A dusty path meanders towards an ancient house. The door is half opened and leads to a dark hall room with mantels in every corner. On a chair to the right, sits a bent figure in a white saree, quietly contemplating.
She is absolutely still, as if a part of the decor. Nothing is exceptional about her wrinkled features and sagging form. There is more death in her than life.
What’s the value of such an existence…?
She turns her head gently and looks at me straight, as if reading my mind. A little smile alights on her lips, which widens into a gentle laugh.
Startled, for the first time I see her for what she is: a link to the past, and the future… an eternal memory.
She is the keeper of the ancestral line and carries so many ancestors inside her. Those wrinkles, movements, expressions, habits, patterns, are not just hers. They also belong to the ancient ones before her.
Behind her stretches a long chain of traditions, events, stories and beliefs, which she subconsciously wraps as gifts for those who will come later – those who will carry it forward. May be those are for someone like the mighty Bhagirath, who will appear down the line and liberate them all by bringing in Ganga like virtues.
Till then the treasures have to be safeguarded! She has learned to tap into the wisdom of the past, and into that collective consciousness of ancestors that watches over posterity like a guardian angel.
She knows the importance of waiting, stillness, life & death.
Her existence has value not just during her lifetime but beyond. She knows it. Her laughter says it all!
Image courtesy Google