Today is Janmastami. This day reminds me of many such incidents of life. The day, reminds me of my Ma, who used to prepare special delicacies and do her puja. She would take me, along with her to Shyamsundar mandir, closer to our house. She would decorate the "palna" with Bal Gopal. Would buy those fancy dresses for Krishna. It was almost like a ritual. Much celebrated one. Some how, Krishna has been my companion since childhood. My dad, bought me the first Krishna idol, which is still there in my Kolkata house. Later, I got various gifts from people, in forms of pendent, idols, portraits and calenders. During my school days, a dear friend of mine Animesh Barik gifted me yet another idol of Krishna, made from plaster of Paris. It's still with me, in my native town. My connection with Krishna has been eternal. I believe He is around. For me, for all of us.
When I landed in Mumbai almost ten years ago, I didn't carry any image of Krishna. Somehow, it didn't happen. But, strangely, a very dear friend of mine Shashank Samant (used to work with me in Stardust magazine) gifted me a small idol of Krishna. There was no occasion, he just felt like gifting me one. He had picked it up from Siddhivinayak Temple. Since then, that idol has been a part of my temple.
Much later, on one of my birthday, my driver gifted me the idol of Bal Gopal and Radha Krishna. Incidentally, he happens to me a Muslim. I was so touched with the gesture. They got place in my puja room. Few years later when I got married, one of my closest pal - Anupam Pratihary, who is almost like a family now, gifted me and my wife Sarbani a lovely idol of Radha and Krishna. The idol looks pristine, made of rose wood, it's one of the finest idols I have seen in recent times. He took special interest in finding the perfect idol for the newly wed couple.
Just a year ago, my mother-in-law went to Darjeeling, and on her way back, she picked up a lovely idol of Krishna, made of teak wood. Even that one has made its place in my room. One of my wife's cousin sister, also gifted us Bal Gopal, That's made of plastic, which has become a showpiece in my Kolkata house.
One of the idol of Krishna which I loved the most was at B M Birla Heart Research Institute, in Kolkata. Saw it for the first time, when I admitted my father for bypass surgery, almost a decade ago. The life size idol would remind me of Krishna from Vrindavan and Iskcon temples. Each time, I prayed, my prayer was heard. Barring once, the last time, two years ago, when I lost my dad. I just hated the same idol, for taking away my Baba. But, slowly, I came to terms that He wanted to relief Baba from the pain he was going through. As humans, we don't like to accept the truth. We treat God like humans. We bathe them, dress them, feed them, celebrate their birthdays, we love them, we talk with them, we sing for them, we cry, laugh, smile and even fight with them. The reason, why we get offended, upset and hurt when we are dejected. When our prayers go unheard.
Krishna, is there. Amongst all of us. He is guiding, everyone. He is taking test. He knows you the best, so he puts you through tests, which you will be able to overcome. Post, my dad's death, I went through real tough time. Personally and professionally, it was the toughest time. I thought, for a moment, I won't be worshiping any deity. I was loosing faith in any sort of supreme power. But, each time, I would decide to drift from Krishna, He would follow me. He would chase me, would make me realize my mistakes. I have realized that He is no magician. He is a healer. His smile is infectious. He will be with you, even when you don't need him.
We fall in love with god, we fall out of love. But, then he never leaves you alone. Even when you abandon Him, accuse Him, doubt His presence, He still cares for you. He is the 'dasa' of every 'bhakt'. He is the 'atma' and considers His 'bhakt' as param (supreme). Final unison of Krshna and his Bhakt, forms the eternal combination of 'Paramatma'.
Have faith, that's all you can offer Him, while He can offer you everything under the sky!
"Krishnaye Vasudevae Govindai Namah!"