” He snapped. “Anyway, that kid has left for Varanasi and he’s been accompanied by two girls.” KK’s brain started working at lightning speed. “If I’m not mistaken, one of them is royal loyal Kakli. Who could that other lady be?” Ajat nodded in agreement and said “I’m trying to find out who is the other lady.

KK took out his phone and instructed someone over a call. Then he turned towards Ajatshatru who was looking at him in anticipation and said; “This entire thing is however is based on if, but and most certainly. For heaven’s sake , pray that this information is correct , cause wrong one will definitely cause damage to you.” Ajat could feel his spine chill. KK tipped Ajat and left.

His mind was working at super speed now. Next whole week market was going to be closed. In this case he could easily reach Varanasi and get Agni before anyone else. Kalki’s presence symbolized that Agni’s parents were aware of his whereabouts. He decided to take a chance though. ‘It’s time we meet, HIS HIGHNESS Agney Suryanshi’ he murmured and proceeded towards airport.

“Exactly two days later, we shall be at Assi by 5 PM” Agni said plainly. “Holy Ganga, be merciful” Kalki prayed. Maya just looked at them with a smile. She however feeling uneasy inside. They continued the journey. They did not have slightest idea of what was awaiting for them at Benaras.

Banofee Pie 3 (Fire meets Illusion – 2)

Fire meets Illusion – 2

Banofee Pie Part- 1

Banofee Pie Part – 2

“With her charm and khaki attire, she can give any actor run for their money.” “Is she telling truth? What if not? What if her intentions of entering jungle are not matching with her actual desires? I guess the only way to reach the truth is to be around her. Truth will come out on it’s on in this way rather than I having to follow her throughout the banks of Ganges which are not safe for strangers.”

“Hello?” Maya snapped.

“Fine. I shall travel with you to the foot of Himalayas. But at any given point of time, you will be responsible for yourself. My work is only to show you the path. You have to decide if you should take it or not.” She thought for a moment and shook her head in agreement.

“All right then. We shall collect necessities tomorrow, have you little skilled up for the journey and begin.”

“And how are we going to travel?” She asked him, joy filled in her voice. He rolled his eyes in answer.

 “It’s a 21 days journey on feet; if the weather and jungle doesn’t be of much hassle. We will kick start with Varanasi followed by Allahabad and proceed towards Hardwar finally reaching Rishikesh. We will try to close to city and yet not enter them as much as possible.” She found it little weird but did not react as she had already given a word. Soon after that dialogue, she went to her tent and lay on the bed. There was a satisfactory smile on her face. She had cleared round one to find the Yogi. He too lay in his tent with smile. Both had different reasons to smile. At a little distance in the darkness was a pair of eyes observing the activities happening.

 “Are you going to stare at me just like this?” Aagney snapped and she was forced to apply break to her train of thoughts about last night. “You seem to be a very religious person.” She countered him with a very obvious attempt to not be caught by him for staring him. “I saw you chanting something when you lit fire last night. Now you were worshipping the sun.”

“Maya Palash..” He said in a deep and calm voice, “You seem not to understand a difference between gratitude and religion. I worship fire because it gives us warmth. I worship water because it keeps us alive and I worship the sun because it the eternal source of energy. If there was no sun, there would not be life existing. A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. I differ myself from any such set values. I do not need a religion if it asks me to abide by a set of rules created by its founders who felt those were right rules to follow.”

“Are you trying to say that there is no existence of supreme power to whom people refer as god and this whole organisation stands on lies?” She admired the fact that someone had a clear opinion but was now thoroughly confused, questioning her own beliefs about God, religion and spirituality. “Save your questions for your Yogi and freshen up now. We have a lot to cover today before we begin the journey to Varanasi.” He said and walked away allowing her privacy and space for herself.

As he left, she entered the water thinking ‘who Aagney is really?’ His behaviour, actions, physique and mannerism were nothing less than those which suited royals.Maya wasn’t wrong in thinking like that. Aagney was indeed last heir of Suryanshis, the descendants of sun. His worship of fire and sun was evident of it.

She wondered why had he chosen to be her guide and only. This meant he would not protect her may something goes wrong and she was on her own. She took a deep breath and submerged herself in water leaving it to her destiny.

(To be continued)

Banofee Pie -2

(Click here to read part 1)

Fire Meets illusion 

It was just about dawn. He opened his eyes and like his daily ritual he first touched his right hand to the earth and prayed to mother earth. This was something he did since he was 5 without fail. He was disciple of A Great Yogi who used to often say; “We all are children of mother earth. Be grateful to mother earth.” He then walked towards the river, quickly freshened up. Waters of Ganges were calm yet babbling. A smile set on his face as he saw the water changing its color with first ray of sun. He jumped into water. He was familiar this river and its flow; and why not, he had lived through its banks. He settled himself into river facing the sun, closed his eyes and joined hands. This was yet another routine he followed over the years.

Maya was quietly watching all his activities. She looked at him in awe. Aagney was six feet tall with lean body and wore scars of fights on chest proudly. He had a pendant with tiger nail around his neck. He gazed her, their eyes met at a glance & at once she remembered every word of conversation they had few hours back.

He looked at her through fire and said….

“The man you are talking about, the Yogi; no one knows if he really exists or not. Those who have gone looking for him have never come back. They have either been eaten up by beasts or have disappeared in thin air. Besides, I do not know your identity or your intentions to enter the jungle. Jungle does not accept those who do not belong to it. If you are still alive, you must have some uprooted connection with jungle.

A thought passed in Maya’s head. She killed it immediately and said; “I’m Maya. Maya Palash. I was born in Bombay. We stayed here till I was 5. After that, my dad took up a job in USA and we shifted there. Since then this is first time I’m here in India. But ever since I can remember, I have been getting these visions about snow clad mountains. And ever since my dad told of this man, I’m in search of him. I decided to quit my job and find the secret of life.

Aagney was carefully listening to her; analyzing her by every word she said. A smile set on his face when he heard her name. MAYA. The word echoed in his head. He thought to himself, “If I go by what she says, her name was very correctly decided. She was just like illusion. She was taller than usual women. With those perfect pair of hazel eyes who spoke a lot but no one could ever understand what they spoke, thick long hair of which she had tied a bun, her lips were just like rose petals. She had the body of an athlete. She wore no jewelry apart from a ring on her finger that symbolized that she was elite. Her face was glowing like moon. She was delicate but fierce. With her charm and khaki attire, she can give any actor run for their money.”

(To be continued)