Sharing a special New Year Resolution

I am sure Manmohan will not mind this sharing of his innermost thoughts – Manmohan whose name means one who pleases and comforts every heart ; every mind . The name which Krishna’s devotees called him with love and devotion. Krishna too, had everyone swooning at his feet with his charm and compassion.
Our Manmohan , on GIPAP since he turned nineteen , six years ago is no less endearing than his Lord Krishna , with limpid , dark pools for eyes and a smile that begins in his heart, passes through his lips and settles for ever in those very eyes.
He came on his periodic three monthly visit on Monday afternoon , just as I was leaving the office for a couple of hours to go see the doctor for my Perimetry .Grappling as I am with a diagnosis of Glaucoma and it’s attending hassles I was I am afraid more than a little distracted and concerned about beating the traffic , getitng my tests done and getting back to work on time. However I did sit with him for a few minutes , enquiring about his welfare and asking him if all was well with him and his family. Regretfully I had to go and leave I did promising myslef I would call him up later and make up for this hasty meeting.
Well, with one thing and another I did not call him and to be honest the next day’s patients and concerns took over and it became Wednesday night . As I prepared to sit down with my nightcap and the late night news a while ago my phone rang . Wondering who it could be at this late hour I recognised a public phone number from one of the Norhtern States and knowing it could be a patient in distress prepared myself for a possibly difficult call. And oh shucks I had just shut down my lap top too…
The hesitant voice from across all those miles was that of Manmohan and guilt smote my heart as I realised I had forgotten to call him after all ! But he was his sweet , gentle self and wanted to know if we could talk . He apologised for the late hour but said he had taken courage in both hands as he wanted to speak to me at length of a very momentous decision he had made . Believe me dear friends , in Hindi this sentence sounds far more compelling than my choice of words in English. He said he had wanted to tell me this on Monday but I was in a hurry for my”Meeting” so he had refrained from even attempting .
He began by telling me how this time he had to spend two extra days in Bombay due to the weekend and his doctor not being in on Friday. Apparently he spent those days sititng by the Gateway of India and on the parapet on Marine Drive watching the Bombay wallahs live their lives. Manmohan comes from the heartland of rural India as different from Bombay as the proverbial chalk is from cheese. He was diagnosed when he had just finished his graduation but with dogged perseverance and great courage had trained against all odds to be a teacher and was now lecturing at a college in his village . Till today I marvel at this frail , sweet boy controling a class of over sixty students .
He went on to tell me how he noticed the purposeful attitude of the people he saw going about their work and how each individual was producitvely occupied . Most of all he told me ( his voice almost disappearing in a shy blush I swear I could hear over the phone) how he fell in love with ( mera dil mohabbat se bhar utha) every young girl he saw. He saw in the girls in Bombay an energy , a courageous and proud and independent energy that he could never hope to see in the girls back home in his village or in the small towns in his state. He lamented how his sisters and their friends had no independence , neither of thought nor action and how they were bound by social and familial rules . Clipped of the freedom to soar they had to settle for the colourless , grounded lives they were forced to live he said. Oh how the people in Bombay turned their faces to the sun and offered their bright smiles in return for the freedom to think and do as they willed.
He told me he had decided he would no longer live the life he had lived these past six years , pulled and weighed down by the weight of both CML and the rigid customs that lay on his psyche like shackles – he would sieze every opporuntiy possible and find a soulmate who would help him achieve what his heart today had decided was his dream ! This year Amma ji, he told me a new Manmohan is born , a new man who saw the world at his feet ; not the chains of CML.
No photos for this post for I am sure each of you in your mind’s eye has Manmohan’s glowing face imprinted for ever.
As for me , I go to bed thankful to Manmohan and the Universe for teaching me the greatest lesson ever . One of my favourite quotes comes into my mind ..”God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow in them.” Manmohan began dreaming in Bombay this visit. One that will come true !!!

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