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Unfaithful… In the Name of Love...

To get a background of the story, read Lucknow: The City of the Nawabs

The Tapkeshwar Temple in Dehradun, entrance.

The times have changed so much that fidelity may be looked down as a savage practice of prehistoric civilization. Is there a reason to be faithful to each other when we can enjoy the pleasures of life by being unfaithful? It requires hard practice and strict discipline to be true to one self and our partner. Why should we take so much pain for nothing? After all what does fidelity provide? Well, the answer is different for each of us!
Just like what it had been for me to stay faithful and love Surabhi with all my heart. Surabhi happened to be the Lucknow girl I had loved with all my life. I had fallen in for her beautiful eyes that reflected some inner pain. And I visited Lucknow just to see her once. She had been diagnosed with a terrible Central Nervous System (CNS) disease, and was gradually wasting away. That was what I had learnt while chatting with her on Facebook. I don’t know, when I had fallen in love with her, and decided to pay a visit to Lucknow to meet her. Facebook love is dangerous, and unless you have seen the person, personally falling in love is your fault. 

Mark, not Suckerberg’s!

By the time, I visited her in Lucknow (which is the state of Uttar Pradesh, India), it was her soul I met. For I had found her corpse outside her house when I went to report about her suicidal death in the Gomati river. She had jumped off the bridge on the Gomati River. Well, a CNS disease could make people lose their mind, eventually leading them to commit suicide. But Surabhi hadn’t shown any symptoms that she would make an exit from my life during the short time of half a night, we stayed together.
My Surabhi was a Shiva devotee. She would do the tandav dance before the statue of Lord Shiva, as a form of worship to please him. I was very angry with the gods for taking away my Surabhi from me. I was a lone brat in the world, and my existence in the world seemed dismal. Would I be an atheist? The gods wouldn’t exist for me. Or should I try to seek the gods for redressal of my pain? Life and death was a matter for the gods and me as a human could do nothing. I felt so helpless. Well, let me think again, life and death is a matter for the gods! If God can give death, then God could give life too.
My Surabhi was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was the ruler of the world. He was an eternal entity, considered the destroyer of the Trinity.

It is often said that there is a trinity of Hindu gods: Brahma as the creator, Vishnu as the preserver and Shiva as the destroyer. Lord Vishnu and Shiva have followers and temples all over India, but Lord Brahma is not worshiped as a major deity, because he was cursed for marrying his daughter, goddess Saraswati (goddess of knowledge and learning).

Well, if Lord Shiva could be pleased, he could grant life to my Surabhi. Demons (like Bhasmasura, who wanted to reduce lord Shiva into ashes) in the past had pleased him with their penance. Well, I was a human being; and Lord Shiva couldn’t reject my penance. Uttar Pradesh is famous for its temples. I had heard of a famous temple, the Tapkeshwar Temple in Dehradun, Uttrakhand, which is a state in the north, carved out of Uttar Pradesh. The Linga of Lord Shiva resides there. The Linga is a symbol of Lord Shiva, which represents the phallus which signified the power of procreation. It was similar to the religion of old practised by the Greeks and Romans. Though, the Greeks and Romans lost their ancient religion (considered to be as Pagan religion and Devil worship) to Christianity, our traditions have survived, thanks to the tolerance of the Muslim kings. 

The front side of Tapkeshwar Temple

The Tapkeshwar temple gets its name from the root word “tapak”, which mean a ‘falling drop’. The story of the cave where the Linga resides goes back to the time of Mahabharata. It was here, Guru Dronacharya’s son Ashwathama was born, and the guru had no food to feed his baby. So, Lord Shiva had blessed the place with his divine powers, and milk started dropping from the roof which was shaped like a breast, to feed the baby boy. Well, due to the sins of humans in this present Yuga (Kaliyuga), water droplets have replaced those milk drops.
 And now at present water percolates through the rocks and drops fall on the linga as if purifying the Lord. I decided to make a journey to the temple to please Lord Shiva. If I could have my Surabhi’s soul, I would be thankful.
Well, I travelled all the way to Dehradun, where the temple is located. I decided to take a journey by train to Dehradun Railway station. From there to the temple, I decided to walk barefoot. A pilgrim should walk on foot. Well, it was my own way to feel the pain of my love. An eight km journey on foot was not much, for a lover. If I had my way, I would have walked barefoot all the way from Delhi to the temple. But time was limited for me, and a quick way to seek penance would work wonders, if Lord Shiva willed. So, I set my journey on foot. I had lived the luxury of life, and here I was walking barefoot; I felt humbled. Truly, man is nothing in his mortal self. I covered the distance in about 2 hours. By the time I reached the temple it was evening. My feet was sore, and I could feel the sores coming out. I was weary, and in my tiredness, I looked more haggard than ever. Only, if my Surabhi could live! I would take all the trouble in the world for her.

On the opposite bank of the stream, Mother Santoshi Temple is located

The Tapkeshwar temple seemed to have been carved out of the mountain. A stream flowed close to it. On the opposite bank of the stream was mother Santhoshi Temple. First I decided to visit Lord Shiva temple and pour my offering. What had I to offer him, when I wanted my world from him? Well, should I sacrifice myself at his altar? Those were the things of the past. And here I was a rational creature. Had more of science in my head, but with a hope that Lord Shiva could work some miracle. Faith can move mountains. And I needed to strengthen my faith in Lord Shiva. Maybe, that faith would bring back my Surabhi.

Devotee offering milk to Shiv Linga

I gathered water from the flowing stream in my hands, and offered it on the Linga. There were others who had offered milk. But, I didn’t consider wasting food. After my offerings, I visited the mother Santoshi Temple. Well, there was her idol in a cave, which had a narrow passage way. I felt claustrophobic, but anyway made the journey.

Inside the cave

 I decided to meditate on the steps of the temple as long as I could. I was lost in meditation, when an old hermit in saffron robes woke me up. “Son, you have to go.”
“Where, O holy sage?” I asked, startled.
“Go back to your home. Your duty lies elsewhere, not here.” He said.
I felt a divine peace within me. Maybe Lord Shiva had indeed come and answered my prayers. I returned home, after receiving the blessings of the holy sage.
Next day, I found Surabhi had blocked me on WhatsApp, Facebook, and every other social apps I talked to her. Well, if she was dead, who was using her Facebook and WhatsApp account?
I was worried, and anxious. I had to know what happened to my Surabhi. I asked a close Facebook friend, Akhil Chaubey to find about her. Akhil had been close to Surabhi, all along. Some days later Akhil came with a report that shook the very grounds off my feet.

·         Surabhi never existed

I was surprised to the core. Something didn’t fit. I thought Akhil was a liar and a cheat, and wanted to keep me away from my Surabhi. I couldn’t be hallucinating all the time. Or maybe I was indeed schizophrenic. Couldn’t distinguish imagination and reality! I stared in the mirror, asking myself questions. Was I of normal mind? Or should I kill myself and meet my Surabhi in the afterlife? That would help us be one for ever. Maybe I could jump from the same bridge and be united with her – the sooner, the better.
I was furious and didn’t talk to Akhil for some days. Finally, when he knew why I was ignoring his texts and calls, he messaged me with reality which was quite difficult for me to swallow.

·         Surabhi had never been ill.

·         She had a boyfriend.

·         She had broken up with her former boyfriend, and that’s why she talked to me as she talked to everyone else.

·         Later, she had patched up with him, and so I was out from her life!

·         She was enjoying her life with her boyfriend, and didn’t give a damn what happened to me.

So, this was the boon Lord Shiva had given me. To get over Surabhi, who was not and had never been my Surabhi. If I would weep for her, I would be making a fool of myself.
Maybe, sometimes when we love someone and make them our weakness, they tend to cheat us. The worst pain is given not by strangers, but by those whom you love and trust. I loved Surabhi and trusted Akhil. I had to! And there was no way Akhil could lie and Surabhi could not cheat, for everything pointed to show how much I had been cheated by the girl I loved. Someone whom I called my own, wasn’t mine after all! Well, then who was the dead I had seen when I went seeking for Surabhi at her address? Maybe I was misled by the girl who chanced to be her neighbour who had the deadly CNS disease. Maybe it was she who had died. And Surabhi had used her name and address to lure me to my own stupid love trap! Or maybe, Lord Shiva had taken pity over me and made me see things I wanted to see, thus granting me the elixir of life!
I now wonder, do girls feign illness to gain sympathy from boys? Maybe, I won’t trust the next girl who is genuinely ill, for some experiences makes a man not an idealist but a cynical human being! Damned be Facebook love!
Unfaithful… In the Name of Love... Reviewed by Polymath on 8:02 am Rating: 5

2 comments:

  1. There is a possibility that she didnt cheat........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there was a possibility she didn't cheat. Because, it was a second hand information he got from his source. But maybe she abused the narrator after reading the story.

      Delete

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