I completed my graduation from my hometown, Sambhar Lake (Rajasthan) in 1988 and thereafter I have spent almost half of my life till now as living alone. Reasons have been different from time to time – my pursuing C.A. at Kolkata (then Calcutta), my attempting IAS by living first at Delhi and then at Jaipur, my living alone in jobs at Tarapur (Boisar, Maharashtra) and Rawatbhata (Rajasthan) and the like wise (as my wife was doing her govt. job being posted at a faraway place in the district Barmer of Rajasthan). In those days, time and again, I used to curse my fate that I was destined to live alone with all my loneliness. However now I feel the importance of being alone or Tanha. Tanhaai not only allows somewhat freedom or private space in life but also takes the person close to himself and sometimes to the Almighty also.
In the days of my Tanhaai, I used to listen to my favourite old songs and Ghazals while doing the household chores myself or while relaxing. Being very serious by nature, I used to go for self-talk and analyzing several things taking place in my life or making a post-mortem of several things which had already taken place in my life. Being an accountant by profession, sometimes I tried to analyze the Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss account of my life – Kya Khoya, Kya Paaya (gained what, lost what).
I had a lot of time with me because of living alone. Hence I read a lot of books and used to go for learning music (while living at Rawatbhata) from a very learned and aged music maestro – Pandit Naaradanand Ji. I not only listened to the songs but also practised singing them myself in the house whose sole resident was none else but myself only. Due to my association with that great man (of around 80 years) though I could not learn the basics of music, I was at least able to participate in the solo-song event of the cultural meet of the organisation several times and despite not winning any prize, won accolades for good singing.
In those days and thereafter whenever I used to live alone, I repented upon several of my known-unknown errors and apologized to the aggrieved ones (because of them) within my heart. In those days, I always poured my heart out before the Almighty, confessing my errors (though He is know-it-all) and urging Him to cleanse my heart of all ills. Though it can be done now too but being alone in home was a big help. I used to visit a small Saibaba temple in Rawatbhata built at an isolated place on route to the atomic power plant (where I was employed). The temple was mostly a solitude (very few people used to visit it in those days) and I got ample time and privacy there to pray to Saibaba and share several things with Him that I could not share with anyone.
Now I remember Gulzar Saheb’s song (sung by Bhupinder) – Dil Dhoondhta Hai Phir Wohi Phursat Ke Raat Din, Baithe Rahen Tasavvur-e-Jaana Kiye Huye from an old Bollywood movie – Mausam (the heart longs for those free days and nights when I could be sitting without any disturbance, being lost in the thoughts of my sweetheart). Yes, I did this also. While drinking tea or coffee or some alchoholic drink, I used to listen to the emotional and melodious songs or Ghazals and lose myself in the memories of a girl who loved me very much (I could not marry her), remembering her talks, her gestures, the moments shared with her, the things told between us and also the things those remained untold between us. Believe it or not, I used to shed countless tears while doing this dual job (listening to the songs and reliving the time that I had had with her). And only a lover can agree to it that shedding tears in the memory of someone you loved or who loved you is also a heart-soothing experience.
Right fifteen years back, on 29th September, 2001, I was alone in my home and watching a recently released but flop movie being telecast on Zee TV – Hum Ho Gaye Aap Ke. Everybody can frame his/her own subjective opinion about a movie. To me, I liked that emotional movie very much despite its several flaws, especially the title song (by Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik) which I found not only very melodious to hear but also very romantic and sentimental in watching on the screen. Today I am missing that evening and suddenly the thought to pen down my feelings has emerged in my mind. So this post is being created.
I love being with my family now and enjoy the bliss of togetherness. However now I know that the state of being alone or Tanhaai is also sometimes a blessing if taken in the positive sense. I end my post with this SHER of Janaab Zaheer Kashmeeri Saheb :
Aah Ye Mehki Huyi Shaamein, Ye Logon Ke Hujoom
Dil Ko Kuchh Beeti Huyi Tanhaaiyan Yaad Aa Gayeen
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