An Air Warrior and prolific writer with over 60 published short stories and 9 books on fiction
Thunder and rain, women and love, motorcars and long drives; somehow are all intertwined together. I am not able to understand why this should be so, but I remember, swami Shraddhanand that eternal mystic who connected all these together. He added another rider, or shall I say an undercurrent to all this and that was moksha or salvation; may be true or not but then I suppose this is the reality. Why should the swami have picked up the words thunder, rain, woman, love, motorcars, and long drives? At that time, it was a mystery to me but now I have realized that the swami was a man who could read the mind and he probably realized that the best way to convince me was through the way I lived.
Stupendous, isn’t it? He was a real clairvoyant. Maybe he had the soul of Count Louis Hamon Cherio in him. I don't know but when I left the ashram last Sunday, I told the swami that I was going to drive to Indore. He had looked at me with his radiant face and said,” go my son, go, maybe you might get some moksha from the drive to Indore.” I had just landed from Singapore, and I was going to see a friend of mine in that city in Central India.
The story begins when I told Colonel Balder Singh that I'm going to drive out to Indore in the morning. I told him, it is about 625 kilometers and I'm going to have a halt on the way because it's going to be a leisurely drive and not something hell-bent on leather. This was at the army officers club bar where we sipped pegs of Chivas Regal. He had clapped his hands and said,” bravo man that's wonderful because it means you're going to cross the Military Headquarters of War (MHOW). In that case, my pal do me a favor there's a wife of a Major who wishes to go to Mhow and it would be a great idea if you could give her a lift.”
After this talk with the colonel, I received a call on my mobile. It was a soft lilting voice and she asked me if I could pick her up from her house. I readily agreed and the next morning I put my SUV into gear and drove off. it was not far from where I was staying. I parked the XUV-500 in front of her house she guessed it was me and came out. The moment she came out the thought that struck me was that she was extremely beautiful and at the back of my mind I couldn't help feeling that maybe in her previous life she was in apsara, a singing minstrel from heaven. She carried a small bag which I put in the back of the SUV and as she sat in front, we drove off.
There was not much interaction with her in the drive. I could make out that in the sari with the low-cut blouse, she was a very beautiful woman. I would place her age at about 22 or 23 and that would make her half my age. I was extremely happy to take her with me. Soon my vehicle began to pick up speed on the road. She says softly,” captain don't speed, we have all the time in the world.”
Love and past births
It was the monsoon season, and the rain was beginning to pick up. We were now crossing the Ghats the mountains that's separate the city of Mumbai from the Deccan plateau. The rain now began to increase in intensity, and I looked out of the car and said, “we are in for a thunderstorm.”
“Yes,” she replied, “I like it.”
The rain now increased and began to fall on the windshield and the wipers were moving at super-fast speed, yet the visibility was reduced. I looked at the lady and said,” we better stop because the rain is getting a little too much.”
“Yes,” she said softly,” there is a small temple of Lord Krishna nearby on the right-hand side; we can stop there.”
I was intrigued by how she knew about the temple of the Lord? I'd never noticed it having driven on this road at least a dozen times.
I slowed down my SUV and lo and behold on the right-hand side, I saw a small temple of Lord Krishna. “You are right, “I said,” it is a temple I'd not noticed before.”
“Yes,” she said,” it is Lord Krishna’s, do you believe in him?”
“Absolutely,” I replied.
The rain had now turned into a thunderstorm and lightning was flashing across the sky. Thunder was booming and booming again. Far away, I could hear the lightning fall and the earth seemed to shake. I got out of my vehicle and went to the left door and helped the damsel climb down. There was a crash of thunder and instinctively I had cradled her in my arms; a warm bundle of flesh so enticing and so beautiful.
With the rain beating down on me and her, I took her to the foyer of the temple. It was a small one and there was just space for a small idol of the Lord playing the flute. I paid my tribute and came out from the sanctum sanctorum. My eyes caught the sight of the girl and noticed she was drenched. I realized that she had probably gone out into the rain and her disheveled look heightened her sexuality. The sari clung to her body and so did the blouse. There was no doubt that she was the most beautiful girl I've ever seen.
“What are you going to do?” she asked.
“Tell me,” I asked,” why did you go out in the rain, you got wet.” She just smiled and said, “you like me, don't you? wet as I am.”
I was really surprised at her reaction, and I took a step forward and just lifted her in my arms. Maybe it was the will of the Lord because I kissed her and that set a chain reaction over which I had no control. The rain was falling all around. Though we were safe in this small part of the temple, the girl was clinging to me and there was no shyness or prudery about her
There was a crash of thunder and the girl snuggled closer to me. Maybe the Lord had decreed it as I began to kiss her. I closed my eyes and I was in for a shock because high in the heavens I could see the chariot of the Lord and when I closed my eyes again, I could see myself in my past births. I saw myself as a soldier along with Alexander the Great. I also saw myself as a man on horseback riding with that great warrior Ghazni. I shook my head; what the hell was going on? Such a thing has never happened before. Why am I getting all these visions? I closed my eyes again and saw the girl on the cloud with a sitar singing softly, there was no doubt she was the most beautiful girl in the world.
What followed was a hedonistic pleasure and I wonder how many of us have experienced making love in a desolate place with a thunderstorm raging all around. In addition, there was something else, I could not explain. In those sublime moments when I was closing my eyes, I could see so many visions, so many things. It was as if somebody was showing me my past births. I shook my head; what was happening? This was unreal but it did happen to me. In between I felt the citadel, I knew my possession was complete. After some time, it was over, it had to, for that is the law of nature.
I rolled to the side and lay down with the rain falling all around and thunder crashing across the heavens. I closed my eyes, I had a nap for a few minutes but when I opened my eyes, I looked around there was no girl. I thought she must have gone around the corner for some personal work, and I waited. Minutes passed and soon two hours passed and there was no girl. I was getting worried; what is happening? what if the girl had been kidnapped by some dacoits, but then I knew there are no dacoits in this area which is well sanitized
An apsara from heaven?
I was wondering where the girl had vanished, she was flesh and blood in my arms. I waited and waited. I couldn't go because it was raining all around. In case she was around and I wanted to take her, and she wanted to reach Mhow. Three hours elapsed and I am still standing there and then I saw an ambassador car taxi coming. It was coming from the opposite direction. I stopped the car and asked the driver, “you are coming from Dhulia?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“Well, have you seen any lady going away or taking a taxi from here, when you were going onward towards Dhulia.” He looked at me quizzically and said,” when I crossed from here, I saw you and your girlfriend sitting arm in arm in the foyer of the temple and I went away. I do not know where that girl has gone, maybe she took a hitchhike with another car and went away.”
I was at a loss what to do. Should I continue to Indore or stop and go back or wait here. I looked all around and there was total desolateness. Something unique had happened to the girl who had vanished. I finally decided after a three-hour wait that the girl had been traumatic after I had made love to her, and had just run away, unable to bear what had happened. That looked to be the only explanation. I continued to Indore and this time put the vehicle into the 5th gear and moved at 200 kilometers an hour on the last leg of the journey.
After two days I returned and once more stopped at the same temple. I made my prayers and continued. All along I was feeling that something strange had happened and I could not understand why the girl should have vanished. My ticket was booked to Singapore and before that I decided I must pay my obeisance to the Swami. I reached his ashram and bowed before him. I found the Swami radiant and his face was shining. He looked at me and said,” son I'm so glad you have come.”
“Sir,” I said,” I have a problem, a big one and I do not know how to solve it.”
“I know what it is,” he said,” but can you tell me in your own words.” I related to him the incident of the girl without mentioning that I had made love to her and finally said she had just vanished into thin air, and I just can't add two and two and make it four.
The swami smiled at me and said,” you are a good man you're a Kshatriya, a warrior and the gods wanted to reward you.”
“How is that Swamiji?” I asked.
The swami smiled and continued,” what you saw was someone who came from the heavens, an apsara one of the maidens who would sing songs in the court of the God Indra.”
“Swamiji, “I said, “this is all nonsense, I mean she was in my arms and just all flesh and blood and she was alive.”
The swami smiled,” you do not know what Lord Krishna plans. you must have done something good, so the Lord decided to give you a gift.”
“But Swamiji,” I said,” Colonel Balder had told me to take this girl.”
The swami only said, “why don't you ask him?”
I immediately picked up the phone and dialed the number of the Colonel. He came online and said,” so nice to hear your voice, when did you come back from your visit to central India.”
“Yes,” I said,” but I want to ask you a question.’
“What is the question?”
“Colonel, you remember when we had a drink at the officers club, you had asked me to take a girl to Mhow and I had agreed.”
The colonel sounded perplexed and said slowly,” what the hell are you talking man. I do remember we sat and drank but I never told you to take any girl...”
I immediately cut the telephone call and looked at the swami.
The swami’s face radiated peace and tranquility. He did not say anything. but just got up and left to do his prayers. I did not believe what the swami had said. I was sure the Colonel was lying and the girl had suffered trauma after my seduction and run away. I was not sure….. Could the Swami be correct? But why me? how was I the chosen one?
I do not know what to believe or not to believe; it is something like Ripley’s unbelievably.