15. The Loudspeaker
"You were not needed, you arrived by default, it was an accident."
Ghosts can get tired of haunting and eventually return to grave, but words never retire once they are spoken. They are omnipotent and omnipresent.
It took some time for Ravi to get hold of the meaning of that sentence, but when the realisation dawned on him, he resolved that from that moment, nothing would happen by default anymore. Everything would be by his own design, he would live his life. And part of that resolve was to go away from this world by not one of the swings of chances but on his own term, at the time and place of his choice.
That moment would have to have the encore of his life, the highest high, when he could say to himself, "Well done!" . Well done for coming in this life by default, but practising it by design.
Like one is congratulated at the end of a voyage, which no one else could know if it has been a success or failure, but for the voyager, all that meant was completing it, with conduct and courage.
Neither would I allow anyone else to judge my performance in this world, he had resolved. This was his life and only yardstick of his performance here was what his soul said to him.
He had taken great efforts to keep it alive. He knew that if he has to practice living by design, he had to keep his soul alive. His soul was the rudder of his ship, without which he could not steer it, through the various storms ahead. It was imperative to protect it, by all means, come what may.
His soul was his first stand and would be his last, he had decided.
But he did not know that the extent of fight a man has to fight in this world to keep his soul alive. The words rang once more in his ears, "You were not needed, you arrived by default, it was an accident." He had started to believe after his battles that this is what this world thinks of a person's soul!
Whenever he thought that battle for his soul was over and now he can be a practitioner of living by design, a new battle would spring up.
Off late he had been too tired fighting all the battles, springing up every morning with sunrise. He thought that he would never get the chance to practice living at the end of all the battles of his soul, an end, it was there, anywhere.
He had started fearing that instead of an encore, he would go out on a whimper, not saying "Well done!" to himself, but instead, "It's done!".
His North Star was a simple premise that it takes a soul to live, else it is just existing, like by default. But he had decided long way back, there would not be anything by default, so he has to protect his soul.
For last few days, every morning he would wake up, first thought that would come to his mind is that, "It’s done!". As if those two words wanted to beat "Well done" to him.
It was the morning he feared the most, it would unfold the entire day in front of him, which consisted of nothing but battles for his soul. Another day, going to be wasted, fighting for the reason of his life, rather than living. What was the use then?
He had his soul intact and he could leave with it any day. And if he decides to leave this world, it would not be a defeat but a victory, because he stands invictus!
But that would also mean, not being able to say, "Well done" to himself as he thought about the designs to part with this world.
His designs ready, he decided he would go out in the morning as a warrior, he had come in to his world at night, by default!
He fell to sleep easily, like a man who has earned it. After all sleep comes only to those men, who have earned it. All through the day, he would do nothing but fight for his soul. So was fighting for one's soul, while keeping it intact was the way to earn a peaceful sleep? He had never given it a thought much, he just went on doing, what he had to do.
He had requested his soul to wake him up at 0800 hrs, a faint and familiar melody fell on his ears, as he parted the curtains of the window. One of his favourite song was playing in the not so distance on a loudspeaker. It had never played before like that.
He was pulled to the door by the melody, flunging aside the chair, hairs on his body, rising slowly, like a wave in a rythmic motion. They gave away, what their master was feeling at that moment!
He strained his ears and then his eyes and clasped his hands behind his back, crossing them together, as if he was listening to a sermon being delivered by that loudspeaker. The loudspeaker, lifting the fog, circling over his mind. A sermon, to be followed to the hilt, not because it was his duty, but because it was right!
He had always went along with his soul's "right", that was the only way to ensure that things are right in his world, a world where nothing is absolute.
Both of his legs, equally carried the weight of his body, depicting his state of mind. A calm and balanced mind, which has found its purpose, callibrated by his soul and found worthy of being followed.
He smiled at his goofiness!
"Well done!" is if one manages to save his soul in this world! That's what the practise of living by design is all about. Because by design he had resolved to not surrender his soul to the world and he had succeeded at that. That's what a "Well done" living was all about.
That's what living by design was all about, pious with one soul's, morals , conduct and courage.
The loudspeaker played, "Haan, he rasta hai tera..."
And he said, "Well done" to himself silently!