*** Sai Inspirations is a daily blog about Sukhbir’s Yathra 09 experience from the 27th of November to the 22nd of December 2009. To read more about them, go to http://dramedyremedy.blogspot.com/search/label/Sai%20Inspirations%20-%20Yathra%20Trip%2009 The latest posts are at the top.
There is only one breath. All are made of the same clay. The light within all is the same.
-The Shri Guru Granth Sahib
~Truth & the Beneficent Bliss Maker~
I have an alarm clock. His name is Pranav. He woke up at 3 in the morning, had his bath and woke the rest of the kids up at 4. And then he sat on the chair next me and watched me sleeping.
I could feel someone watching me I thought it was Sankar (another core Organiser of the Yathra 09, and someone whom I left out in the second chapter. My apologies Sankar!!). I opened my eyes and I was shocked to see Pranav watching me sleeping!
“You sleep like a baby anney” he smiles and says. It was so freaky when he said that!
I took some time to register what he had just said. I shook my head and asked him the time. “It’s 4 anney”
I kept silent and observed him and then I broke the silence. “Dude, what are you doing up so early?? Aren’t you supposed to be sleeping??”
“Yes anney, but an early rise is always good anney”
Great…So I had to wake the rest of the teens up and by 5.15 am everyone were down and ready for the boring Omkaar session at the Port Klang centre. Hari anney looked at me and said, “I’m having a culture shock!” He had never seen teens getting up so early!
We borrowed 3 vans from Bangsar and the Brickfields centre and took the kids to the Port Klang centre where I slept nearly all the way through the Suprabatham. They even chanted 108 Gayathri manthra!! And Akka said it’s going to be a routine for the Yathra Orientation.
We’re gonna chant 108 Gayathri manthra every morning until we leave for Parthi! That’s torture I tell you!
But I must say I’m impressed with Sankar, he really made the kids practice their bhajans the day before and he can be extremely strict. That’s a side I had never seen before, but I would be seeing more of this side of his for the days to come.
Sankar means, Bliss Maker in Sanskrit. It’s another name of Shiva and like the name, Sankar lives up to it. He sings beautiful blissful Bhajans. He’s indeed a Bliss Maker 🙂
After Omkar and Suprabatham, we got to do some walking and running in the morning rain to a nearby temple which was just a few houses away from the centre.
Speaking about the centre, in a way, I felt blessed to be in a centre which is recorded to be the oldest Sai centre in Malaysia. It was built-in 1971 (I think). Some of the walls are made out of wood and bricks so you get the feeling of being in the late 60s. The kitchen’s the best. It’s made entirely out of wood and it kind of reminds me of my grandma’s house.
Okay back to the temple, we had bhajans there. Vasanth killed and slaughtered Sura Muni Vanditha and Shamini Akka was wondering what on earth was Vasanth singing about. He makes a bad singer but the dude tries his best.
I was sleep deprived, all I wanted was sleep and more sleep. And my nose was leaking like tap water. I had used up 5 handkerchiefs and all were wet. That was how bad it was.
After the temple Akka had the usual boring morning session with the kids. I sat and leaned on the wall beside brother Gopi and Jay. Jay can be considered a core member of the Yathra 09 Organising commitee but he’s only incharge of music part for the performance to Swami. He had made minus ones for the songs and he made an excellent work out of them. I was really impressed with him.
He’s extremely humble and soft spoken and he sings extremely well too! Sankar and Jay would make an excellent team during the coming days to train the kids for the performance infront of Swami.
As for the kids, they don’t know they’re actually performing to Swami. Akka decided to tell them a white lie. She told them it’s a module to be conducted in Parthi, nothing else. So the gullible kids, all of them believed her.
God that woman’s brilliant!
I was amazingly amazed with the boyss. They were so amazingly discipline and inspired. They asked alot of questions to Akka. That was the only session that kept me awake because some of the questions they asked were funny and yet some made you think. The girls on the other hand…. no comments.
Later on the session was boring again as Akka started to explain the significance of the Gayathri Manthra. I was feeling so sick and was praying for medicine when Bro Sathya comes to the rescue.
Bro Sathya, he’s the last and most important core member of the Yathra 09 Organising Committee team. Sathya means truth, and like his name, he lives up to it. Every action of his and words uttered is truth. He’s so amazing and inspiring and I was first shock when he told me he’s a doctor when we first met. He doesn’t look like a doctor, more like a priest! He knows the Vedam by hard and he’s a Bhajan encyclopedia according to Bala.
He comes and as per my sms, I had requested some medications from him. He gives some flu and cough tablets to me.
In the afternoon, we had to practice for the “module” at the Bangsar centre as the SS3 centre was in use. The backup singers were downstairs, the actors outside and the main singers upstairs at the top floor. So the whole centre was actually utilized well.
Let me explain to you about the whole script. It’s Katha Kalashebam (in Tamil) meaning it’s a song and words sequence thingy whereby a bunch of people sing, then they stop and a narrator explains the story and then a song sequence comes again.
But if we do that, it will be boring, so we added actors into the performance and they would mime and act out the songs and narrator to give a sense and feel of the story.
Problem was, the whole script was made out of Swami’s discourse and it was so long and draggy. And we had to think of ways to include the actors into Swami’s discourse. The difference between a discourse and a story is that in a story one can imagine things but in a discourse one just has to listen.
So technically, practically and theoretically we were doomed.
I was given the task of training Vasanth, Yumesh, Harindran and Balendira for the acting part because apparently everyone were impressed with their acting during the audition last night. That’s how everyone got selected for the various part for the performance. All thanks to the audition.
But later on, Suresh Anney comes and drops a bomb. He says it’s best to revamp the script since Swami loves action more than just narration alone. Our performance had more words than actions and if we did stage this performance infront of Swami, there’s a high chance Swami might wheel Himself off from the dais because he won’t be able to bear it anymore.
So in 14 minutes, Suresh Anney, the most dynamic Chairman of Bangsar centre, sits and comes up with a 20 minutes script for Swami’s performance. I put it as the “Most Amazing 14 Minutes”/
As usual, when the script changes, loads of changes takes place. Some kids were cast out and some were sad. Balendira and Vasanth took it very seriously.
Heartbreaks on the second day already.
The difference between this Yathra and the previous ones is that we have something called, Confession Nights. Confession Nights are where all of us sit in a circle in the night before sleeping and each one of us confesses something that happened.
It’s an amazing discussion thingy in the night and I was really impressed with the teens for voicing out their opinions.
When it came to my turn, I told to everyone this, “I’m extremely proud of all of you. Keep the spirit and the fire burning and keep yearning for His Darshan and Grace. My advice are two things; 1. Don’t go with expectations and 2. Don’t get attached to whichever role you’re given”
I prayed the kids understood what I had just said. We slept soundly except for me. I could hardly breath now.