Telegraph Calcutta

Remember You Are Mahadeb’s Avatar

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Hey! Raam! Listening? Whereabouts are you? What are you doing? These days? This is Mahadeb calling. I said I shall speak out as I am; and I promised you shall hear. Hear when I start to speak. Well, here it is, I am beginning to speak now. As I am. In my mien. In my tone. In my voice. You shall now hear Mahadeb for as long as I want to speak. This space is mine. I am on stage. Listen. On speakerphone, please put me on speakerphone so it begins to sound a little like Aakashvaani, everybody can hear. I keep hearing about you once every while from folks on that planet of mortals down there far below. Every now and again there rises a cry over you. Every now and again as in every five years or thereabouts, and I keep wondering what is it that happens every five years or thereabouts that I hear your name being invoked from that corner of mortals down there far below. What’s happening?

I hear this strange thing. That you are looking for accommodation? In a mortal place? Some even tell me you are looking for accommodation in a disputed place? As in, that place is the subject of a title suit? Is that so? What’s become of you? My avatar?

Does it become of you, does this even become of you, being my avatar? And who are these folks running amok all over the place wearing bandannas emblazoned with your pious name and swearing in your name? Swearing a braggart determination? Waheen Banaayenge!? What is that about? Waheen? Where? Is it one place you are located in? One piece of earth? One plot? I thought you were everywhere? You are my avatar, aren’t you? I thought you were omnipresent. I thought you were everywhere the cosmos is, or infinity is, or the immeasurable void is. That is where we all are, Raam, EVERYWHERE. And on this puny planet we are talking about, we are in the hearts of people, that is our chosen residence, or isn’t it? What better place than the heart? But I hear other things from these hordes wearing bandannas, and some even robes, orange of colour, saying even more unsavoury things. These people will give you a house? These?? And you shall accept? You shall not tell them you don’t want a house whose foundations are riven with blood and whose walls have already bitterly divided? Will you not admonish and forsake them? And what is this cry they have made a fashion of? This cry that Siyaa has been abjectly expunged from? Jai Siyaa-Raam we used to call out, now it is something altogether else. Something from which maryada has summarily been dropped, My Purushottam. Is that what must happen with Siyaa? That she should be dropped? Even today? Once again?

Tch. Tch. Raam! Hey Raam! What has become of you? What have you allowed yourself to become? Party to a title suit? A title suit among mortals? Raam? Are you even listening?

And since when did Raam begin to need a house and a premises? Remember yourself. Recall who you are. Do you even remember? Can you? You who gave all up at one command and strode into the outback? The throne, the palace, its glittering concourse, its golden domes and gables, the fancied gardens around it, the elaborate retinue, the luxury and the lavishness, all the kingdom and the glory that came with it — you left it, forsook it and went away. Into the difficult depths of the forest: Dandakaranya.

You never cared for palaces and palace room? Never for any gaudy grandeur? Not even for a roof over your head? What roof you had you yourself built, and as we well know, it was the roof of a kuti, fashioned from what the earth provided in that forest. And now you want a “bhavya imarat”? What’s become of you? I believed you to be my avatar, and I am never wrong, Raam, you are my avatar. But I do not like what’s happening around you, this unholy churn. This is Kalyug, I do know, but then you are Mahadeb’s avatar. Do something.

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