Yes, maybe people are actually going to go through my post this time, mainly because of my title. How curious are we anyway? About what happens in another person’s life. It’s actually sad if people would go all the way to figure out who this person that I talk about would be, but if I wrote that this one person was an old man I’m talking about, that would come to my house every Sunday and the impact he had on my life, and what he left for me when he left, most would not have the time to read, as they would have figured out who this ‘you’ is already. Nevertheless, I want to write about him tonight, because I don’t know what happened to him, and where he went, and I miss him alot at times when I see roses, or when I see an old man who is thirsty and asks for water, or when I see a loud old man anywhere at all, he just reminds me of that one old man that had a big impact on my life. I’ll tell you the affiliation with the roses, loudness and water too.
I miss Babajee. I didn’t know his name, or where exactly he came from, or what his background was, didn’t know alot about him and his life. Yet, you seem to have an unknown connection with some people, and you don’t realize why it’s there, or what it’s there for. You can feel it, like the air you breathe, you can’t see it. It’s like love, you want more of it, and it never lets you down. You don’t expect, it makes you happy. This is selfless love that I talk about, which has no boundaries and is unconditional in every sense of the word.
Babajee came to every house in my Block, in Defence, and he would ask for money. He was a peculiar kind of beggar, he would never force himself on anyone, he was really old and couldn’t walk properly. He used to limp, and always had a really long ‘soti’ (stick) that he would hold in his right hand all the time. He was tall, and rather slim, and had a shabby beard which was white all over, if I had to give an estimate I’d say he was around 70 years old. Always had a smile on his face, always wore white shalwar kurta, never anything else. I had never seen him in anything except white clothes, as it is, most people believe white stands for purity. And he was a pure person at heart in every sense of the word, the respect I have for him in my heart I wouldn’t have for a thousand elders around me (who never earned it in the first place), but him, he earned every bit of it and I hope he’s in a better place now, wherever he is.
Babajee came to my house every Sunday around 3 pm. I would wait for his loud knock on the gate anxiously, and I knew if I heard the sound of a stick knocking on my gate, it would be him. My maids would smile and tell me ‘Babajee’s here, he’s asking to see you’. And I would carry with me cold water in a silver steel cup for him, he was always very thirsty from walking so much, due to his old age, but would never drink water at anyone’s house except mine. He said my house is blessed, he said he has blessed me a thousand times every day, and he would always give me the honour to quench his thirst whenever he was thirsty after his long, tiring day. He would never ask me to give him a hundred rupees, or more, I would give him whatever I had and he would accept gladly. He was a happy man, he never had anyone else with him to help him out in his Sunday business, he never once showed me he was unhappy or was out of money, he never complained about anything, he was a content man. I never actually gave him more than water and money, I regret it now, I wish I would have given him something as a souvenir of the love I had for him, and I know not where he went, and I still think about him when Sundays come, for he reminds me of selfless, unconditional love that is so hard to find.
One day he was late than usual. I waited for him, and I had his water and money ready. He was like a routine now, I knew he had to come, and I made sure I didn’t make any plans before 3 pm, I didn’t want to disappoint him by not being home and giving him a glass of water myself, for he would refuse to drink it if I didn’t take it. He finally made it. I went out, and there he was, and he had alot of roses in his hands, and he carried them all the way from his place to mine, and he had been through a thousand other houses carrying those roses in his two hands and had walked all the way to mine with those. ‘These are for you, my beti, I got them from a holy, sacred place, and I got these for you; whatever and whenever you ask for something you will get it. You have been very kind to me, and this is a souvenir of my love for you, child’. And he handed me the roses, and he had tears in his eyes. And I was so happy, but out of words, for I had not seen so much love and contentment in anyone’s eyes ever. He had truly surprised me, and taught me greatly what unconditional love for someone is, and how love isn’t selfish at all, rather it is making others happy. I had done nothing for him, and he had changed my world without even knowing.
I know not what happened to him, he skipped alot of Sundays and I didn’t know where he lived, but I heard that Babajee was ill and that he couldn’t walk anymore. I was very sad, I wanted to see him, but these small ‘mohallas’ (areas) in rural areas are very hard to find, and my maids didn’t know exactly where he lived, and so time passed and the roses were dry but I still kept them in the highest place in my room. I never threw them away, I couldn’t. I don’t know why but they meant alot to me. When I missed him I would smell those and relax myself, thinking he’d show up one day.
I still am waiting to hear from you Babajee, I know not where you went or what happened to you. But I shall never forget. And you taught me a greater lesson than anyone around ever did, and coming from someone that you least expect it from, that is a true blessing from God. I guess he never really left me because I see him everywhere, in every selfless gesture that is made, in every kind word that is spoken, in my nana abbu above all; I see him in unconditional love people have for each other, he was one of my mentors. I pray for him to be in a better place, and I pray he realizes he was a saint, no matter what his conditions were, what his background was and whatever he did in his life; this one kindness, this one act of selflessness should be able to take away all the bad he had done unconditionally, or conditionally (which I refuse to believe) . I pray for him always. Love and respect for you, dear old Babajee.