Remembering Tribhuvannatha (Part 4)

~ To Tribhuvannatha Prabhu, 1952 - 2001 ~

You came into my life when I least expected
but needed it the most.
After the Mayapur festival of '78
it all looked so hopeless
with nowhere to turn.

What was happening to our dynamic loving family?
Where was the camraderie and mutual friendships?
The spiritual equality?
The realness?
I had nowhere to turn.

So I flew to Delhi and prayed on the rooftop of the Lajpat Nagar temple.
Oh boy, did I chant that day.
Suddenly I noticed you out of the corner of my eye,
chanting your japa seriously,
looking so determined and happy,
shining from the inside out,
obviously fixed and advanced.

And me, just a nobody, with no friends, no position,
no standing anywhere,
but you approached with a broad smile on your face,
and in ten minutes swept me off my feet.
I was headed to Arabia.
Arabia? What? Where the heck was that?

You knew, and yet laughed your infectious laugh, melting my doubts,
and soon enough I was wandering in hot desert sands, with tumbleweed
blowing aimlessly across the stark landscape,
lone camels
and pesky taxi drivers
lusting after a few dollars in my pocket.

And soon I became a world-weary traveler able to bargain my way
through the vast desert of life,
growing fast from a boy to a man,
and you there, always in the background
sending me telexes and encouragement,
forever patient,
forever kind and loving
to a younger brother
following awkwardly behind, bumbling and inept.

You always used to say:
"Come on, Padma, let's go to Africa, South America..."
or back to the war-torn countries of our youth.

Nothing's changed in that respect.
I'm still here, Tribhu,
waiting for your next telex
inviting me to join you
on another impossible adventure,
however long it takes.


(To be continued.)

(Click here for more memories of Tribhuvannatha Prabhu.)
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Causeless Mercy (#82)