a world full of waiting

It is a long time that Sunil (Gaur) died-perhaps it was 2008, in January. But his words, “you are there in everyone”, remain in my mind fresh still. I even remember the spot in my then home in Faridabad, where I stood and had this communication with him. We were on the phone and it was one of those conversations which we had now and then, to talk about psychology, music, and so forth. He always told me that he envied me for the fact that I could live alone with my animals in a big house, and engage with ragas, ideas, dogs, and greenery around me. 

“You lucky girl, the whole world is in you and you are there in everyone- so why would you have to worry about living like the rest of us. I wish I could be there instead of you.” he said.

I thought he was joking, for what was there in my solitude, and my suffering alone (sometimes) that this professor of psychology would have wanted to trade places with me for? I thought he was in an enviable position that he could interact with so many eager-to-learn young people, who would be lapping up the ideas that their teachers shared with them in undergraduate university classes. I asked for a clarification, and he explained.

“See when a child is born everyone waits for it to grow up and become a little boy or girl. When the child grows they wait for it to go to school, when it goes to school everyone waits till it becomes big enough to pass out of school and then to pass out of college and then to get a job, and then to get married. So when the man or woman is old enough to be married and they marry, they now wait for the next thing, which would be to either have a home of their own or a child of their own. When a couple have children they start looking at the child growing up and also planning for their old age or retirement and so forth. So within one phase of life, there is another phase in-waiting, and everyone is looking at the next phase, in anticipation, hope, fear or whatever. Everyone is waiting…and you are there in everyone.”

Of course he was joking, for he was not referring to me as a person, but the meaning of my name- and I could not but agree. Everyone is waiting, and that set me thinking whether I too was waiting for someone or something. If the whole world is waiting- doing prateeksha (the hindi meaning here) then what is prateeksha (the person I am) supposed to do? Ought I also be waiting or ought I be doing something else? Somewhere perhaps that became the point that gave direction to my thoughts for the future, for my own prateeksha or waiting had ended, and I had nothing else to do, but live (yet not in the cyclical manner of cause and effect, one stage after another).

From that idea, which was planted in my mind by Sunil so many years ago, I derive the name of this blog- ‘in prateeksha’, which translates to ‘prateeksha main’ (hindi meaning), whereas in English it would translate as simply waiting. Assuming that we are all waiting, I hope that we all wait for something good, something just, something which creates goodness for the world in acts and jobs that we do, though of course we all know that not everyone’s work is creating that just, good and peaceful world- else we would have vanquished human suffering collectively by now.

Raga- one of my dogs, who was there when I lived in Faridabad
With the grass being replanted, Raga- my german shepherd taking stock of the situation, holding a newspaper between her paws
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