“How could he speak to me like that; no one ever dared to, and on top of that he was even smiling; he is a megalomaniac, a self-obsessed jerk, not a seer, who is filled with humility and empathy for everyone.”
The mental arguments refused to die down as he continued murmuring, talking to himself; his feet manoeuvred deftly between the accelerator, and the brakes, while the eyes stayed focused on the road ahead.
The fact that the event was attended by many, including his friends and acquaintances who consider him an ‘authority’, ‘Final word’, on anything related to people and life, would now look at this magnificent edifice crumbling, breathing dust; the thought, suddenly fuelled his frustration as he seethed in anger, regretting the decision to call him.
“I was only putting forward my viewpoint, nothing else; doesn’t he know a diplomatic way to make it look like a fresh view in a subtle way, without injuring someone’s self-respect, instead of cutting in such an obvious way, leaving me with nothing; nothing to lean on; I suddenly felt naked in that crowd, and the entire blame goes to him,” he continued the mental tirade against the spiritual guru he admired so much for the last so many years.
The feet suddenly pressed harder, as the Rolls Royce picked up speed.
He was driving himself today, thinking of inviting him to his house; driving him from the venue to his sprawling farmhouse on the outskirts of the city.
“People warned me about his imperiousness; Subir, in fact, cautioned against calling him for such a big event, but ‘Vinashkaale viprit buddhi’ (bad times just hijacks your wisdom),” he suddenly thumped the steering in exasperation.
“It took me years, years, he repeated “years” consciously, to create this standing amongst these people; more than 2 decades, I sweated like a labourer day in and day out, and now, just in a stroke of a few seconds, everything is gone, finished, vanished in thin air,” the mental murmuring refused to die down, as he continued regurgitating every word and every action, of the purported humiliation, a feeling which continued to get stronger with every passing moment.
The car suddenly stopped in front of a cigarette shop.
He hadn’t smoked in over a decade, quit the habit one day, just like that but today he stood there.
He bought a packet, smoked two of them one after the another, without taking a pause.
“We should listen, introspect, observe, and learn before we open our mouth or risk spewing out sewage as we speak,” the seer replied to one question which he was still trying to answer.
His answer which focused on his own success story as he self-aggrandized himself, even before the seer could speak, to whom the question was originally directed, probably pricked the seer’s self-respect.
“Hmmm, that’s what led to all this,” he concluded.
Suddenly, his lungs feeling awkward with this sudden inhalation of smoke, after getting used to a much better life and air in the interim were unable to withstand this unexpected onset of a nicotine-laden attack on them, were in a shock, with no inkling on how to react before realizing one thing they could do!
Sudden, uncontrollable coughing followed as he was about to finish the second stick; it so intense, he had to sit down and throw away the rest of the pack; gasping for breath and longing for some water, he thought he had made a mistake.
The shopkeeper, however, noticing the trauma, immediately offered water; a drop and two past his throat, slowly calmed the situation making it a little bearable as he closed his eyes for a moment before looking around.
“Are you fine,” asked the shopkeeper, as he nodded his head; the face had turned red, while the eyes were now leaking water.
“You can sit,” he offered him a chair but he refused with a slight jerk of his head and continued staring blankly at the darkness ahead.
That moment of a clear-headedness; a moment when he felt he might cough his lungs out of his abdomen, though suddenly flashed the answer, he had been searching for all this while.
“Isn’t this what I have been doing all my life, forcing my words, my experience, and my thoughts everywhere, with no consideration for other’s knowledge and wisdom.”
“What the seer said, probably makes sense,” a part of his mind, suddenly started to reason.
“But shouldn’t he have been a little more discreet; he could have spoken with me personally; yes, he could have easily done that, after all, it was me who got him there,” suddenly another part of him intervened.
He slowly opened the door to slide back on the driver’s seat; the car started moving again as the inner dialogue continued.
“But, didn’t I cut him, did I”
There was a pause, another moment of self-reflection before started murmuring again.
“Yes, I did, I think,” the inner voice courageously whispered.
“But he is the one who is enlightened; he should have been more responsible,” another part of him still tried justifying the weird act.
The discussion was on; in the head though, as he lay on his bed with his eyes closed now.
Meanwhile, the seer meditated peacefully in his ashram.
“There is no point in thinking about the past, it’s just a lesson, live the moment and better the future, this is what lies in our hands”, wrote someone on their wall, as his wife scrolled through her media feed speaking the quote loudly as he experienced listening to the seer again.