Sometimes a stranger teaches you a lesson that even tomes of gyan cannot. At the pottery classes we had a senior lady who joined pottery but was mostly not able to work on the wheel. A dignified quiet lady, with unsaid sadness in her eyes always wearing a saree and politely conversing with the teachers. On the other hand, it was the rambunctious us always chatting and me in the typical loud Punju voice. She used to sit quietly on the wheel and try to center a lump of clay, mostly unsuccessfully, but her dedication was exemplary. We knew she was doing pottery to keep busy and get over some recent grief, but beyond that we knew nothing of her story. Soon she discovered that she can hand build with clay rather well. She has the patience of a monk, and her pieces- small statues of Krishna with a cow or the gopis were amazingly detailed, intricately carved and life like. Many times seeing her carvings I did my oohs and aahs in chirpy encouraging sort of way.
I left the studio when my tenure ended and life continued, till one day I was at the colony fair and someone announced that “do not miss the ceramic stall”. Being a potter I naturally gravitated towards the stall and instantly recognized her work. At that time she was away from the stall but spotting me rushed towards it and shyly hugged me. I was happy to see her and as usual my bubbly self. At the time of saying my byes to her she hugged me once more and said “do keep in touch”. She had tears in her eyes and I was a bit surprised, she sensed my confusion and said, “you know what I had a daughter named Anubha I lost her”. I was shocked to say the least. It hit me that though my story is playing out in a completely different set up, she probably was always trying to catch a glimpse of her daughter in me. I cant explain how I felt but realized that for her it was enough that I am Me. My Just Being. Simply Existing. That’s it. Isnt that beautiful? We spend our whole life being this and being that, playing several roles, juggling various tasks whereas, all we need to do is just Be.