Do you believe in premonitions? I think I do. I had mentioned about Dr. N.K. Singh, the founder of our college, in an earlier post. This year he wanted to celebrate Saraswati Pooja on Basant Panchami day in the premises of his school for the first time since he took charge. He invited practically everyone he knew as well as those who had contributed to the school in any way. He personally invited a good number of his former colleagues and associates. I was also an invitee. We were treated to a delicious ‘Khichri bhog’ and entertained to a music competition by his students. The teachers and other staff members were like a close knit family and I was reminded of the times when we’d have a similar get together in our college premises. That was long back when our founder principal was alive and the same family spirit prevailed in our college too. ‘Sir’ as we fondly call Dr. N.K. Singh was not in excellent health since he was recuperating after some health setbacks but he was in excellent spirits. We met him personally to enquire after his health and he in turn made fond enquiries about our well - being. He particularly remembered the dal prepared by my colleague’s mother who had treated him to excellent home food long back when her husband was alive and he was a frequent visitor to their place.
“No one prepares dal quite they way you do. It simply does not taste the same.” He said.
“No problem” said the lady. “You can come over anytime. I’ll have it ready for you”.
“I’ll definitely come over once the weather gets warmer” he said.
Those present wanted to know what was so special about the dal she prepared. He replied that he really did not know but it had neither spices nor flavoring agents but tasted very good. There was magic in her hands. Someone joked that in that case we all would like to taste her preparation!
Somehow all this kind of disturbed me. On my way back I remarked that it appeared as if Dr. N. K. Singh wanted to meet his old friends and other well wishers in person and used the Saraswati puja get together as an excuse. I wondered aloud if he had some pre monition about his not being well enough to celebrate another Saraswati puja.
Fifteen days later he passed away. His body was brought to our college and we gathered to give him a tearful farewell. We feel orphaned. But that is not my point. I wonder if he understood that his days were numbered or was it just chance that we got together on Saraswati puja day?
Mrs. Sinha was our neighbor for more than 13 years and was very fond of my children. She had a soft corner for my son and would take him to her house from the time he was a month old. He grew up calling her husband uncle papaji. She’d look after him when I went to work and he hadn’t started regular school. They shifted to another part of the town and Rahul soon forgot them but she hadn’t. She would enquire after him whenever we met and when he visited her after finishing college she hardly recognized him. To her, he was the small boy in his pre – teens whose toys she would store in her almirah when other children bullied him or the little boy who would cuddle by her side on hot summer afternoons to listen to a story. She would be fiercely possessive about his belongings and regularly complain to me about how innocent he was and how other boys took advantage of his generosity.
In the early February of 2006 she died. We had returned to Jamshedpur on the very day after spending a week at Ooty and Coonoor. Rahul had come to India he had arranged for the trip to celebrate my birthday. I had studied in Coonoor and we visited my old school. It was as if she waited for Rahul to arrive before breathing her last. Mr. Sinha remarked that she loved him like a son and had perhaps beckoned him to stand alongside her son at the cremation. She had earlier expressed her desire to accompany us on our trip when she heard that Rahul was landing at Chennai and we planned to leave for Ooty from there. It was only due to her indifferent health condition that I was reluctant to take her along.
The logical side of my brain tells me that these were chance incidences. But could both be just co – incidences? They say that all of us emit vibes and one feels connected due to them. The sixth sense sometimes works overtime we have an intuition of things to come. My sister recalls how she felt the urge to enquire after my ailing mother and rang up at around 10 at night. My mother had gone to bed but on hearing that it was my sister who was calling, she got up and spoke to her. She died in her sleep that very night.
There is a lot about brain chemistry that we do not know. However, it is not unusual for one to feel connected to or repelled by a complete stranger. An organization called ‘vazhga valamudan’ advises people to send positive vibes to all known and unknown people. They finally ask us to wish our enemies, if we have any, well. The idea behind is that positive feelings and good will to all is beneficial not only to the person who receives it. It does wonders to the person who sends it. I always wish that a person who is hell bent on making life miserable for me should become the president of USA or prime minister of India. They should reach dizzy height and never look down so that I may lead a peaceful life.
“Vazhga Valamudan”! This can roughly be translated as “May you prosper”. I say this to one and all of you!