It is year 2013 which is coming to the terms with its second half but it was nearly 7 years ago, in the summers of 2006 I had to go to Mathura for some business related stuff. Mathura, as most of us know is the birth place of Lord Krishna, one of the most popular and celebrated God from the Hindu mythology. It was my first visit to this place and as I expected there were numerous temples of Lord Krishna sharing Krishna’s life through pictures, sculptures and satsangs. Like any other religious place Mathura too had that aroma of Hindu mythology and that Godly feel in the air. For the first couple of days of my trip I could enjoy all that aroma and the feeling of positivity that you get especially when you are coming from a busy city like Delhi but as the days progress the transition starts from being a tourist to a resident. It does not mean that you actually become a resident but you would start seeing the not so good things as well. Anyways, as it was just a business trip so I decided to stick to the tourist part and enjoy the time I get other than work.
During all this, a considerable time of my day was used to go at a Vaishno Dhaba near my guest house because for all three meals of the day that dhaba was like a dining hall to me. Whenever I used to enter it, a boy around 8-9 years of age with a mesmerizing smile would come running and clean the table. Sometimes I used to smile back but sometimes I won’t care in the rush of thousand thoughts going in the back of mind. Does it ever happen with you that sometimes you meet or see a person who even though is not talking to you but seems like talking to you. You do not exchange a word but still it seems like you are having a conversation. I had that type of conversations with this little boy, even though my conscious mind doesn’t understand or remember anything but somewhere a connection was established with my sub consciousness.
One Sunday morning, I went there for my breakfast and as I sat on my regular table, my eyes started their search for that little boy but couldn’t find him. There weren’t many diners at that time. At the other end of the hall I could see a long and heavy built man, around 40 years of age worshiping Lord Krishna and in a few minutes I found him preaching a few diners or probably acquaintance about Lord Krishna.He was the owner of that place. He seemed to have a lot of knowledge about Hindu mythology and stories around Lord Krishna. He even narrated a few stories of the visions of Krishna though not experienced by him but some other lucky souls. As I went near, he noticed me and called me, “Please come sir, have a seat. I was telling them how a few of us actually had visions of Krishna. “I asked him “Uncle did you have those visions too?” to that he replied laughing “No sir, we are not saints and God wouldn’t come to us ever. He only meets the saints.” Controlling my smile, I replied “But you worship him daily, you preach about him as a routine and to me you’re one of his loyalists.” To this he smiled with a blush as if my words were equivalent to the visions of Lord Krishna.
Anyways, though it was a Sunday but I promised myself to make the most of it so I decided to take a leave from the dhaba. I greeted him good bye and started off but as I came out of the dhaba I saw my little friend at the corner under a running tap washing the utensils. But this time he did not have that mesmerizing smile but instead he was all tears. I couldn’t control and found myself inching towards him. As I was moving towards him, my mind was full of thoughts about how the owner of the dhaba is a die-hard Lord Krishna follower and brag so much about his knowledge about mythology, lure customers with the conduct of a Krishna Bhakt but then on the other side how he slaves a young kid like this. Apart from being a crime it is also inhuman to make eight years old kid work even more than the labourers.
As I reached my little friend, I put my hand on his shoulder, to that, he looked up but didn’t say anything but he couldn’t control his tears. He was not talking but his eyes were and as I said earlier too that there was a sub conscious connection between us. I signalled him to come with me and he followed, all this was happening without uttering a single word. I took him to a bench nearby and there we sat facing each other. I again put my hands on his shoulder and spoke for the first time to him,
“What’s your name my little friend?” He wasn’t crying by now but he replied in a choked voice, “Kanhaiya”.
Next day as a routine I went to the dhaba but I couldn’t find him, I looked outside under the tap but I couldn’t find him. All day my mind was cluttered with his thoughts and was concerned for him.
In the evening on the way back to my guest house, I noticed a boy of his age and built and even the same clothes, going towards the woods. Even before I shouted his name he disappeared.
No, he did not leave a bracelet or a peacock feather for me but what he left with me was a permanent thought. We keep searching for the God in flesh but he actually resides in a soul. He taught me to look beyond the flesh and treat everyone with empathy.