This is part V of “Guruji in the Horizon”, a spiritual novel consisting of many parts. To read the previous parts, please go to the labels on the right bar and click on this title or click on this link: Will You Come Back Guruji

I couldn’t answer properly as I was doing nothing.  I wanted to stay in this place as long as my mother and Jimmy were alive.  After their death, I do not know. May be I could go to an orphanage or continue to stay here.   I firmly believe in God.  Except my firm faith in God, I do not perform any rituals, not because I do not believe in rituals, but because nobody is there to teach me the right way. 

“I take care of my land” I meekly replied. 

“Did you buy that land?”

“No sir.  It belongs to my father, who is no more”

“But you said your land” Just then I remembered his aversion to the word ‘my’.

I realised my mistake.  “Sorry sir.  It is my father’s.”

“Who else are with you?”

I was tensed to answer his question as I was in a dilemma whether to say my mother or simply mother. I thought for a moment and told him

“I stay with my mother and Jimmy”

I was happy that he did not object to the usage of my.

“Why do you call him as Jimmy?”  

I have no answer.  “I do not know, but I call him Jimmy”

All the three of us took our bath without any further conversation.  He started walking towards the stone bench.  He spread his wet clothes on the bench. 

“Can I stay with you?” he asked.

Without hesitation I said “yes sir”.

“My mother is aged and not very healthy.  She cooks once a day.  We take only rice and diluted butter milk in the night.”

“But that is more than enough to satiate your hunger” he said.

“I am used to that and hence I do not feel the hunger. Would you mind sharing our food for the night?”

“No.  I eat once a day.  I do not eat in the night. Go and take your food.” He said sitting on the verandah of our house. 

“Can I see your mother?”

I called my mother.  She was half-asleep.  She walked towards us.  I do not how to introduce him to my mother. 

“This is my mother”

He stood up and paid his respects to her.  She should be elder to him, but I was not sure.

“I met your son here.  I like him. Can I stay here for a few days?” he spoke to my mother. 

My mother had no hesitation in saying yes.  When any one looks at him, none can say no to him.  He commands such a respect.   

“Thank you.  Do you have any health problem?” he posed this question to my mother. 

“Yes sir.  I have joint pain.  I have problems with my vision.  Doctors say that I have developed cataract. We do not have enough money to get operated.  Further, I never wanted to get myself admitted in a hospital.”  She finished with a big sigh.

“Do you have asthma trouble?” He asked.

She said, “Yes”.

“Do you have frequent headache?”

“Yes” my mother said.

He smiled at her and asked us to have our dinner.  He smiled when I took my food along with Jimmy and shook his head side to side expressing his disapproval.  After completing my dinner, I washed the vessels, cleaned the place and joined him at the verandah.  I was very curious to know about him.  But I was scared to ask him. 

“You want to know about me, right?” When he asked this, I was little shaken. 

I politely said “yes sir”. I was still standing before him. 

“My full name is Prakashananda.  Many pronounce it wrongly.  Hence I ask them to call me as Ananda.”

“Have you come to this place before?”

“No” he said. “I do not visit any place for the second time except my gurus’ places.”

“What do you do and why you have come here?” at last I asked him what I wanted to ask. 

“Sit here my son” he said showing his right side.  He has got the knack of communicating through his eyes. 

I was very pleased.  I could read his concern and affection for me. I went to his side and sat down. 

“What time you go to sleep?” he asked.

“No prescribed schedule sir.  I do not know what time I sleep.  We do not have a clock at home.  We never felt the need for one. To a certain extent, I can tell the time based on the position of the sun.”

“Where do you sleep?” he asked me.

“Here, in the verandah or on the stone bench, which you had seen.”

“Do you feel sleepy now?” he asked.

“No sir”

“Can I sleep now and here?”

“Sir, as you wish”

“Do you need any bedding?”

“No, I do not use other’s clothes.  I have everything in this bag.” He pulled out another towel.  He spread it on the floor.  He sat on the towel and muttered something and placed his bag as a pillow.  He asked me to bring some water. I went inside and brought some water. He took a copper vessel from his bag and poured water into his copper vessel.   

“Never bring water filled to the brim of the vessel.  If you want to drink, the water will spill on you making you wet. You should never sleep without water by your side, especially in the night.  Water should never be wasted.  There are five elements and water is one among them.  You should never disrespect water by pouring it on the ground.”

He drank water and kept the vessel near his bag and began to sleep.  Somehow, I do not want to stand by his side, while he was asleep.  I moved out to the stone bench along with Jimmy.  I was thinking about the happenings after I lit the lamp before Ganapati.  I could not understand what was unfurling, but was confident that something is happening to me.  By rewinding the day, I also drifted into sleep. 

I woke up as usual and looked at the place where Ananda was sleeping.  He was not there.  I saw my mother.  She appeared very fresh.  She walked very briskly.  I have never seen my mother so active before.  She was always nourishing some ailment or other in her body.  I ran towards her.

“Shankara! All my ailments have gone.  I have no joint pain.  I am able to see very clearly.  My asthma trouble has also gone.  I am having perfect health Shankara!” My mother was shouting like a baby.  She was so happy and even began to jump to prove that she has been cured.  

Illness often causes mental depression.  We never take preventive measures to avoid illness.  If we take precautionary measures, we can avoid most of the ailments.  Once the virus enters our body, they are not banished easily. Controlled food intake, more of vegetables and fruits and curd are good for health.

“Shankara! God is very kind to me! Look how God has helped me overnight!” She shouted.  I know that she never had any faith in God nor she is an atheist. But mind told me that she got cured only because of Ananda.  But he is not to be seen around.  My intuition told me that he had not gone anywhere.  He should be close to my place only.  I ran towards the river.  I looked at the river, but none was there.  Jimmy also ran with me.  From the river I looked at the land side. He was not to be seen.  I was waiting totally disappointed.  I had a feeling that I had lost something very precious in my life.  My mind told me that I should not have let him go.  I cursed myself for being so careless by sleeping like a hog.  Generally, I wake up even if there is a small sound.  Jimmy also barks if there is a new person entering our area.  I have never seen him barking unnecessarily. 

The bank of the river is bushy with grown up trees.  Trees in the bank prevent land erosion when there are floods in the river.  On a couple of occasions water has entered into our hamlet, but never caused any serious damage.  I was confident that he is not going to be in those plushy bushes.  My intuition told me to wait for him in river bed.  I sat there, looking at the river.  The flow of water, though remained the same, appeared to be different to me.  I had a strange feeling that the flowing water appeared to be happy today. 

(to be continued)