The Corona Diaries

2:15 pm

Today is his birthday. Because of the national lockdown, it’s just the two of us in this apartment. Fountains of joy are overflowing here, relentless waves of euphoria are sweeping me off my feet. G is in the fullest bloom possible! I am jumping all around him, and singing with him.

We had a virtual birthday celebration on zoom with people pouring their hearts out for him through poems, songs and video presentations.


10:49 pm

It is only love that can put the thinker, the interloper in the right place and make it what it is – a slave of the body. Only love can untangle this rotting knot. Only love can do the impossible i.e., make this centuries-old, mighty, narcissistic, fascist thinker forget about itself! This is the greatest miracle that can happen to a human being and it happened to me after Guha walked into my life in his full glory! He became the balm on my wound and the fire in my chest. He bewitched my grief-stricken mind with his auspicious presence. He became everything. One thing, the only thing, the only desire. My old life and living bowed down to him and burned themselves out. 

Handmade Home, Kolkata 
10:20 pm

Just before disappearing into his room to sleep he told me, “You are getting ready now. You have to go very far.” 

I am in my bed. I feel a strange excitement about what is happening to me. I am getting rooted in my body more and more. The body is becoming the most important thing. This is so fascinating. The relentless process of thinking is loosing its grip on me. The primal power of the body is asserting itself for its own well-being. This discovery of what is real in one’s existence and what is not, is of tremendous value to an individual. I cannot even begin to express what a shatteringly powerful movement this is in nature – a tiny dot beginning to discover its innate connection with the infinitely vast field of life’s energy. All I feel is the powerful surge of energy coursing through my body, clearing up cobwebs of thought created conflict that were resistant to the flow of life. I don’t know what life is or how this body is connected with the vast energy field. The energy pulsating in my body vitalises me in a way I never knew was possible. This energy seems to have its ups and downs like the waves in the ocean. It is by itself, for itself. Who can question or know anything about it? What is the need? Questioning disrupts the flow of this energy. It is fitting for thought to retreat and let life dance to its own music. I find no other way to express this at this moment. Anyone who has got a taste of this will know what I am trying to say. Perhaps very few will see.

Handmade Home, Kolkata
10:26 pm 

His eldest sister passed away on 13th May at Hindmotor. We got the news around 9:30 in the morning. She was very dear to him and was unwell since the last few years. G paid for her hospitalisation and care before she passed. He called his youngest brother immediately to arrange for a car. Uber and other cabs were off the road because of the lockdown. He got cash, got dressed, we ate early lunch and were ready to leave. His youngest brother arranged a car from his doctor friend for us. We took just 40 minutes to reach Hindmotor. Roads were empty. Her body was on a bed in a small room packed with people. He held the sheet along with five other people and brought the body down to be put inside the hearse. We walked to the cremation ground just five minutes from there by the bank of Ganges, a beautiful place. There were some old friends of his too.Then he and his brothers took her up to the incinerator. In 15 mins all that was left of her was a handful of ash. For the first time, I felt death had nothing to do with sorrow or loss. His brothers and sisters carried out the rituals without any drama or emotional exhibition. G was just normal, didn’t come in the way of any rituals, let everything happen as his family wanted. We went back briefly to his ancestral house and then left for Kolkata. He then had the idea of making a slideshow of her photos with him singing Madhuro madhoro dhwani baje, a Tagore song in the background. Venky worked hard and created a delightful piece. 

In my eyes, he stands out distinctly even when amongst a crowd of people. His graceful body language, his relaxed demeanour, his hair flying in the crisp air, I thought he looked like a swan by the water. I couldn’t take my eyes off him even for a second. I kept clicking pictures. He exudes a quality which I don’t see anywhere else. But it doesn’t look like his friends and family from here see anything different or special in him.

In this vast field of life, whatever my eyes can perceive and my brain can translate using knowledge, have created a functional reality in me which, for the first time in my life, asserts every moment without doubt or conflict, that there’s an unmistakable signature, a rare expression of harmony operational inside him. It is as real to me as the sunlight or the wind.

His family wanted me to come with him for the cremation. He didn’t expect it and I was pleasantly surprised too. He said, “See how they invited you, I didn’t have to do anything!” His family at Hindmotor are very nice to me. 

A young friend of G’s chats with me often. He is 23 years old yet mature. He is about to finish his masters in philosophy. He has the rare combination of intellectual prowess and vulnerability. He seems open minded too. What he will make out of this rare encounter with G, only time will tell. 

Today a friend was suggesting that there’s a new series on prime, and before he could type the name, I said if was “Paataal Lok” we’ve already finished it! The friend couldn’t believe it and said, “You guys are way ahead of the game! Woah!” G heard this and said to me, “They have no clue how on the ball you are with everything!” 

2-3 days ago he told me “The egg has been pierced and new life has germinated. The egg is no longer there and now the tree is growing from the seed!” Later he told, “You won’t need this old man much anymore. You have to live by yourself.”

Today he again said, “My job is done. My time is coming to an end. You have to set sail into your own life. It is like a child has to live on its own after it grows up. This is Nature’s way, nobody has any say in this matter.”

Handmade Home, Kolkata
8:52 pm  

Super cyclone Amphun hit Kolkata today evening around 4:39 pm. A huge storm raged for about 3-4 hrs, with sheets of rain beating down. We lost power around 7 pm. He cooked a big pot of pasta in the evening so that we can survive without cooking even if the power didn’t come back in 24 hrs. His favourite mango trees were swaying madly in the fierce winds, beating on his balcony and on the kitchen window. Then he saw a few mangoes fall. We ran downstairs to collect them. We went out on the street. What a sight! Raw nature! He picked 5-6 mangoes that fell in his balcony. We were like kids enjoying everything around! He was taking videos, watching the news, answering some phone calls. 

I cleaned the whole house in the morning today. I have so much energy, I feel I can do anything. I feel purely undistracted. No worries, no anxiety about anything enters my head. He said today to me, “You are headless”.

We had early dinner around 7:30 pm, then watched news on my phone. Then he felt sleepy so he retired. Only his room had light coming from outside so we didn’t need to use our phone torches. He sang Daake barobaar daake in his beautiful booming voice. It made me go into a trance. I said to him “Who could have imagined I would get so much uninterrupted time with you?! This is an extraordinary situation! It’s been two months now!” He laughed and said, “See what nature did for you!” Then he shook my right hand, felt something and said “This is called Tapas”. I asked, “Is it so? I don’t know anything.” He laughed and said “This is an ordinary thing. I don’t consider it as extraordinary.” I said, “Yes it’s the property of this body. Most normal and regular.” He continued, “Revathi was stunned by what I told her yesterday. That your system cannot pay attention to anything ordinary. It knows. To pay attention you need to see something extraordinary. But I am just an ordinary person. And you can’t see that. In the presence of an ordinary person you can relax, you don’t need to struggle.” “We have no clue what a massive relief this is, to live like this”, I said. He was very pleased.