(I’ve joined the A to Z Challenge where the participants have to blog every day in April, excepting Sundays. The titles of the posts should start with different letters of the alphabet, starting with A on April 1st and moving on sequentially. The theme I’ve selected is Stories. Just hope I can keep up with the ‘march of the alphabets’ 🙂 )
Aum ! I grew up hearing this sacred word, chanted by hundreds daily on the banks of the Ganga in the holy city of Benaras. Unlike the rest of the family, my father who was also the head priest, did not see my birth as a bad omen. Even with my ungainly limbs and disproportionate body Baba saw only the beauty of my soul. My mother hated me on sight since I was a girl. I used to stick to Baba like a shadow, preferring to live in darkness rather than face the harsh daylight. When he was with me, I could ignore the malicious taunts and the cruel stares aimed at me. He taught me the true meaning of our sacred texts going much deeper than the meaningless words chanted by most of the learned men all around. I forgot to look out into the world preferring to bury myself in words. The topic of marriage was brought up by my mother and grandmother but forgotten gradually. You see, I had no takers.
This morning I chanted the Aum for the last time. Neither the murmur of the Ganga nor the rumblings of the devotees can be heard here in the prison. They say I killed my father. How can I kill somebody who’s already dead ? The disease struck two years back and hungrily ate into my father’s mind. The day he could no longer recognise me I knew that he was no more. The shell lying there was not Baba. So one morning I eased him into the Ganga where he always wanted to rest.
Today when I’m taken to the ghats to perform prayers for Baba, I’ll join him. I know he’s waiting for me.