I was surprised to see people of all ages in the village courtyard. The villagers were extremely friendly.
They came and not unlike children, touched and greeted me, and offered me all sorts of refreshments and foods. I was quite
overwhelmed by their attention and love. Almost all of the villager's manners resembled the innocent nature of children. Even
their faces were quite smooth and somewhat glowed with purity.
There was a group of elders sitting around an old banyan tree. I decided to ask them about
this heavenly place. I approached the men. They greeted me warmly and at an appropriate time I asked: “Respected sirs,
I have seen many places and many people. But even at the most holiest of these places I could not find the life and love that
pervades this place. Perhaps I am in a dream...” I trailed off. They all smiled.
I hurriedly continued, “I would very much like it if you would kindly explain this rather peculiar place. I was
also very intrigued by the graveyard at the entrance of the village. Is it where you bury your young ones?”
After a short pause, the most elderly man spoke. “Traveler, you look like a man who
would benefit much from the story I will tell you. Listen carefully and it will change your life.” All the men around
sat attentively. All the villagers within earshot came and sat to hear the old man speak.
He began, “My grandfather was the Head Priest
of this village. Each morning, well before sunrise, he would call out to the
people and to the heavens with his prayer.
morning he was in the midst of his prayer when he heard music from the outskirts of the village. He was a devout Muslim and
was quite horrified to hear music at such a holy hour. He immediately sent some of his followers to put an end to this paganism.
But to his surprise, none of them came back. The music meanwhile continued. After a long wait he himself decided to put an
end to this unholy activity. So, quite angrily, he strode towards the music. But the closer he got, the more he realized that it wasn't his anger that was responsible
for his hurried strides, rather it was the exquisite beauty in the music. Finally
when he got close enough to see the music makers, not only did his body lose the ability to move, his mind too stopped the
madman's dance it had been doing since his birth. He literally stood rooted to a spot for the duration of the recital. The music cast a spell on him. He traveled inwards to subtle places he had read about
only in the scriptures. He would often look back at that moment and dreamily
acclaim, “I drank life to the fullest during those hours”.