Homesick Homelessness

Sujoy Bhattacharya

© Copyright 2019 by Sujoy Bhattacharya

Photo of a sunset. Copyright (c) 2019 by Richard Loller.

The speechless but ever- inaudible jabbering of the jackfruit tree reminds him numberless recollections both sweet and bitter , morose and ebullient with exuberance . The wizened and weary Achinto Brahmachari alias Bhabani Pine often sails back to the past chapter of his eventful life and anchors his boat for a while at the juncture of the present and the past . The polestar makes impotent efforts to prevent him from dipping into the endless void of the bygone days . The octogenarian Hindu ascetic knows very well that the past is dead and the carcass spreads fetid smell of pessimistic agony if fanned with reminiscences!

Premature death of a mother brings uncanny misery to a newborn baby . Bhabani saw the light of life at the cost of putting out the lamp of his mother' s existence ! He was cursed as a monster baby by his near and dear relatives . He was falsely imprecated as a killer of his mother . How could he be accused of matricide ? He was a helpless victim of prejudiced and superstitious thought of his family members . Neglect and mental molestation helped to grow a fugitive attitude and a materialistically healthy mind senior to his age and at the age of seven he realized that his home was the most vicious place to live in ! So he decided to escape to a safer place to have his refuge . Bhabani did not taste the palate of love and affection and the pungent misbehavior and missiles of rebuke and reprimands echoed in his tender mind that he must eschew domestic life and recourse to the path of sainthood . His fortune helped him to reach Nabadwip in Nadia ,some miles away from Kolkata and he got a shelter in a religious ashram at Mayapur .

He had no schooling record , no academic career. Literally illiterate Bhabani was engaged in attending the saints of the ashram . His sincere and smiling behavior helped him to win over love and affection of the sages of the ashram and his thirsty mind tasted the moisture of love and affection for the first time . He had an enviably strong memory and he was a rapid-learner too. Those two outstanding gift kept him in the good book of all ashram dwellers . Days went on smoothly allowing Bhabani to do penance for making a true ascetic out of his inborn spiritual qualities. At the age of eighteen he was initiated and re- named as Achinto Brahmachari .

Achinto had a long-cherished dream that he wanted to give a practical and realistic form with utmost care . He wished to make a ashram of his own . It was not a child' s play to make his dream come true . He had no resources ,no friend or near and dear ones who could extend their helping hand to nourish his dream properly so that it could take a realistic shape . He went on swimming in the stream of thoughts in search of a ray of light in the murky realm of precarious future of his utopian dream .

Achinto had an irresistible craze for travelling . Whenever he had a chance to travel , he didnít miss it .He got a sudden offer to travel to his native land with the showering grace of his fate . His capricious fortune played many whimsical games with his life . She snatched his normal childhood with one hand and her other hand bestowed favor as an unexpected gift to array the disheveled tapestry of his life . He often grinned a mischievous smile to thank his flippant destiny . So sailing the boat of his destiny' s desire , he came to his native place again after a long time- more than a decade . He had undergone a sea change as regards to his external figure . A gigantic body now jeers at his emaciated , rickety stature of his childhood days . Neatly shaven head with long spiral beard and saffron robes did not allow anyone of his native place to identify him as that shy, morose face of Bhabani . He discharged his duty his ashram authority imposed on him and decided not to go back to his ashram that carved out of him what he is now .

It was a dense forest area of Bankua district of west Bengal . The land of laterite soil was mostly inhabited by santals and lodhas , two dominant tribes of the area . Achinto felt wild turbulence in his mind . His glittering eyes dictated him to visit the womb of the dark , dense forest of Sal and Pines and Spruce . His intrepid strides proudly ignored the terrifying aspect of the forest . Sixty seven years back from today , it was a formidably impenetrable jungle . Hyenas and wolves, snakes and scorpions ,elephants and eagles used to reign over the forest intimidating human beings so that they did not dare to disturb their unperturbed habitat. Achinto discovered a suitable place for his reclusive life away from the deafening din and bustle of tumultuous human civilization .

Dusk dawned covering the jungle from tip to toe with the thick terror of the heart- attacking darkness of devilish laughter . Achinto sat down under a roofy jackfruit tree and went to deep meditation . Myriad insects came hovering virulently to examine his body . Wild animals were lurking languidly . A hilarious hyena circled around his stationary torso and making a philosophical gesture departed elsewhere . A dyspeptic wolf licked his bare left knee and belching a nauseating sound went away into the depth of the dense forest . A squirrel titillated him on his nose with a prank to disturb his reeling mind . The serenity in the nocturnal sky infected over his body and mind and he plunged deep into the realm of mindfulness !

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