A homeless, jobless, friendless Vagabond was looking for the answer to his question, what is life. He kept on moving from place to place and went on asking almost everyone who was crossing his path. his clumsy dress and wired appearance repelled people but still he never gave up.
One day he met a vegetable seller and he asked him, what is life? The vegetable seller answered, you see, I sell vegetable so you can buy and prepare your food and you live, I sell veggies, this is my life, without vegetable you cannot survive, that’s your life. The Vagabond was not satisfied as he eats more non vegetable food than vegetables.
So, he again kept on moving in hope to find some more reasonable answers to the question. He was hungry and the weather was chilling, he got cold So he went to see a doctor. In the clinic he asked the same question to the doctor, what his life, then the doctor answered, my dear, I’m treating you here and saving something which is yours, that’s life. I am doctor and I treat people, that’s my life.
One day he was passing by a school and he saw a teacher entering the school building. He politely stopped the teacher and asked him, what is life? The teacher answered him, whatever I’m teaching, you are going to use it to survive in future and that is your life. But the Vagabond was not happy with all those answers, he thought there are people living on the street who have never been to school but they are still surviving so what’s the point of education and school.
One night he was so excited and he was just passing by dark lane and he saw some whores. He went close to them and asked one of them what do you think about life? One of the old whore reply to him that if you come with me you’ll enjoy tonight and the moments you would enjoy is life.
It was a dusty, wind, cloudy morning, the vagabond was hungry. He was walking by the footpath in search of food. He was thinking what if someone just come in front of him and offer him some food. He would definitely be a GOD. He saw beggar was sitting at a building corner, a dirty piece of cloth laid in front of him and an empty bowl on it. He was asking for money and food whoever passing by him. The vagabond was surprised by the beggar’s act and thought may be, he can answer his question. He moved closed to the beggar carefully and silently, looked at him, who looked back as well. The vagabond smiled, but the beggar didn’t. He asked, do you mind if I ask a question, the beggar looked at him with his mouth open then looked around, as if he was not sure if the guy was talking to him or someone else. Then the beggar smiled a bit and nodded his head. The vagabond asked, what is life. The beggar was little confused and looking at the street and on his sides, seems he was searching for something. Then the beggar opened his mouth, with his trembling voice he answered, once when I was young and strong, I had everything one might envy of, I was greedy too; today you can see me what I have become, I lost everything except my self, I still have faith in humanity and thus I am trying to survive. Happiness, sadness, wealth come and go with time, in the end what you are left with is life, the beggar replied.
One afternoon, the vagabond was sitting on the grassy area of a park, he saw a family, a man, a woman, and two children. They were playing together. The man seemed to be tired and sat on a bench while the woman and the children were playing. The vagabond didn’t waste time and approached the man with his question. What do you think is life? The guy smiled at the vagabond and replied “Do you see the woman and the children, we are a family, the lady and I work to meet our needs and of the children to raise them, we share our happiness, we care each other when in trouble, we support each other in every possible way, I think this is life”. The vagabond smiled back and left the place and moved to the other side. He hardly understood what the guy meant, as he never had a family.
Under a tree in the park, he saw a middle aged guy reading a book. The vagabond thought, he must be an informed guy so he approached him. The guy asked the vagabond to sit next to him and looked back to the page of his book. He said “so you want to know what is life”. He kept on saying ” All my life I thought I am a family guy; my life is for my family; I assumed my family and friends belong to me; it was time that taught me that we all are individuals; relationships in any form is fragile and momentary; end of the day we all are creatures, a very selfish one, who cares only about himself.” The vagabond was not at all educated, he didn’t understand much of the philosophy that guy lectured.
The vagabond left the park and started walking on the footpath. Suddenly he found a lady was weeping sitting on the bench. The vagabond thought maybe she is in pain. So he went to her and sat on the other end of the bench. The lady lifted her face from her lap and looked at the vagabond for a moment then she wiped off her eyes and looking at the white flower in her hands. Tears came out from her eyes, the droplets fell on her cloth and those flowers. She wiped them off again. Her eyes were watery. The vagabond gently and nicely asked her , ” Maam, I saw you from a distance, I decided to talk to you if you allow me to. I am only curious about what wrong might have happened to you. Would you like to share anything. I am just a passer-by but I do care every person who walks by me.” The lady looked at the vagabond with a blank face, she had no expression on her face. She said ” All men are pigs, they don’t love, or care anyone, they want only woman’s body.” The vagabond replied ” Maybe what you came to know is not all, could be only a part of the reality, every human being is a combination of verities of behaviors, if I am not wrong.” The lady with a suspicious look asked him, ” How many girls have you promised your love so far?”. ” I have no friends. I only see people.” the vagabond replied. The lady thrashed the bunch of flowers on the bench and left the place angrily.
The vagabond was little disturbed with the girls behavior. He had some water form the road side fountain and started walking. He was walking in the dark, reached outside the city into a forest. He found a tiny hint of light coming from bushes. He neared and saw a hut, the door was open, and a man was doing mediation in the middle. The vagabond stood Infront of the open door, he saw the monk opened his eyes and uttered “come inside and sit”. The vagabond did what he was asked to do. The monk closed his eyes and said ” I know why you are here, “Ask me what you want to know”. The vagabond said I was only walking and eventually found you. I have some doubts , a question: “What is life?” The monk replied ” It is a quest; you are searching for an answer, that’s life, once you get the answer, you will search for another, that’s life and it keeps on moving, never ends until your mortal existence diminished”. The vagabond asked ” what are you doing in the middle of the forest?” The monk replied, ” Searching for the answer of the same question”.
Vagabond: ” why aren’t you walking like I do?”
Monk: ” You don’t have to walk, stay calm, and quiet and you’ll know nothing is actually happening. Its all still. In the end it doesn’t matter, whether you found the answer of your question; doesn’t matter you walked or not; doesn’t matter you loved or hated, killed or saved, starved or stuffed, rich or poor. You are just a combination of few tiny particles of this universe.
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