Okay, this might sound really really clichéd, and at the same time a little unbelievable. Specially coming from me. I mean, half the time I spend blabbering about how my mind flutters from here to there to nowhere and everywhere in what seems like humanly impossible speed. So when I talk about how I actually made my mind stand (Or does it sit? Could never tell) still for quite some time and attained a glimpse of my own personal paradise, you are free to shake your head and laugh out loud. Like I care. I am all for “zen” these days. And yes, I know. I sound quite like Elizabeth Gilbert in “Eat, Pray and Love” when she finally attains that ultimate state of concentration where she believes she sees God. But for the record, mine was a far simpler achievement.
That the first thing I felt after opening my eyes was, “I am so writing about this….!” kind of makes this more “me”-ish, I guess.
And another thing, I have a feeling that what I “saw” could well have been some leftover influence of this incredibly beautiful scene in the movie “The Illusionist” that I can’t wipe from my mind.
So anyways, I have finally joined yoga classes in our university, if only to stop Dad from grumbling about how I never do anything right for my body anymore. I mean I whimsically skip meals and then I ruthlessly assault my body with erratic sleep cycles (if ever I get some sleep, that is), and yet I expect it to work for me the way I want it to. The least I can do is attend yoga classes, specially since the instructor is this amazingly sweet lady who will call me up to ask me why I am absent if ever I am, and then I’d be in the weird position of explaining to her about just how the whole system of laziness works in my daily routine. But I come back to the point, which is that I AM finally practicing yoga. Regularly. That’s what matters, really.
I had always prided on being quite nimble and flexible. I mean, all those childhood years of Dad making us twist and contort ourselves into “asanas” had to pay afterall. And I had almost looked down upon all the other students in the class, including my room mate (who I had lectured all the way about how I can lie down and bend my legs so they are touching the ground just above my head. Really easily.) Little did I know. Half an hour into the loosening exercises, and the smug smile was wiped out of my face to be replaced by a constant frown as I struggled against my resisting body to even complete the set. In my defense, the routine was really rigorous, alternating between loosening and stretching all the muscles of the body. But then after all the hard work was over, our instructor asked us to finally relax, and believe me when I say that never before had lying down on a cold hard floor given me so much gratification. And after that it was like my body was on autopilot, just trained to listen to the low hum of our instructor’s voice echoing in the huge hall, and do what was being told.
It was not like I had not done “shravasana” (where your body is meant to act like a corpse) before, but something about that day was different. At one point we were asked to focus on one positive thought and keep repeating it like a litany inside our mind, and just as I was trying to find something happy to concentrate on, I suddenly “saw” it. My idea of heaven (if one exists, that is). It was a huge green field, with slopes that heaved and sighed like elegant curves. And there was a lone tree (which had an uncanny resemblance to the tree that gets magicked away in that scene from “The Illusionist”) towards which I knew I had to walk. And even as I was watching, a million tiny flowers materialized in front of my eyes… all in powdery hues… the baby pinks and the lush lilacs and the pearly whites. With fluorescent green leaves cupping the bunches like palms cupping blushed cheeks. And amidst all that, I just knew that I would walk and walk and walk and not get tired at all. Just like that, I was smiling without having to try.
It must have lasted a few seconds but all I knew when I opened my eyes was that I had seen my personal paradise. And that picture kind of burned itself in my mind while everything else was forgotten. I can’t remember the last time I felt something this potent, honestly. And I found it strange (and hence, mention-worthy) because of all people, I had always believed I would be the last one to remotely achieve concentration through meditation, or even “feel” the after-effects of the good spirit flowing inside my consciousness. But heaven knows I was grinning like someone just back from the dentist (heard they sometimes use laughing gas to help patients overcome fear?) the whole of that evening. And all I could think of was, if the third day of yoga class makes me see a slice of heaven (provided the whole mental exercise was not a fluke), then someday I might actually get to live in that paradise and walk towards that tree while letting my feet float (somehow, I wouldn’t really “walk” walk, if you know what I mean) on the carpet of the softest flower petals, with the oh-so-warm breeze playing ‘IT’ with my hair as they take turns to chase each other.
The future looks promising, eh?
P.S. Note to self: Too many brackets in a piece of writing just go to showcase one’s habit of diverging from the relevant and the important. Ignore that tiny little voice which asks you to put in EVERYTHING into what you write. Hmm.