It was a cold winter morning and Ambhi was standing in the Living room, looking at the balcony and lawn through big glass windows. The fluffy white snow was starting to fall at a very fast pace and in no time the entire place is going to be covered with Snow. There was a voice within him that said “Order some Hot Chilli Bajji, for this cold weather”. There was a smile in his face and though Ambhi was looking at the Snow, it was very evident, he was thinking something else.
It’s 5 years since we came to this Country. What was a couple of short few weeks’ trip, turned into long 18 months stay, which is now becoming even longer term living here. It has not been an easy experience not seeing parents, siblings, cousins, in-laws and living in a sense of uncertainty for a year. Five years ago, if someone would have asked Ambhi, if he sees himself living in a bitter cold city like this far away from everything, he would have laughed and made fun as a joke. Life has its own way of taking us to where we need to be.
As Ambhi was thinking about life 5 years ago, he remembered about Ganesh, his colleague at work. Ambhi has seen Ganesh enjoy a blissful life. Ganesh was living in his own apartment in Bangalore. Ganesh took pride in the fact that he had a beautiful apartment to welcome the girl of his life. Ganesh and his wife lived an exceptionally great life there. For them, creating experiences was much more important than anything else. Love you’s, Hugs, Kisses were all part of their hourly life. They love driving and planning for weekend trips. There had been instances where they plan for things on Friday morning and get off for a weekend trip that evening. Ambhi wished that was possible for him like Ganesh, but with a kid – Ambhi’s life is driven by his kids priority now.
As Ambhi was thinking about Ganesh, the smell of hot Madras Filter coffee brought him back to reality. Snow is falling fast now. Ambhi walked to the bedroom to make sure his Son was still sleeping, and was about to sip the hot coffee, when he thought about his friend Ramannna – the friend who stopped drinking coffee and would ask for Milk every time he was offered Coffee / Tea. More specifically, Ramanna always wanted his cup of Milk without any Sugar added to it.
Ramanna was a very interesting character. He is someone who can intellectually understand things very quickly and is always hungry to learn new things about life. He gets kick out of implementing new learnings and growing blisffully. Though Ambhi is like that, but the speed at which Ramanna would do things will amaze people. Ramanna is like the clay that gave itself into the hands of potter and said “I don’t know what to do with me. So, you do what you think I can be capable of”. If there was one thing Ramanna always struggled it was emotionally connecting with people. At times, he must think intellectually and see how he should react and then portray that emotion, but compensate that for his genuine nature and unmistakably consistent in doing things. Ramanna loved taking sessions in front of Hundreds of School Students sharing the learnings that has changed his life.
A loud scream from the bedroom, shook Ambhi and he rushed there. There was Ambhi Junior, smiling at him. On waking up and finding nobody around, he screamed to call Ambhi and get his attention. Ambhi walked his Son to the Living room and showed the Snow fall and talked about their plan to go out and play in the Snow and make a Snow man later that morning. It had been a nostalgic morning for Ambhi as he went to look at some old pictures of Ganesh and Ramanna. That is when he saw Yagi’s photo, whom he knew during School days.
Yagi was the most calm, silent, introverted guy in the Class. He was reluctant to do anything other than routine and was the kind of the guy who would not even raise the hand even when he knew the answer for Teacher’s question and kept thinking “what will happen if my answer is not right and what others will think”. This was in his XII grade. No worries, no complains, always content, parents to take care of everything, temple once in a week and most importantly in the evening before exams – that was Yagis’ life and Ambhi was envying that now.
A thud shake, shook Ambhi and it was Subhashree, Ambhi’s wife. Ambhi did not realize, it has been over 2 hours since snow started and had formed a very thick layer of snow.
Subhashree : You do not seem to be in this world at all. I have been calling you three times now, what is going on. Are you alright?
Ambhi narrated the whole experience to Subhashree
Subhashree (with a very confused face) : By the way you are explaining though it appears different individuals, isn’t it all just YOU.
Ambhi (nodding, agreeing to Subhashree) : That is exactly what I am thinking now. “Who am I?”
Subhashree : You are Ambhi
Ambhi : That’s just a name. Though characters contradict, I am the same introverted, shy, no-confident Yagi, as I am the Ramanna confidently sharing my learnings with Hundreds of Students. I am the same Ramanna who struggled to express emotions as I am the Ganesh who expressed love and caring. Yagi contradicts Ramanna who contradicts Ganesh who contradicts Ambhi, each in individual aspects.
Subhashree : Yes, you were called in different names in growing years and you matured as you grow. If you think if those are not you, Who are you?
Ambhi: I am still wondering who I am? I read recently “If you can see a Cup in the table, you know very clearly that cup is not you because You as the subject are seeing that Object (Cup). There is a Subject Object relationship. I am experientially realizing that. All that I have seen and thought about me are just some character traits. I am much bigger than those. In fact, I am not even that mind voice that asked for Hot chilli bajji because I (the subject) can hear that voice (object).
Subhashree : It is very interesting to hear. So will you ever know who are you?
Ambhi : I don’t think so. It is like this. In today’s scenario – the world outside, cannot judge or know who am I based on my Facebook posts, likes, comments, Tweets or Instagram pics. I am much more than just that. That is just a very small part of me. Similarly, now, I have realized – I am much more than my roles. memories, my emotions, my frustrations, my happiness, my fear – because I can see all these. I am the invisble Spirit that is experiencing all these in this life.
Adhruth (Junior Ambhi) was laughing at Ambhi and wanted to go out.
Ambhi : I am feeling a sense of liberated today in realizing this. Saying that, Ambhi went on to put snow pants on Adhruth to make the Snowman and Snow Angel. There was a bliss of being re-born in Ambhi’s face and off he has gone to play in the Snow with Adhruth and share that pictures in Facebook (but this time, not really thinking about who all will like or comments on it)