The breakfast gong sounded as I was walking to the dining room, to have my breakfast. I glided into the room with one BIG smile, waiting to quickly eat my breakfast and leave. I was becoming better at the habit of reaching the dining table just as the gong strikes or a few seconds after the gong strikes. The discipline of keeping time is a value that my father swears by. It was becoming more and more important to me to get his approval and the more I try, the more it is becoming difficult to get his approval. 

My father’s attire tells me that he is going to be away for a few days.. I am going to miss him but at the same time there is that inexplicable joy that runs thru me.. He could be away for a couple of days or more and just as I am wondering about the duration of his period away from home, he looks at me and says, “I am away for the next three days and you know what is expected from you”. I just nod my head, lest I say something and lest I break into a WIDE smile. When the cat is away, ‘this mouse’ is at play. I am waiting to hear if the disapproving eye and the ever watching eye are going to be at home or are they also going away with my father, for a few days.. If they also leave with my father, then it will be joy that knows no bounds 🙂 🙂 :-). I have the house to myself though my grandfather and a few other people who help around in the house, will be there at home with me.

The joy took a small plunge when I saw my father asking me to get into his vehicle with him, the disapproving eye and the ever watching eye. He said that he will drop me in school and leave; and my grandfather will pick me up. He also made sure that he reminded my grandfather about accompanying me to and back from school everyday. The joy of being with myself the next few days was worth the small plunge that I was feeling, at not having the opportunity of going to the monastery and the tree. 

It was indeed a big surprise when my father stopped in front of the monastery. One silver lining in the dark cloud!!! 

I asked my father if I could be dropped in school and the vehicle could come back to pick him up. I was expecting my father to say, “No, you will be dropped to school on time. We will be in the monastery for just a few minutes.” He did precisely as I thought. I am learning really fast on when to ask the kind of questions, to get what I want to get 🙂

It is a different experience when my father and I go to the monastery together. My steps become even more measured and it is frustrating to be tongue tied and not really free, in one of the two places I am comfortable in. The old man was walking towards his short table when he heard our footsteps. As always, his gaze first fell on me and said, “Will you come back from school to the monastery to see me?”. Neither did I ask him why, nor did he say. I just nodded to him, in happiness. As for my father, he will not question what this ever-serene old man says. My smile did not ask for my permission to show up on my face. It just came. The silver lining just got broader :-). 

The cloud became all silver when the old man asked me to stand within an arm’s length of him. Everytime this happens, I feel like someone special and this is one thing that my father can never stop – neither me being called to be at an arm’s length from the old man nor my feeling of being someone special. In all my moments of sadness when I am at home, these moments with the old man keep me alive, making me see happiness within myself.

After a few minutes in the monastery, we bow to the old man and take leave. The old man will give no reminders for he knows that I will remember to come back. What a compassionate being!!!

My father drops me in school and before leaving says, “Remember the instructions given”.  What a difference between the way my father is and the old man is, towards me!! Why would I not want to be in the monastery most of the time, if not all the time!!

As I walk into my school, I see no one as I am lost in the thoughts of dreaming of visiting the tree in the afternoon, with my grandfather. The swing, the roots and the person seated at the tree.. And of course going to the monastery..

What a beautiful start to the next few days of joy, joy and just joy!!! 

For the moment, this is a round peg in a round hole!!