Ghanashyam Bista, seeker of life's truthThe pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns had left Bista depressed, disoriented, and stressed.
Early in the morning, Naxal Park was awash with the warm glow of the sun. The pre-dawn drizzle had covered the blades of grass and the benches with tiny water droplets. Every time a breeze blew, the droplets shivered.
Ghanashyam Bista walked into the park with the sophisticated air of a man who consumed fish oil often. By his jaunt, one would think that all was well in his world. But if one were to examine closely, one would notice a certain hesitation. His calm face concealed a jittery heart and an unreliable memory. After walking for a few minutes, Bista sat on one of the park benches and got lost in his thoughts.
The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns had left him depressed, disoriented, and stressed. He often told himself that his mind would be sharper and his memory better if he exercised more.
While Bista was lost in his thoughts, Rabin Shrestha walked into the park, with the air of a man who belonged to the top drawer of humanity.
His chin was up with proud dignity. As Shrestha walked, he looked down upon the passing stream of people. His hands were buried deep inside his pockets. His ears were huge, and it looked as if money flowed often and plenty from them. Shrestha’s walk had that unathletic jaunt that only those born in the lap of luxuriant richness could afford in the hills. While Shrestha was walking around the park, exuding his air of superiority and enjoying the early morning breeze, suddenly he noticed Bista. He squinted his eyes to see if it was really Bista he was seeing.
Recognising that the man was Bista, Shrestha sprinted towards him and shouted, "Hey Bista. Everything alright?"
Bista lifted his gaze to Shrestha’s noble face.
"I don’t feel very good, Rabin. My thoughts are foggy and out of control. My speech is inarticulate and confusing, and my mood is always terrible. Whenever I try to make my point, my thoughts break loose, and I feel disoriented and confused," said Bista.
Shrestha took a long hard look at Bista and said, "Bista, the same disease that afflicted Buddha has afflicted you. This is a good sign, Bista. It is time you dedicate yourself to seek life’s truth, my dear man."
A soft smile spread across Bista’s handsome face. "Buddha, really?"
"Yes,” said Shrestha. “Your name is Bista, and it even rhymes with Buddha, doesn’t it?"
"Say no more, Rabin. I'm on it," said a giddy Bista.
Bista leapt from the bench and plopped himself on the grass. He then closed his eyes and started meditating.
Surprised by Bista’s reaction, Shrestha nodded and smiled. He didn’t know that his speech was this powerful and stirring. Deciding that it was best not to disturb Bista’s meditation, Shrestha headed out of the park.
Sticking out his head from the first-floor window, Ghulam scanned the park. His eyes travelled across the bulging trees, noble bushes, benches, and dozens of men and women exercising. What got Ghulam's attention was a strange bulge in the middle of the park. For a second, he thought that the earth had developed a mole. When Ghulam realised that the bulge was Bista sitting on the ground, he said to himself, "Bista has gone cuckoo. He was always a little wet behind the ears.” He then closed the windows and headed back to his bed.
Suddenly, the blue sky turned overcast. And soon it started raining. There was lightning and thunder. Except Bista, everyone headed out of the park. Unwavered by the rain, lightning or thunder, Bista continued meditating.
Wrapped in the raincoat of divine thought, Bista didn’t move an inch. He was a man of steely resolution. Rabin’s words were embedded deep into his mind, and he was determined to meditate until he found life’s truths.
A storm blew over Naxal Park, and it wildly swayed the trees. By the time the storm settled and the rain stopped, the park was a mess.
At dusk, Mohan Gyamaru entered the park for a quick smoke. He switched on his torch and moved through the park. His torchlight shone on a still Bista, who was still meditating.
In a deep meditative state, Bista was feeling light and dizzy. He opened his eyes and saw Gyamaru with a torch.
Not recognising Gyamaru, Bista shouted with joy, "I have found you at last."
Bista’s sudden shout caught Gyamaru unaware.
Staring at Gyamaru, Bista said, "I know life’s truth now. There is only one God and he is born in different times. It’s only God who can guide people to the truth and give them the strength to move across deserts and uncharted oceans.”
Bowing before Gyamaru, Bista went on to say, “I have been seeking you for a long time, God, and I have finally found you. Your divine light has touched my eyelids."
A confused and bewildered Gyamaru just stood there. His mind was yet to wrap around what had just transpired. Gathering himself, Gyamaru said, “What are you talking about, wet one?"
Bista opened his eyes and carefully studied Gyamaru and said, “You don’t really look like a God, and what are you doing with a torchlight?"
"I…um…checking for drug addicts in the park. Are you one? You talk nonsense just like a drug addict does."
A normal Bista finding himself in an unfortunate position of having to explain his existence would've scratched his head nervously. But this wasn’t a normal Bista. This was a Bista who had bathed in the milk of life's truth. This was an enlightened Bista, and he spoke with confidence and authority.
"I am Ghanashyam Bista, the seeker of truth. I was wrapped in meditation, trying to figure out life's truth. More than 2,500 years ago, a man named Siddhartha Gautam had done the same, I am following in his footsteps. Now go away and leave me with my thoughts," he said.
Gyamaru felt that his intelligence had been insulted, and this angered him.
"Meditation? Life’s truth? Bista, eh? That's your name? I've never heard such nonsense in my life. You are a blot on Naxal’s copybook, Bista!!! Blast away from this park, or I will clutch your collar and throw you into the wet, hard road," an angry Gyamaru said.
Gyamaru’s threat shook Bista to the core. The enlightened feeling he derived from all the hours of meditation suddenly left him. He gloomily looked at the ground and slowly walked out of the park.