A month before Pitaji left His Body, He warned me to stop “Khana-Pina” literally “Eating and Drinking” – because He said: diseases are coming… I forgot about His words of caution and when I returned from Faridabad to Jaipur, I began drinking whisky in beer glasses filled with ice and took to cooking mutton koftas and “dahi” chickens quite vigorously. Consequently, 2 years later I discovered I had Diabetes. And then 2 years thereafter, I discovered I had a sleeping disorder called Sleep Apnea. It ‘enlarged’ my Heart. So, I became a Cardiac Patient. Meanwhile, Diabetes began to take a toll on my Teeth and I had to get implants on my Molars. Then came news of my Kidneys…. And my story of health woes started.
Meanwhile, I had begun to lose professional assignments because there were New Kids on the Block. Media processes had been democratized. I was edged out of the market where money mattered more than quality. Meanwhile also, my passionate interests began to fade gradually. No inspiration to write or film or travel. Instead I became a cyber-pirate downloading movies and documentaries, feeding my head with a wide range of subjects from Business & Finance to Society & Culture; Art & Rock n Roll to Science & Technology; Wildlife & Ecology and of course, in my long abiding interest and fascination for Aerospace. The dream of being in International Space Station! All fulfilled in full HD 1080p! The hiatus in Todgarh Wildlife Sanctuary was another dream that Pitaji fulfilled. To live in a forest. It was for my own salvation – to redeem my obese middle-class existence rather than for the empowerment of the rural poor. No support from the Government or the local people. Except for my good fellow Gopal, who gave me one of his sons – Ghanshyam – to raise and rear. He is a young man now living with “Uncle Nihal” since 2008. Ghanshyam is another story that needs recounting….
Anyways, what transpired was an “Over Consumption” of Information that choked my head with Problems – not Solutions. Pitaji once explained that every piece of machinery has a fixed running life after which it stops. It is the machinery of the human mind that never ever stops. I turned towards listening to Shabad and Bhajans to quieten my mind and try and find my peace with myself. Gradually, all the zest and meaning began to slip out slowly and I had found a euphemism to suitably express my predicament – the Departure Lounge. No Baggage. Ready to go. Awaiting the call to board…. Finally, a release from this body and earth-bound existence.
So, one can say that there has been a “Death Wish” of sorts because there is no raison d’être left to go on living. For what? There are no more dreams left to chase. There is nothing more left to achieve. No desires to be fulfilled. Only the Words of the Guru left to ruminate. Guru ki Vani – Gurbani. Which should be heard, over and over again and remembered – Simran. But unfortunately, old habits interfere with the chatter of a cluttered mind and it is difficult to be in constant remembrance because eyes ears and the world of senses are so completely stuck to the Self that it is impossible to get rid of them. And therein lies the “Pain of Being” …. Forever condemned to be Oneself. So, the feeling arises to “Let Go” and “Be Released” from the utter uselessness of the “I, Me and Myself”. So, the Death Wish is not merely to die in body and be cremated but a living death where there is abeyance of the constantly chattering Monkey Mind.
I can hear Pitaji say: Nihal ji, yeh vidya kahan se lay lee aapne?
Where did you pick this up knowledge?
Yeh aapke man kay bhav hain aur kuch nahin.
These are your own creations and nothing more.
Sachai to yeh hai ki na to mauth ki ichacha honi chaiye
The truth is there should be no desire to die
Na Jeene ke abhilasha.
Nor a wish to keep living.
What is to Come is Coming…. And it is Pitaji’s Will.
And it is acceptable to me.
In the End, I always recall these lines from Hanuman Chalisa:
Aant Kaal Raghubarpur Jae e
At death I will go where my Guru resides
Jahan Janam Hari Bhakt Kahala ee /34/
Where I will be born as Guru Bhakt
Aur Devta Achit na dhara ee
And there is no God in my Consciousness
Hanumat save serva sukh karai /35/
Hanuman (Pure of Heart = Guru) will give me all Happiness.*
* The meaning is lost in translation into English.
But am sure you get the gist….