An enchanting short story by Vatsala. The protagonist, Daisy, meets wise Dawn. It’s at a time when she is hopelessly forlorn and forsaken. Dawn shows her the beginning of new life and reveals Golden Philosophy to her. A Different Truths feature.
I sat on the soft Trou aux Biches beach watching the motion of the waves. They caressed my feet like soothing spa therapy. Then they left me, with wet feet feeling the inner pain.
“O waves, what do you mean?” I whispered.
In my heart it was all-turmoil. I had lost everything – trust, love, my dreams.
“Why, why, why?” shouted my hot tears. My confused mind could not grasp the secret answer of the tropical blue sea.
“Stand up. Observe. Explore,” said an inner voice. I obeyed. I thought walking on the beach would do me some good. I saw children and all the mums and dads laughing, swimming, enjoying the early morning happy family time.
A stranger suddenly caught my attention. He wore a plain purple cloak, and a fancy yellow conical hat. He had deep-seated penetrating black eyes and a long white beard.
“Who is he?” I wondered. On the beach, he looked somewhat odd with such an outfit. To me he looked like a man who had been living in some mysterious cave for more than 100 years and had suddenly woken up and rushed to the beach. Unlike other adults, he was building a big sand castle. His smile was like that of a child. He wasn’t surrounded by any friend or companion. Yet an aura of happiness beamed on his face.
I wasn’t used to speak to strangers but my inquisitive writer’s mind instantly drew me to that man.
“Hello!” I said suspiciously. “Hello!” he answered with an innocent smile.
“I’m Dawn” he said with a warm handshake.
“What lovely turquoise blue flags, you have here!” I exclaimed.
“Oh! These are from Sheffy, the seahorse. You see the prints – all members of family. These are from Magenta, the Mermaid Queen. Look, those are the pink and white pearls, green emerald, blue sapphire and ruby gems on her crown.’
“What are you going to do with these flags?” I asked
“Hmm… don’t really know but do sit down, Dear Lady!”
I sat beside him on the brown beach mat. Tears again filled my eyes. Absent-mindedly, I was plunged in my pool of sadness.
“What ails you?” Dawn asked
“Oh, too much…it’s too much… I can’t go on …”
My line remained unfinished and we both sat there in silence mesmerised by the beauty of the sunrise by the sea.
“Are you alright?” asked Dawn after a while as the sun started to shine confidently, consciously in the lovely, merry Mauritian sky.
“Yes…No…!” I contradictorily exclaimed.
“Want to share, I’m all ears” he gently said.
What was really happening to me? I couldn’t understand. Why was I talking to this strange man? Could I trust him? All sorts of questions kept on crossing my mind but I was ready to take the risk – Talk about it, purge the emotions, and unburden my heart.
So I went on: “I’m lonely, very lonely. I loved him –my husband. He was the only one I loved. He was my world, my smile, my happiness. I gave him all my love. But last night, he left me. He said he no longer loved me, needed me. He said I was too dull, boring for him, as I only loved to write and read books and I enjoyed soft music and quiet walks in Nature. He said I never enjoyed parties, dancing and drinking. I was unsociable and a shame on him. His friends and colleagues found me weird and ridiculous – unlike the other women of my age.
I told him that I was a writer and that was my job. I told him I loved him but I also needed moments of solitude to write. Every day after finishing my writing, I used to come to him and wished to talk to him but he always said that he was too tired to converse or he had to go out with his friends.
It was only last night… last night that I discovered through a SMS that he was having an affair with a young woman, ten years younger than him. I was shocked, almost traumatised. I felt hurt, betrayed. My husband had lied to me …may be for years and I…I… I was such a fool …loving him as if he was a perfect God. I asked him where was I wrong. To this he replied that intellectualism had no place in our relationship and I was no longer a student. I was hurt, so hurt by such undignified remarks that I told him that he was only a shallow man with an ugly, mundane materialistic mind. On hearing this he was so angry that he tore my 100 paged poetry manuscript. He asked me to go away and never come back. Today, I’m all alone – separated.
I’ve lost everything. My life has lost its significance. Betrayal, hurt and anger are all I have as companions. O life… Life… is so cruel to me. I was faithful but why …why did he do that to me?
I will never forgive him, such wicked man. May he go to Hell! ”
I composed myself as I noticed Dawn observing me pensively.
“All wrong. You are also wrong” he said.
“Where am I wrong, Dawn?” I asked anxiously.
“Oh Dear Young Lady, All human beings have their own lives but yet all of us commit the same mistakes. My guru, a seer from Ancient Enlightened Land taught me these lines of verse:
A golden philosophy does Life hold,
This philosophy is many, many centuries old,
How old is it exactly no one has been told,
Wisdom thinks it was always there since Planet Earth was born,
but Human Beings –the most complex and egocentric of creatures all
have ignored the basic facts bold.
This Golden Philosophy, Dear Lady, is simply ‘The Art of Happiness’. So simple is this art that humankind, blinded by the pursuit of illusive pleasure fails to recognise or merely ignores it.”
“Oh Dawn, I do wish to be happy”, I said, “Please teach me this art. Show me the path to the Golden Philosophy.”
“Dear Lady, take a deep breath” he said, “Let your mind be still. Listen to each of my words attentively.”
I inhaled and exhaled deeply .Then, I promised Dawn to listen to his advice enthusiastically. “Remember, there are four basic facts,” he went on.
Dawn switched on his tablet and wrote in a word document:
Fact 1: Impermanence
All human beings and other creatures are mortals. Thus, this life itself is not permanent. We go through childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. No one can remain a child or a young adult forever. So our bodies are constantly changing.
A traffic jam can occur at peak hours on weekdays but the same streets may appear to be cool on Sundays. Thus, situations keep on changing.
A person may be instantly happy on hearing the news of a new born baby but that same person may be abruptly sad on hearing about the death of a dear one. Thus, emotions are also not the same all the time.
When two lovers get married they take the vows of being faithful to each other forever. But since nothing is permanent, marriage also does not guarantee that two persons will be together forever or love each other with the same intensity as Day 1. Of course, there are many couples who have been together up till old age but all of them will assure you that ups and downs in their relationships have always been there.
The one who recognises ‘Impermanence’ is able to accept life as it is and inner joy will always dwell in his heart.
Fact 2: No Expectations
When we help someone, there is often a tendency to expect that that person will help us in return in times of need. We often wish to hear words of comfort, kindness and love from dear ones. When we deeply fall in love with someone we often crave that our partner will love us in the same way too. We also wish to meet the expectations that our parents, teachers, or spouses have from us. When our expectations are not fulfilled or we fail to meet others’ expectations disappointment, anger, sadness, fear and depression arise. Thus, we must train our minds to become a garden of ‘No Expectations’ attitude rather than a marshy land of illusive expectations. The one who has reached the stage of No Expectations is fearless and stress-free. Thus, happiness manifests as the dominant trait of his character.
Fact 3: No Retaliation
When people feel hurt, betrayed, humiliated or situations don’t turn out to be favourable for them, they go on retaliating “He has hurt me and betrayed me. I wish to hurt him back. Life has been unfair to me; I will stop believing in God.”
But the more they think, talk and act in this way, the more upset they feel. All their thoughts are governed and blurred by negativity. So, the best advice is to refrain from retaliating at all cost.
The one who doesn’t retaliate gradually becomes an optimistic and forgiving person and learns to focus on performing good karmas (deeds) only. His present and future will certainly be more peaceful and brighter.
Fact 4: Letting Go
Human beings have a tendency to be attached possessively to all those they love, their jobs, their status and the fame they have achieved in life. However, the more they cling on to others or materialistic things, the more they are blinded by destructive selfishness, arrogance and craving. Thus, one must learn to let go of anything by bearing in mind that attachment and dependence can only result in suffering. The one who knows how to let go definitely becomes emotionally independent, embraces humility. That person maintains peace of mind and remains self-contented under all circumstances.
Having revealed the four basic facts in writing, Dawn copied and pasted a golden star picture at the bottom of each page of his valuable word document. He handed me his unique silvery tablet with the brand name ‘Golden Enlighten’ shining at the top.
“There you are, Dear Lady” he said “this tablet is your saviour.”
“Thank you, Dawn.” I said softly.
He smiled and then went on saying “Whenever you need help or have any question just press on
the golden star and I shall appear.”
“Thanks again for the words of wisdom, Dear Friend,” I said spontaneously.
Dawn smiled, tapped his beach mat thrice and whispered, “Down! Down! Down!”
The brown mat promptly transformed into a lovely ship. Two mermaids and three seahorses appeared. The mermaids started to sing. The seahorses played the guitar cheerfully like a Rock star. Dawn grinned, laughed and waved at me. My eyes followed the joyful ship up till it appeared as a dot amidst the vast sea.
A ray of hope filled my mind, heart and soul. I felt as if I was reborn, revitalised.
I resolved to be self-contented in blissful solitude sailing and flying to manuscripts and books.
On a white A4 page my inspiration flowed and my Muse pondered on these lines:
A new dawn has come,
Life chants a new beginning,
In Divine Solitude I kiss the sun and rain,
Never am I alone,
No longer can I feel the pain.
Pix from Net.
Born in Mauritus, in1977, Vatsala Radhakeesoon has had a keen interest in poetry writing since a very young age. Her poems have been featured in local and international newspapers, magazines, journals and anthologies. Her first poetry book ‘When Solitude Speaks’ was published in 2013 on the approval of the Ministry of Arts and Culture (Mauritius). She is currently self-employed and continues to write poems in English, French, Kreol and Hindi.