My First Yoga Class
- (Getting Divinity in the first yoga class itself)-
- Part 1-

Dr. Konsam Suken Singh *

Recently, I joined in one medical college at Pondicherry as an Assistant Professor in the department of Forensic Medicine. I had always been very much fascinated, when we read in school's textbooks when we were small, of the natural beauty of this city, also known as the French city of India. I still remembered how we had visualized the serene beauty of this place with small huts roofed and walled with dry coconut leaves and surrounded by tall-tall coconut trees all around, old French lamp posts in the middle of streets of the town, the dimly lit yellow lights from these lamp posts during blurred rainy nights and foggy winter evenings, the vast clear blue seas with fishing boats floating all around, the divine abode of Shree Aurobindo's ashram, the French Colony in the heart of the town with beautiful buildings constructed in olden French designs etc. So, it was just like a big boon for me from the Almighty to get a chance to work in this kind of fascinating city as I am going to get to see in real all those fantasies of my childhood's school text books.

It was my first day in the Institute. After meeting Dean and finishing the formal documentation with the administrative people, I headed towards my department, Department of Forensic Medicine which now-where I had no idea then. So, on the way, I stopped by a seemingly jolly and helpful guy to enquire about the now-where of my department. Luckily, he turned out to be a Senior Assistant Professor in the department of Pathology, a Bengali guy. He told me with his jolly smile lending his right hand out to me to be shaken with mine,

"Hello, I am Dr. Aloke (name changed), senior Assistant Professor in Pathology. Nice meeting you and welcome to our Institute."

"Hello sir, nice meeting you too. I am Dr. Suken from Manipur, join today only as an Assisant Professor in the department of Forensic Medicine."

After such formal talks, he showed to me the way to my department. As we bid bye to each other, he turned to me and told me with a mild laugher,

"But be careful of your HOD (head of department). You people don't need 'light' in your department because your Boss carries a 'bright halo of light' (as seen around the head of some Hindu Gods like Krishna and all) behind his head all the time!!! "

When I looked blindly at him, he further told me with the same laugher,

"Don't worry man, please go ahead to your department. You will know it soon. See you."

Following the path or way he had showed to me, I headed towards my department with a big confusion in my mind of what he had said just now to me about my HOD. Finally, I was in our department. When I went to the room with the signboard "Professor & HOD " at the entrance of the room, I could see a bald man in his early forties, seemingly to be a local guy (Tamil) who was busy in some paper works with his head down on the table. Sensing the coming of someone, he looked up from the table and at the same time told me,

"Yes, please !!!"

"Excuse me, sir !"

"Yes, come in. What can I do for you !!"

"Sir, myself,..I am Dr. Suken…."

Before I could finish my words, he interrupted at me with a smile on his face,

"Oh, you are Dr. Suken from Manipur,..the new AP (Assistant Professor) in my department !!"

"Yes, sir. I am Dr, Suken."

"Oh, welcome…welcome doctor. You are most welcome to our Institute and to our department. I am happy to see you. The Dean has already informed me that you are joining here in one of these days. And luckily, we will have another AP also from Banglore, he will be joining tomorrow. I am very happy to get two- two APs at a time now."

"Thank you, sir. I would be pleased to see him too tomorrow in the department as my colleague."

After that formal talks, we were talking about so many things,….this and that. In between his talks, he was mentioning about God, Divinity , yoga…..and other related things. Then, I could sense that he was something of a holy type of person inspite of being the HOD of the department. When I looked up the room, I could see the three different portrait photographs of one 'mataji' (which later on I came to know that she was none than Shreemati Nirmala mataji, the founder of Sahajo Yoga) which was put up on the three walls of the room with burnt sandalwood incense sticks in front of one of the photographs.

That was how my first day in the department ended with a curiosity in my mind - 'why that Bengali doctor (pathologist) told me that we don't need light in our department !!!' With this curious thought, I didn't know when did I sleep that night, I woke up in the next morning only to find that it was already 7 AM. With brush in my hand while in toilet (two jobs at a time) and after hurriedly taken bath, I rushed for the same bus which I had boarded on the previous day to reach my college. So, there again I was in my college for the second day.

After keeping my laptop inside the cupboard in my room, I hurriedly went to sir's room to wish him 'good morning' and more important than that to show him my face just to make him realize that I am punctual and come in time. When I neared to his room I heard sir talking to someone. No sooner did I make my appearance in his open door than sir called me inside happily,

"Yes, yes, Suken…please come in,….and please meet Dr. Sekharan (name changed), from Banglore, another new AP who joins from today as I told you yesterday."

First I responded to sir, "Good morning sir, and thank you."

Then turning towards the new AP, my colleague, I shake my right hand with his,

"Hello, I am Dr. Suken from Manipur. I joined yesterday. Nice to meet you and welcome to the department."

He responded in the same way,

"Hi, I am Dr. Dr. Sekharan from Banglore. Nice meeting you too."

I didn't know why, but the moment I saw him, even before sir introduced him to me, I suddenly remembered some non-specific South Indian filmy heroes because to me he (my new colleague) looked like a typical south Indian hero with his black complexion, wide eyes, thickly populated hairs and similar thick moustache on his face. The only difference for him from the heroes was that he was a short guy, even shorter than me. Anyway, whatever may be the physical features, but he appeared to be a very simple, honest and decent person with little bit of seriousness.

After that short introduction, sir, I and my colleague….we three were talking on different issues– about the college, about the department, about students, about our own experiences….so on. Then suddenly, out of my consciousness (may be out of the context), sir brought up the topic of 'spiritual life', Divinity and yoga like yesterday.

It is quite natural that when more than one person of same status ( say for example, I and Dr. Sekharan) work under the same boss, there would be an obvious competition between those persons (us) to impress the boss. On this line, out of my curiosity as to what I was telling, just to impress the HOD and with a small fear in mind that he (my new colleague) would impress him (sir) before I could do, I suddenly told sir that I too liked to be spiritual and practise yoga. Of course, I have always been a God-fearing person. But, did I ever really like to be so much spiritual in my life, I really wondered myself !!!

On hearing my interest in the subject, sir was overjoyed with happiness and I could see a silent smile on his face. I wondered myself silently – 'does he (sir) really get impressed by me !!' The next moment, I looked by lateral gaze at my colleague sitting next to me. He was sitting silently, listening to me and sir with the seriousness in him. I again wondered myself – 'is he (my colleague) waiting for a right chance to get hold of sir with his grip !!!'

Being overwhelmed by the thought that he (sir) atlast got atleast some disciples ( I and my colleague) to follow him, sir started giving lectures about the spiritual life, how to get divinity and self realization……….so on. I never thought that sir would start giving lectures on this topic like that way, 'otherwise I would not have told him that I was also interested in this topic….even if it was for impressing him also'. By now (then) only I realized why the Pathologist Bengali doctor told me yesterday that –'your department does not need light because your sir always carries a halo of light behind his head like any other Hindu God !!!'

Sir kept on speaking about getting divinity and self realization and we both (I and Dr. Sekharan, the two have-to-be-obedient disciples) played keen listeners to him though at times both of us kept on looking at the watch secretly out of sir's awareness. Inside me, I was feeling like ' kari nungi haijarubano, onthokpani he saitya!!' But, outside I was listening to him with widely open eyes carrying an artificial smile on my already bored face.

I never knew that I was in a different world getting lost myself in my own thoughts, though I could see sir moving his mouth these meanwhile, that I came to my senses only when sir asked to both of us,

"Are you (most probably, you both) interested in doing yoga and meditation to get self realization and Divinity,… if so, we can start doing so in the department itself, I can teach you !!"

Again, to get better impressions from him, before Dr. Sekharan could open his mouth as to "yes" or "No", my tongue got slipped,

"Yes sir, I am very much interested in doing it ! It would be a great pleasure to learn it from you !"

Immediately sir replied with a big smile, "Oh, that is very good. What about you, Dr. Sekharan !"

Dr. Sekharan replied to him with a sudden reflex of surprise in his voice ( it was quite obvious from his voice that he was literally sleeping sitting on his chair though awoken externally this meanwhile),

"Yes, sir. I also do interest in it."

Sir replied happily after hearing our interest getting confirmed,

"Oh, that is great that both of you, my new APs, are interested in yoga and meditation. So,..I think we can start now itself for few minutes so that atleast both of you can have some idea about what and how it is! No doubt, from tomorrow, we can sit for half an hour everyday,..say from 12 - 12.30pm. What do you say !! "

Again, I took the first chance to reply, for the same reason as before,

"Yes sir, no problem. We can start now. And from tomorrow, we can sit between 12 – 12.30 PM."

But I felt within myself , 'Oh my God !…half an hour...everyday !!"

That moment I suddenly remembered the all time hit Shah Rukh Khan, my favorite romantic hero, starrer Bollywood movie 'YES BOSS' !!

Before I could finish my words, Sekharan also seconded my answer,

"Yes sir, no problem, it would be great."

Suddenly, sir called in the middle-aged lady attendant of our department and told her something in their local language (Tamil) at which I felt as if I was an alien. After few seconds, the lady attendant took out some incense sticks (agarbatis) and started lighting them infront of one of mataji's photos on the wall. My apprehension grew stronger within myself with fast pounding pulse thinking that – ' Are we seriously going to start the yoga now !!!'

The lady attendant went out. Sir turned to both of us and told soothingly,

"Ok, now close your eyes…and put your palms on your laps and concentrate yourselves on the open palms and the top of head………so on !!!!

I saw many times on TV, people practising (doing) yoga sitting on the cold floor with their barefeet legs crossed. But,' doing yoga…sitting on the chair with socks and shoes on !!!'.....I really wondered myself (and I was about to ask to sir also) – '' Sir, I think, in your eagerness to teach us yoga and meditation, you would forget to tell us to sit on the floor first before you ask us to close our eyes !!!'' But, I could not collect enough strength to open my mouth but to obey what he told us to do.

After that, I didn't remember exactly what he told us and what we did, what I remembered only was that we followed whatever he told us to do like…. 'now keep your palm on heart,..keep your palm on neck,..on head….so on.' He also insisted to us not to bring any thought in mind and be in a 'thoughtless state' better termed as 'thoughtless awareness'. I again wondered myself – 'how can I be in a thoughtless state when my mind is full of tensions about home, this and that !!'

Sometimes, in between, following his instructions, I seriously felt myself – 'keeping ourselves awoken with closed eyes after a half-slept night (I didn't sleep the previous night properly watching a movie on TV in my hotel room) is not an easy task !!!' After about 20 minutes of telling us to do this and that, ultimately he told us,

"Now open your eyes slowly,…and concentrate on both the palms and top of head."

I feared that he might see my red eyes ( I almost slept in those 20 minutes), but still following his instruction I opened my eyes and before neither of them (sir and Sekharan) could see, I rubbed off my eyes with my right hand so that they (my eyes) were not very red as were supposed to be. Then I looked at Sekharan secretly,…and to my surprise, I could see that his eyes were more red ( I supposed) than mine!!!! I wondered again - 'Did Sekharan too have half-slept night yesterday !!'

After opening his eyes slowly, sir asked to both us soothingly with a cool smile,

"So,..could you ( both) feel the vibrations of divinity on your palms and top of the head !"

While I was fumbling myself as to what to reply,…..'yes' or 'no'; Sekharan suddenly replied (this time he got the chance to impress sir before me) with his sleepy red eyes,

"Yes sir,…I could feel the vibrations on my palms and on the top of my head, but it was more on head". (to be more specific, I supposed !!!)

Hearing that answer, my sleepy feeling went off altogether and I suddenly became alert. I looked at Sekharan's face again secretly and I still could see the same sleepy red eyes. Immediatlely, a bright smile appeared on sir's face on hearing Sekharan's answer. With the serene smile, sir continued to Sekharan,

"Was it like…cold or hot vibrations !!"

Getting a bit alert from his sleepy mood (as to think what to reply), Sekharan replied,

"…..sir it was like….some H…H…Hot vibrations !!"

Note: This article/short story (a real life funny incident) is written just for the sake of fun from a very unusual experience. The funny elements in the story may, sometimes, sound sarcastic. In case, this sort of feeling happens to some or other readers, I really beg pardons for that. But, as I told before also, there is noting as such. I hope, the article is enjoyed as it is supposed to be so. Also, I beg forgiveness from the DIVINE FORCES in case it hurts the sentiments of the religion concerned.

* Dr. Konsam Suken Singh contributes to regularly. The writer is currently working with SRM Medical College, Chennai as an Assistant Professor (AP) in the Department of Forensic Medicine. The writer can be contacted at drsuken(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in
This article was webcasted on September 06th, 2010.

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