From my Blog – the story of a friend.
“Don’t forget God,” while leaving for Vaikuntom, the abode of a Lord Vishnu, my friend’s father advised his pet son, “utter always the divine name of Govinda. That will do you good”
A simple advise, well-intended.
But my friend , ‘Govinda, Govinda’ took his father’s last wish literally.
His name was in fact, ‘Aravamudhan’ but he gained the nick name due to his repeated recitation of God’s name. An obedient son he was and no one would have objected to his following his father’s commands, provided he had understood the spirit of his father’s advice. But he overacted. Not only did he recite the Lord’s name too often but he did it too loudly as if to ensure its prompt delivery to the God’s ears.
“Arava, why are you screaming, as if the Lord is deaf?’’ I asked him. His wife asked him. His friends asked him. His mother too asked him.
‘”The devotees to the Tirupathi hills, while climbing the steps, do not whisper,” he answered with a naughty smile, “they shout His name”
Apart from screaming, he also used to twist and turn his body, occasionally, as if his father or someone else was standing behind him and crack a whip, forcing him to shout more loudly.
People talked about him for a few days and ignored .They have better work to do than being after a semi insane stupid. But how could the girl who had to spend her whole life – time with him, ignore his irrational attitude ? Anantha Nayaki was taken aback by his action on their first night itself. Like any other girl of her age, she expected to hear her name uttered, softly, romantically, poetically, musically by her just-married man and certainly not, the ‘Govinda,Govinda’ shouts , however Divine that name might be. There are places to do Hari bajans, other than the room shared by the newly weds, on their honey moon night.
Nayaki was shell-shocked. She looked at her husband’s face to ensure that he was a normal man. She wanted to say something but, respecting her mother’s parting advice not to object to her husbands actions or inaction in the privacy of bedroom, she tolerated his shouts, accompanied at times, by the twist and turns of his body till dawn, for a while and then coming out, called her mother and complained, ‘ amma.onnum sari illai- nothing is OK’.
She explained what she meant by nothing is OK.
The devout mother was excited to learn about the spiritual aptitude of her son- in- law and cheered her daughter, “your son will be a divine incarnation and will outdo his worthy father”
The compassionate girl, though young, though not highly educated, could imagine the plight of her would be daughter in law, if her would be son too will be shouting ‘Govinda, Govinda’, singing and dancing, on the first night.
“It will never happen. It should never happen”
decided the desperate young wife. Now she cried,
‘Govinda, Govinda!’, having lost hope if a normal relationship with her husband.
The mother on the other end of the phone, hearing the cry of her daughter was excited. She was so overwhelmed to visualize her to be conceived, to be born grand son, enveloped in absolute God consciousness, imitating his father and mother.
“Go ahead, my daughter,” the mother blessed her daughter through air. “I can hardly wait for ten months to receive your baby in my hand”
‘Shut up, Amma!’ yelled Nayaki and kept down the receiver.
“This issue should be settled this night,”
she decided,”tomorrow will be too late”
Shutting the door after him, when he entered the bed room, the obedient wife, touched his feet and while serving the milk, he shouted, ‘Govinda, Govida!’
“Natha, respected husband,” she addressed him standing in a corner, ‘’why are you screaming as if I have given you poison? Can’t you utter the name of your Lord, less loudly?”
“You have closed the doors and windows,”
the pious husband asked her authoritatively, “if I don’t shout His name, how will it reach my Lord’s ears?”
After a while, in an unambiguous tone he instructed, ” keep the doors and windows opened, if you want me to call Him less loudly.”
The obedient wife did that . She widely opened the doors and windows!
She waited for the next dawn, but did not call her mother. She collected her belongings, carried them on her head and walked out of the main gate, reciting the Divine name, “Govinda ,Govinda’, sincerely, pathetically, unable to control the flames of agony enveloping her.
She didn’t shout or twist her body. But, the call, emanated from the cavern of a hapless young wife, would have certainly, reached the Lord.
My friend Govinda, Govinda