Wanderers in Eternity – Chapter 8


Table of Contents: Preface | Life Cycle | Chapter 01 | Chapter 02 | Chapter 03 | Chapter 04 | Chapter 05 | Chapter 06 | Chapter 07 | Chapter 08 | Chapter 09





Seeing the Buddhist monk and the man walking towards her, Janki waited by the barricade. Involuntarily, her fingers got caught in the fence. She removed the sari which was covering her head and adjusted the ruffled hairs. Though Doctor Saminadan who stood near by uttered something, she did not hear any of that clearly.

From the campsite came the commanding orders of an army captain who was training his troops. The dry parched land of Vavuniya was burning in the afternoon sun. Somewhere a whole battalion of crows were cawing.

Looking at the monk’s face for a moment, Janki bent forward and put her hands together to worship him. The words “May you be well,” came out of the monk’s lips. In the next instance, Janki’s eyes stopped at the face the young man who accompanied the monk.

They stared a each other dumbfounded by a whole series of inexplicable emotions rising within them. Doctor Saminadan said something to Reverend Subuthis and then turned towards Janki.

“Jnaki, avarkal yar enru solla mudiyuma?”

“Mh….” Janaki muttered while still looking at Ajith.

“This must be Janaki?” To the monk’s question the reply came in an affirmative from Ajith.

“Let us go to that boutique.” Saminadan pointed to a restaurant across the steet.

Ajith could not find words to say anything. He and Janaki were both speechless. Either one did know where to begin the conversation.

As the foursome walked into the restaurant, several customers turned to look at this unlikely combination. A Buddhist monk, a Tamil couple and a Sinhalese man. The four of them went to a table in the back. “Let us have a cup of tea,” Saminadan spoke again in very clear Sinhalese.

“Not for me. I will just have a glass of water,” reverend Subuthi said. He and Ajith sat on one side of the table while the other two sat facing them. Janaki’s face was in front of Ajith’s.

“Janaki knows Sinhalese,” Saminadan broke the silence.

“I have met this gentleman in Neveli,” all at once Janaki became talkative. ” A long time ago.”

“Can you tell me who I am?” Ajith asked with his eyes wide open.

“You, sir told me that you would find my husband. After that you went away, and I never saw you agin.”

“This gentlemen was injured in a bomb explosion,” The monk said.

When Saminadan said something to Janaki in Tamil, Ajith guessed that he was explaining what the monk said to the woman.

Janaki forced a smile on her lips as if to say I forgive you.

“You look very familiar to me, sir. I remember you very well.” Janaki, do you know anything about reincarnation? ” the monk inqurired.” We are born and then we die. Then we are born again to die again.”

“Yes, sadhu…… That is what eternity is all about.”

“What year did your father die, Janaki?

“My father? Ambath onpadu…”

“In fifty nine,” Saminadan translated.

“This gentleman, Ajith was born in nineteen sixty.”

“Janaki, your father’s name was Sundaram?” Ajith said quizzically.

“Sundaram, yes.”

“I am Sundaram.”

“Appa? My father?”

Janaki’s eyes were filling with tears. Seeing this, Ajith could not hold back his tears as well. Everything around went quiet. Say “Appa” Janaki sobbed. She wiped away her tears with a handkerchief she held folded in her hand.

“Birth and death are both painful,” Reverend Subuthi uttered.

“Janaki, I am Sundaram. They poured poured all over me and burned me to death. Oh, Janaki, my magal, my magal….”

“Appa!” What Janaki went on saying afterwards no one really understoor. Doctor Saminadan stroked her arm as if to console her.

“Mella shollu, Janaki. Speak slowly, speak slowly.”

Janaki wiped away her tears and started to talk slower.

“Appa died. We did not know. I was so small. I was waiting for Appa to come to pick me up. I waited and waited but he did not show up. So I went runnig and running. Mother was crying, younger brother was crying. I remember very vaguely, we came to the shed. everything had been burned down to ashes… Mother took the money from where she hid it and with the two of us came to the road. We stayed somewhere to spend the night. Then we took the train to Jaffna.”

“Where’s mother? Ajith could not hold back that question.

“Mother died only two months ago, sir.” Janaki’s tears renewed. “Mother went kind of crazy. Why? Because my younger brother ran away. Then my son, Vasantharaja was taken into custody. My younger brother got shot and he died from his wounds. Uncle mahes also got shot and he died. Everything is gone, sir. Mother went crazy.”

Ajith tried to bear the pain pulsing in his heart. Isn’t this his own daughter?

“I lived with my mother. Now I am all alone, sir.”

“Janaki, I came to see your son as well. Your Vasantharaja,” Ajith said.

“Yes, sir. I come to see him twice a month. It is good that he is in prison, sir. Otherwise he would be dead by now. He would have killed many more.”

“We will do the best we can to help,” the monk said.

“You do look my father, sir,” Janaki said while staring straight into Ajith’s eyes. “Your eyes are just like his.”

Ajith smiled.

“Sir, then my father was born again as a Sinhalese. How do you know that you were my father in your previous life, sir?”

Doctor Saminadan explained to Janaki about reverend Subuthi and how he would hypnotize people to find information about their previous lives. While he was explaining all this Janaki also jabbered away something hurriedly.

“Janaki says that her son Vasantharaja also talks about a dream like that,” Saminadan translated for the others. “When he went to massacre people in Bodhipura, he had come face to face with two woman who looked very familiar to him. So he had not killed the two of them. That was when he got shot.”

“When I saw Vasantharaja for the first time, I also felt like I’ve known him, reverend,” Ajith said. “When I first saw him, he was a little boy. I remember he had a big birth mark on his chest.”

Janaki forced smile. “He is very stubborn boy, sir. He grew up the wrong way.”

In reverend Subuthi’s look, a different thought was evident. “I thought, gentlemen, if we hypnotize that Vasantharaja, we may be able to find out why he behaved in such a way. If only he is willing.”

Saminadan explained this to Janaki.

“Whatever you do, Sadhu, if it will help me son, I don’t mind it. That dream is a real bother to my son, sir. Let me ask him about this.”

After tea they walked towards the camp. This time Janaki walked close to Ajith. Ajith did not hear anything the priest and the doctor said to each other as they walked ahead of him. In walking close to Janaki there was a certain happiness. It was a feeling as if a link from the past had completed this cycle of life.

Just like the twilight that was spreading all around, his heart was by some serenity. Janaki who had been born from his own blood in a previous life was now an adult woman walking next to him. What an amazing thing that was! Everything was thoughts…. thoughts ……

“I know a brigadier here,” the priest said. “I will talk to him and arrange everything. Until then, you can stay in this shade. The prison camp is on the other side of the army camp. I will also talk Vasantharaja before I come back.”

“Sadhu, I am also going to talk to my son. I have very little time to see him.” Janaki said.

While Janaki went ane way, the priest entered from the main getway of the army camp. Along with Saminadan, Ajith walked to the barricade and showed his own army identity card to the soldiers there and struck up a conversation with them. He told them about how he got injured in Jaffna in the bomb blast in 1983 as if he were relating some adventure story. He felt happy talking this. The guarding soldiers inquired him as to what was happening in Colombo. When would this war ever be over, were would heard during the conversation every so often.

“What that reverend Subuthi is doing with another group is very commendable,” one of the soldiers said.

“What is doing?” Ajith asked.

“The work of his foundation. Helping the villagers that were misplaced by the terrorists’ attacks. Not just from Colombo, now people are coming from all over the would to help rebuild the villages.”

“I did not know about that.”

“Reverend will tell you. You must have come here on some other mission then?”

“Yes, to meet with one of the prisoners.”

“A Tamil?”

“Yes, yes.”

“Look like you are also doing some good work in some other way then?”

“I am trying to know people without separating them in to different races as Singhalese and Tamil.”

“It is very hard to explain such a thing to some people, sir.”

“Especially to the ones who are trying to separate the North from the country,” another soldier added.

“Not everyone up North thinks the same way.” Doctor Saminadan joined in on the conversation. “One day every one will understand that we do not belong to one race all the time. Like the priest said, what a temporary hold this is?” Ajith as well as the soldiers looked on in amazement at the Tamil doctor who spoke such fluent Singhalese with such an understanding.

It took about half an hour for the priest to return. He brought back with him the papers to let in Ajith and Saminadan into the camp, very happily as if he were carrying a white banner of victory.

“Let us, gentlemen. I talked to Vasantharaja as well. He is willing to help with the work.”

“What work, reverend?”

“To undergo hypnosis.”

“Whatever way, if it helps the boy, that is all that matters,” Saminadan said. “When I spoke with Janaki earlier she told me about all the trouble she had with the boy. After his father had died, he had become so stubborn and rotten. Then one of his uncles had taken him away to join him with the Tigers.”

“He is not a very happy person. Very restless,” the priest said. “He told me about a dream he had. He knows quite a bit of Singhalese.”

“He had lived in wellawatte,” Ajith revealed what little he knew. Then he realized that this boy was his grandson from his previous life.

They walked down a dusty road and entered the surgical unit of the camp. It was a small building. On its columned front porch, Janaki was already waiting for them.

“I told them to bring Vasantharaja to a bed in here,” the priest explained.

“It is very quiet around here.”

“Pinna arai kami,” Janaki said and pointed to the interior.

A soldier who came to the porch, led them to an inner room with pale blue walls. Inside on a bed sat Vasantharaja dressed in a white sarong and a light weight long sleeved undershirt. He glanced at Ajith, then looked down and started to pinch his own arm.

In one corner of the room were several chairs. The priest pulled out one the chairs close to the bed and sat on it.

Janaki sat by her son and whispered something to him. Vasantharaja nodded his head.

“he is ready, sadhu,” She said for the priest to her.

“If you’d like to, you can stay in the room.”

The priest sat upright in his chair. “Vasantharaja, please lie down on the bed. Let us see what your dream is all about.”

To Ajith, none of this was any more. Listening to the commands given by the preist, Vasantharaja closed his eyes and relaxed and floated into another world while Ajith watched.

“Vasantharja, see where you are?”

“Kandy… Peradeni…”

“Give us your name?”

“Enadu peyar Lionel. My name is Lionel,” Vasantharaja started to talk in a very distressed masser. After muttering a few words in Tamil, he started to talk in Sinhalese. “I am Lionel. I went from Kandy. To Galle. Galle. Che Guvera.”

“Tell us, what happened, Lionel?”

“I got shot. Shot in the chest. My chest.” Vasantharaja’s right hand rested on his chest. a pain registered on his face. His eyes were tightly shut.

“Lionel, now you will not feel any pain. Let us go a little further, into your childhood in that lifetime….. Take a look at the house where you live.”

“We are in Colombo…”

“Who else is there?”

“Mother, father, younger sister and younger brother – Suneetha and Ajith.”

Ajith was startled. “Ajith?”

“Yes, Ajith. My younger brother, Ajith. Yes here is my younger brother, Ajith. I am angry. Everybody treats him nice. I am angry…. angry…. I want to take revenge from everybody.”

Ajith blurted out “Aiya” (Older brother). The young Tamil man lying on the bed in front of him, could this be his own brother, Lionel? It was also only a memory.

“I….I went to the campus,” Vasantharaja went on talking.” That is where I met Anula and got friendly with her. That Anula…” He stated to pant heavily. “I left my Anula and went to join the revolution.”

“Where is Anula?”

“I don’t know. Yan Oya. In Anuradhapura. No, no! It was that Anula I saw in Bodhipura. With Anula was our daughter….. I know now. Before I left her, we…we…” Vasantharaja’s voice faded and tears were streaming down his face. His eyes were still closed.

“Lionel, now we will come to the moment of death in that lifetime. You will not feel any pain. You can very easily float up and away from that body. You will not feel the pain of that body now. See what you can see now.”

“I got caught by the police. I am very angry. I must kill all of them. They tortured me. They shot me right her in my chest.” Janaki noticed that Vasantharaja was pointing th the birth mark on his chest.

“Now there is no more pain, Vasantharaja. When I count to three, you will wake up. One – your body is very relaxed. There is no pain. Two – you are very close to walking up. There is no pain at all. You will feel very comfortable and relaxed. Three – now let us wake up.”

Wiping his tears, Vasantharaja sat up in bed. the first thing he saw Ajith’s eyes wide open in amazement. Janaki who stood up from her chair, went to the bed and hugged her son. Ajith could not hold back his feelings. He also got up and went to them. He had a great desire to hug both of them. As Ajith sat on the other side of Vasantharaja, he hugged him. Ajith extended his arms to hug both Janaki and her son. While all three were crying, reverend Subuthi got up from his chair and talked in a hushed voice to Saminadan. “Let us go outside, doctor. These tree have a lot to talk.”

The trio on the bed did not even realize that the priest and the doctor had left the room.

“This is my daughter, Janaki,” Ajith rattled on. “This is my grandson – also my older brother from this life. Vasantharaja and Lionel – they are both the same.”

“Appa – Aiya” (Father, brother) Janaki mumbled. “My son. My fathre’s older brother…. you are brothers…”

“I want to meet with that Anula,” while sobbing, Vasantharaja said. “I can’t wait to see her one more time.”

“I understand, I understand,” Ajith agreed.

While the three of them sat on the bed and cried, the night crept in.


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Table of Contents: Preface | Life Cycle | Chapter 01 | Chapter 02 | Chapter 03 | Chapter 04 | Chapter 05 | Chapter 06 | Chapter 07 | Chapter 08 | Chapter 09