Monday, July 16, 2007

Sanyaasi

I was going on the bus today to downtown Vancouver. On the bus I was sitting on the right side next to the window and I was watching people waiting to get on at the next stop when I saw this woman. She had her hair cut short. I somehow like women with their hair short and so I took notice. But that wasn't all that had piqued my interest. She seemed to have this aura around her that I just found irresistible to ignore. She wasn't that pretty, had a weathered look but this aura made me smile just looking at her. I had had the same feeling when I had once looked into the face of a Tibetan monk dressed in the traditional red robe. They look so at peace and somehow very pleasant. You can feel it when you look into their faces. They have wide open faces which when I see makes me smile on impulse and given a chance, I would trust them with my life. That might sound adolescent but its the gut feeling that I get - an urge to trust completely. Of course all Tibetan monks needn't be saints, but most of them have this saintliness in their faces that is hard to describe. The same with this woman. The weathered un-aging face and the at-peace-with-the-world look about her.
So she is carrying this huge sleeping bag kind of thing and a backpack and then I notice that she is barefoot. She asks the driver if the bus goes where ever she wanted to go and then comes in without paying anything. I guess the driver kind of got the same feeling that I got. The same feeling of goodness and the sudden urge to let them take care of you or something. It is very weird. So she comes in and even though I am sitting in a corner, she looks at me and I can't help smiling. So she smiles back and then sits nearby. Then she goes back to the driver, pays her fare and starts talking to him. Something about how she had gone to Burma and how cold it is there. She asks something to the woman sitting next to her and in return, the woman asks her where she wants to go. She points in a direction and says that-a-way. My skeptical side comes to fore and tells me that she is just homeless. She looks totally free but with none of the aimlessness/lifelessness of the truly homeless. She was full of life.
I had sudden insane thoughts of just letting it all go and joining her wherever she was going. I had a gut feeling again that she would take me along with her. Forget about my degree, forget about making some money; just travel freely with just a good sturdy sleeping bag and feed on the good-naturedness of people on the way. I guess for that, you have to totally give up desire. The desire to see your parents, the desire to have children, the desire to own that spanky motorcyle, the desire for anything worldly or non-worldly and to live in the moment all the time. And be happy without the fulfillment or the expectation of the fulfillment of desire. Like a sanyaasi or a saint.

2 comments:

Mamatha said...

You actually had such thoughts?! That you'll leave everything and go with her?! Hmmm.

But this post I really like..you really managed to evoke the scene. Good show! I guess writing runs in the genes haan? :)

geronimo said...

:-D