The Bee In The Bonnet
The Bee In The Bonnet10 mins 264 10 mins 264
Amya concentrated on her breathing. In, out, in, out. She decided to try what the girl in the '10-Minute Guide' video was recommending. Amya was all for organic healing these days.
"Breathe in, hold, breathe out, hold."Amya had wondered how a few deep breaths could help heal her mind and body. But whatever doubts she had were soon gone when she first discussed her issues with Shroff, her yoga therapist.
Shroff. Amya couldn't help but be charmed by his warmth and positivity. When he heard about her battle with anorexia and depression, he actually understood what she had gone through. Instead of judging her like everyone else, he reassured her that she was brave to face her demons. It was Shroff who convinced her to take up yoga and meditation to calm her mind and repair her fragile body.
"Hold your fingers on your ears while you close each nostril during Pranayama", said the guide in the video. Sure enough, it helped Amya block out all the sounds from outside. She could no longer hear the chirping of birds on her window-sill or the rustling leaves of the beautiful Gulmohar tree in her garden. Even the shrill voice of the woman arguing with the milkman was muffled.
"Your mind is a magical world of possibilities. If you think it is, then everything is possible." Every time Amya felt that she couldn't keep up with everyone else in the class, Shroff would encourage her. Slowly, he brought out her will to control her mind and make it obey her orders. With his encouragement, she learnt to accept herself, flaws and all.
"Focus on the breath of life passing through your lungs, feel the hot breath leave your body", the video repeated monotonously. With every breath, Amya tried to focus on the negativity leaving her body. In the fresh morning air, it was easy to feel the marked difference between the cool, clean air going in and the warm air leaving her. She felt herself marvelling at the significance of this simple, yet deep, process that kept all of nature alive.
"Let the negative energies leave your body and your soul." Shroff seemed like a different being when he was meditating. He seemed to glow from within. Amya was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. For the first time in years, she felt attracted to a person's soul. He relaxed and healed her bruised mind and she hung onto his every word like they were a manna from heaven.
"Move your arms up and down as you breathe in and out. Let your whole body be in sync with your life-breath." This irked her. She didn't care for instructors who tried to reduce yoga into a set of simple exercises. For her, it was a lot more. It was her salvation. Like a remote control, it helped her turn the volume down in her head and just drown herself in the delicious silence. Still, she continued to listen to the instructions, trying to use them as a means to an end.
"Would you like to fly today?" Shroff's question had caught her off guard. She had been silently watching him as he warmed up for their session and took a moment to process the surprising question. For a moment, the question put her off. She looked up to Shroff. For her, he was more than a simple meditation and yoga instructor, he was her source of positivity and enlightenment, he was her guru. Right now, his words made him sound like any other small-time impersonator.
Gauging her thoughts by the dubious look on her face, Shroff laughed and said, "I've burst your bubble it seems. I don't blame you. These are the famous last words of most thugs who promise you great things as they pull a con." Amya relaxed. "A free mind is like a kite in the wind. You can take it to heights that you had never imagined. No drug, no mantra can bring the kind of freedom to your soul that inner peace can. So...would you like to fly today?"
A sudden flapping of wings broke the thread of her thoughts. Amya sighed, the pigeons were back in her balcony, trying against all odds to build a nest over her window. No amount of scaring seemed to be dissuading them. And no meditation could help keep their noises out too. Amya got up to drive them away so that she could return to her routine. As she sat down, suddenly she didn't feel any patience for the "10-Minute Guide" anymore. She turned off the video and sat down on her yoga mat, closing her eyes and ears to the outside world once more. She just wanted to feel the energy of her thoughts.
"As you breathe in and out, relax your muscles and let the energy flow through your body." Amya felt a strange calm pass through her limbs. She felt the anxiety fall off her shoulders as she concentrated on each passage of her breath. Soon she felt like she was a leaf, simply floating in a breeze. "Your body is just a vessel for your thoughts, ideas and energies. These are what make up your soul. Just like you can empty and refill a vessel of water, similarly, you can freely move your soul in and out of your body. That way, you can fly wherever your soul wishes to go." The idea in itself was so strange for Amya that her eyes flew open with wonder. She looked at Shroff who was sitting peacefully, looking at her amazement with perfect calm. No jokes there.
"Don't worry, we will not try anything you're not comfortable with. I just wanted you to know your possibilities." Amya was slightly irritated at his lack of faith in her abilities, but then she was only an amateur.
The neighbour's voice rang loudly in the corridor outside, cursing the world in general. She always treated Amya with disdain, not considering her good enough to be living in this society. "Like so many others, always saying that Amya is just not good enough", thought Amya. For a moment, all her previous struggles came back to her. Her entitled and ignored childhood, her struggle to fit into the fashion industry at her mother's insistence, the drug abuse. Everyone, everywhere, undermined her capabilities. But she shrugged off the cloud of gloom. "That chapter is over now."
"It's very good that you are focusing so much energy into meditation Amya."Shroff kept insisting that Amya divide her time between yoga and meditation, but as he saw her determination to pursue meditation, he thought that as it gave her greater peace, so she was more inclined towards it. So he encouraged her to focus her energy into what suited her best. For Amya, it was a point to prove. She was intrigued as to how her mind could reach that pinnacle of peace and self-control that she could detach her soul from her body. Astral travel, it was called. Just that one sentence from Shroff's mouth was enough. Unknowingly, Amya's hard-wired mind was pushing her to prove to him that she was capable. That bee in the bonnet just wouldn't go away.
It was not easy. Every time she tried to focus her mind, past instances and fear of failure crowded her mind. But like the junky she was, she kept at it doggedly. And of course, there was Shroff to think about. Just looking at him made her calm. She wanted to surprise him, give him the ultimate gift of her great achievement and win him, just as he had won her over.
The phone had been ringing for God knows how long. Amya opened her eyes and looked at it with bored eyes. She was just not willing to start another day of routine tedium. Of course, there were things to be done, like locating a new meditation centre and calling her mother to inform her about the change. She cringed at the latter task. The very thought of hearing her mother's voice made her want to hide under her sheets. The disapproval was so overwhelming, it made her wonder why her mother bothered getting pregnant in the first place.
Wanting to ignore these painful thoughts, Amya turned off the ringer to her phone. But this time, she didn't go back to herplace of peace and calm. She just stood there, thinking, feeling, letting herself be flooded with her thoughts and emotions.
"Don't struggle against your mind and your emotions Amya. They are a part of who you are. Embrace yourself and your past. Only then will you be able to move on." It was a sensation of freedom and calm that she enjoyed most in her meditation sessions. But there was still that little something. Something that wouldn't let her enjoy her peace like she usually did. When she had told Shroff about it, he had advised her to stop her inner struggle. As she always did, Amya decided to follow his words. As she sat with eyes closed and watched her thoughts unfold, she could feel a profound sense of lightness come over her body. All of a sudden, she could see herself, eyes closed, sitting on the floor, with a very peaceful expression on her face. Her eyes flew open as she realised that it wasn't a memory from the past, but her present that she had just witnessed, just from a different perspective! Amya couldn't believe what had just happened.
As days went by, Amya managed to transport her energy outside her body many more times. Each time, her experience was more vivid. She gained control over what she wanted to see and was able to look at her surroundings as well.
A smile played on Amya's face as she remembered the day when she finally decided to surprise Shroff. She planned to spy on him on her astral journey and then recount to him all that she had seen. How delighted he would be to see what a dedicated soul she had! He would embrace her with a sense of wonder...
Amya sat down in her usual spot to meditate. As always, Shroff left the room to give her some privacy and silence. The moment he left, Amya closed her eyes and willed her thoughts and energies to flood her mind and release her into the astral world. Soon, she realised that her perspective had changed. Slowly and gently, she willed her energy to move away from her room towards outside. She could hear Shroff now, speaking in his gentle voice. Her energy was right in front of him now, listening to everything he was saying. "Nobody can be you. You are so wonderful, how could I not love you?" Amya was confused. Could Shroff see her? But that couldn't be possible. Then how could he profess his love for her?
Amya's energy turned green. Green with envy and jealousy. She could see her now. Holding Shroff's hands, looking at him like he was her source of positivity and enlightenment. Her energy slowly turned a deep hue of red. Amya opened her eyes.
Amya moved from where she was standing. She breathed in and out, relaxing her body. She picked up the yellow pages and started looking for the number that she had circled yesterday. She was reassured by a very professional female on the other end of the line that she would get the best assistance from a very prominent yogi at a discounted price. Amya sighed, one task done. She made herself a cup of coffee, but couldn't get herself to drink it. She got up and headed to the living room. Looking at the mangled body of Shroff's girlfriend, she felt no remorse. After all, that's what she had been conditioned to do - eliminate all competition, prove that she was worth it. The girl was hardly any good anyway. She could just scream when Amya had battered Shroff's head to pulp with her father's prized Sir Don Bradman bat. "Shroff, poor Shroff. If only you had been enlightened enough to see who matched your energies best", said Amya.
She sat down between the two bodies, closed her eyes and focused on the energy flowing through her body into Shroff's soul. No other thoughts touched her mind. Peace was finally hers.