A Dream Come True?
August 31, 2014

He had made it at last! It was his Dream Come True. Staring at the 7 Hills above him, 70-year-old Laxman’s joy knew no bounds! He was going to see the Lord and how! Not in his celestial abode but the earthly one aptly called the ‘Bhoo Vaikuntam’! Laxman had heard so many stories of the Lord but what was dear to him was that the Lord never failed to give ‘darshan’ or audience to the ones who sought him in earnest. This Lord it was also said that, reminded each and every one of his vows but never failed to ‘give’ too, if the promise was kept. There was no ‘fooling’ Him any which way! Everybody reaped as they sowed and HE saw to it!

‘Absolute faith’ has brought me here, thought Laxman once again. He was where he was because of the Lord’s will. He had surrendered completely to HIS will. He knew that there were 6000 odd steps to reach the Lord here by foot and had planned beforehand to climb it in 4 stages. It would take him about 4 hours, he calculated.

The first stage passed off quickly before he could even think. Laxman looked back… His childhood flashed before him. His parents, how well they had looked after him, in spite of their hardships! ‘Think Good for all and Pray to God whatever be’ was his father’s simple message. This had guided him in the most complex of situations, never allowing him to go astray. His was therefore a happy childhood without any doubt.

Energized, Laxman took the next flight of steps. Looking down and amidst the beautiful scenery his ‘Youth’ stared back at him! ‘Be Big at heart, then everything falls in place’, his mother had advised  him then, teaching him the importance of distinguishing between need and greed. He had obliged by helping others in distress in whichever way he could. He had taken a liking to cooking at the outset, whilst helping his mother do her household chores. This had landed him the job of a ‘Chief Chef’ at 
the Town’s most popular temple in Car Street. ‘Doling dishes to the devotees of the Ultimate Deliverer’, Laxman had thought. His faith was now intensified, he prayed that he be called to the Headquarters, at least once.

Completing the third stage, Laxman again went down memory lane. Losing his beloved parents at 35, he had married Urmila some 2 years later. His learned friend , a Purohit had explained in detail to him the meaning of ‘Saptha Padhis’ or the ‘7 rounds-vows’, one took during marriage. Laxman understood the meaning behind them. They were like ‘passwords’ to make an ‘ Union’ meaningful, he had thought then. There could be no ‘cracks’ in a marriage if one really ‘understood’ Saptha-Padhis. His daughter Prateeksha had arrived 3 years later and added to their bliss.

Laxman finally reached and saw down - one last time. The last 30 years were hectic. He had given the same values to his girl child who was his bundle of joy. He had seen her grow the way he had wished and complete her studies. At 60 he had retired from work. At 62, a crisis had seen him lose heavily on his savings. He had managed however, sticking to his principles. His daughter’s marriage 3 years later had brought his material stock down to zero. Undeterred he had resorted to selling vegetables at the very door-steps of the temple , he had worked earlier. It was a hard grind. Getting up at 3 am everyday, collecting vegetables at wholesale rates near the Central Market and towing it down to Car-Street. His wife and child were a great support and he had wished to save enough soon to embark on a final pilgrimage.

Without his knowing, Laxman had reached the bend where he was about to see the Lord of his dreams.

At last! Then a dazzling light seemed to engulf him front on. Fully bedecked the Lord was there smiling before him! Just as he had thought all over the years! ‘’Laxman….

The Lord was actually speaking to him!!!

‘’Any bag or baggage Laxman’’??

“No Noooo No … Lord’…Laxman managed.
 
‘Really ‘See Me’ Laxman??

“Yes - I do”…..blurted Laxman….

“Good… Lots here come just to have a ‘sight’ of me, but troubled as to what’s happening back home and want to return back fast…Laxman, You Want to be a ‘drop’ outside or be one with the Ocean’…Laxman??

‘The Ocean….Ocean---Laxman stammered. A light seemed to go out and got merged into the brilliant ‘Aura’ pervading .

In a small mud-house near Pandeshwar in Mangalore, Prateeksha, who had come the day before, was trying to wake up her father. It was 5 am and her father had not woken up. It was odd. She tried to give a gentle push only to find that his body had gone cold. The doctor who came later could not do anything. The end may have come at around 4 am was all he had to say.

Later that day Laxman’s friends gathered at Car Street. A certain, Bhandarkar who knew Laxman very well was misty eyed. Amidst slight sobs he said…'Laxmanmaam, Laxmanmaam, never ever had any desires left... Pious to the core..He only wanted to see the Lord of the 7 Hills once… Lord of the 7 Hills once....