Shiva Lamichhane is a well known literary figure in the horizon of Nepalese literary industry. For years now, he has been involved in journalism to teaching or writing literature to fighting against the injustice. His talent knows no bounds compared to the contemporary writers and creators. On the other hand, Shiva Lamicchane is an advance person in the field of spiritual science. His description of personal experiences with the Atman/Soul are some of the most interesting parts of spending time with him. Lamichhane practices the art of meditation regularly even here in America. He has personally experienced his one-ness with the cosmos at different times.
Lamicchane has been collecting his various experiences in the form of a book at different times. To this day, he has already published hundreds of different types of books. His books have been published even from America. He currently resides in upstate New York called Newburgh and continues to express his wisdom in the form of the book whenever he gets a chance. His latest book called “Tunes of Existence” is written like a novel but contains tremendous wisdom if read deeply.
Excerpts from “Tunes of Existence”:
It was a coincidence that Amalesh encountered Maria. It was definitely an unexpected occurrence for him to be in this jungle thousands of miles away from his birthplace. David was the reason for this incident. It was the day before that he got a phone call from David.
He said, “I will come to pick you up tomorrow morning to go see my property, ok?”
David arrived early in the morning.
He said, “Do you have any jobs to do?”
Amalesh replied, “I would stop all of my jobs to get a chance to go with you”.
Both of them got in David’s car. The car reached the highway only a minute drive down the street. Increasing in speed, he moved east. The old English song ‘Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow‘ was playing on the car CD player. David was moving his body with the music. Amalesh looked at the speedometer. The speed was increasing sixty, sixty-five, seventy, seventy-five miles per hour. They traveled about 26 minutes at this speed. David reduced speed as he turned right.
On the way, they both talked about different topics. Particularly they exchanged their experiences and the natural similarities and differences between Hawaii and Darjeeling in India. David asked about the geography and cultures of India and Nepal because he had planned to travel to those countries next month. They were on the drive through highway 11, past a huge macadamia nut orchard in Pahala. They were talking about the natural beauty of Darjeeling. The macadamia nuts trees were growing well, their branches joining each other to block the sunlight. This made the ground dark. The Orchard had occupied a large area. The fruits had fallen to the ground everywhere.
The Pacific Ocean was seen nearby. Amalesh recalled the tea garden of Darjeeling. The images of the unlimited green hills covered by tea came to his mind. The attractive smile of the women workers in the tea-garden and their melodious Nepalese and Hindi songs would attract him. The thin layer of the fog would drop the dew regularly from the uphill.
Before this meeting, Amalesh and David had met twice. During these short meetings, they had talked about more topics than the meeting before. They talked about history, literature, culture, politics, lifestyle and sex. David seemed to be about fifty according to his facial appearance but seemed not more than twenty-five in his humorous behavior. He was about sixty in real life though. He is a famous fine artist. He said he permanently moved to the Big Island of Hawaii from Alaska fascinated with the natural beauty of this Island. He lived with an Ocean view in Hawaii.
David would show himself as a humorous teenage boy when he told stories of all his girl friends in his past.
He, in one context, said, “I sketch my paintings in abstract form based on women and sex. People like such arts. You know, everybody has the same desire and thinking about sex and the beauty of women as I have.
After turning right, the road entered the jungle. Their car followed the narrow road into the jungle. He turned the car left after crossing the fifth road and parked about three hundred feet ahead. They both got out. He walked through a posted signal flag. The land was almost plain.
Walking about thirty feet ahead the bushy place through the track, he said, “I paid three thousand dollars for this half acre of land five years ago. Now it costs sixty thousand dollars. Hawaii is, of course, a peaceful and beautiful place, it’s really a paradise. The migrants are increasing over here these days. Their purchasing capacity has also increased. They have offered an attractive price if I wanted to sell it. I won’t sell it though. I want to live here for the rest of my life with my wife and make fine art.”
He, after a while, said, “Today I am removing some bushes and cutting some trees. Maria will come in a little while. You will see how beautiful she is.”
Amalesh was eager to meet her, as David praised her beauty in their previous conversations.
In their previous meeting, David had said, “She wants to earn some money. I want her with me and her to work with me. She had done work for me nine years earlier. My wife was young and attractive then. Maria was young enough to be my own daughter. I didn’t think in any other way. But now, my wife is aged and she has no desire for sex. Maria is more attractive now. I would like to date her.
The sound of a car stopping was heard. After a while a young woman walked into jungle. Amalesh assumed it was Maria coming towards them. She was, indeed, very pretty. This is what he had thought according to David’s praise.
She paid him respects in the Hawaiian word ‘Aloha’. She felt sorry that she had arrived so late.
David said, “Its’ ok Maria. We have also just arrived.”
David gestured toward Amalesh and introduced him, “This is my friend Amalesh from India.”
Shaking hands with him, she said, “Nice to meet you.”
Her palm was soft and warm. She was attractive as she laughed. She was a little bit taller than him. Her hair was black and her eyes too. Her skin color seemed to be more Asian than Caucasian. She had an attractive shape to her nose, a wide forehead and a long face. She had an attractive body structure. Amalesh stared at her face several times. Though, she was not aware of it.
He thought, “Such a beautiful woman! Why won’t David try to die for her, the poor old man David!
After coming to Hawaii, Amalesh traveled different places. Sometimes he reached Pearl Harbor in Honolulu and sometimes the seashores of Maui Island. Sometimes he visited the Kona and Hilo bays on the Big Island. Not only did he trek to the Manna Kea Mountain, he went on trek to the Mauna Loa jungle. He made the trek from South Point beach, all the way through Kahuku jungle to the Mauna Loa Hill following the path of the lava flow which erupted in 1868. He got a chance to see snowfall on Mauna Loa and Manna Kea Mountains as in Darjeeling, during winter.
Perhaps, nature has as much greed as human beings! What a beautiful place Hawaii is! Winter and snow could both be seen, the big ocean is near, all in this tropical climate! Always spring season exists on the Island. It’s the distinction that it looks evergreen natural beauty. He played with the turtles in Punalu’u Black Sand Beach and was fascinated by the beauty of the spring in the Waipio Valley. This time, he got a chance to visit the volcano village with David.
The Volcano village was a newly settled residence in the jungle. Amalesh felt the co-existence between nature and the science there. Modern houses with the latest technologies were growing with the green trees into the jungle. The birds and humankind were living together. Only the jungle could be seen from outside where the peaceful residences were being developed. The birds were chirping their own song. The road linked every plot of property as it divided the jungle into a residential area. Numerous aged couples had bought the land to live there in their retired life as Vanaprasthashrama (the jungle life in the old age until death) described in eastern philosophy.
As Amalesh was wondering different thoughts in his mind, David brought a measuring tape. Maria smiled gazing at him. He gave her a smile in reply.
After measuring the different parts of that half acre of land, he looked at the photocopy of the house sketch. He reminded Maria which parts of the jungle were to be cut down.
“About half of the land should be left as a jungle, the birds need that part, I love the songs of the birds,” he said.
The birds were chirping in different melody. There was, indeed, nothing present except their chirping and the incomparable peace of the soft breeze. The sky was clear in its natural color. All the trees and plants were bathed in rain from the previous day, an unadulterated green in the bright sunlight.
The residence was attractive. The beautiful natural landscape was beyond imagination. South Asia is also, of course, is not less beautiful than this place of natural beauty. The long range of beautiful snow caped Himalayas are raised from Meghalaya. It is extended through Bhutan, Sikkim, long northern part of Nepal, Shree Nagar, Pakistan and reached to Afghanistan. They seemed so close that you can reach out and touch them. The green hills and peaceful residence are settled in Darjeeling, Asam, Dibrugadh, Meghalaya and Sikkim. He rather felt, “Why does this volcano village seem so much like this amazing place! This place is uniquely different in nature than those places; it’s peaceful, and kind of isolated. Without any reason, he was fascinated with it.
David started cutting down the tall and big trees with an automatic chain saw from where he parked his vehicle. Immediately, the sound produced by the saw and breaking trees broke the peace of that place. The Ohia trees with circular leaves and red flowers scattered on the ground. Maria cut the tall ‘Uluhe’ fern interring into the bushes. Those fern had grown up like the new grown bamboo plant without any support and were as tall as the Ohia trees. He had never seen this in the jungles of India and Nepal where he had traveled. Here there were other types of fern that have big trunks like trees and their leaves are about 15 feet long known as Kupukupu (in Hawaiian language). She chopped them too. David was making her aware not to get too close as the trees that were being cut down.
Amalesh came out to the road and wondered in the natural beauty around him. He heard the sound of children. He missed his brother’s children, he hasn’t seen them in a long time. They would follow him wherever he went. He was always happy to be near and dear with children. But he hadn’t gotten a chance to meet children since coming to Hawaii. Sometimes he would talk to them on the phone. He recalls their memory in his mind. He again gazed hither and thither.
In a while, he heard children’s words again, “No! no!, it’s mine.”
He was astonished and began concentrating on what he heard. There was Maria’s vehicle next to David’s. Two children were playing in the back seat of the car. He looked inside through the half opened window. There was a girl of about four or five years old and a boy of about two. They became silent as they stared at him.
He said, “Hello.”
They both stood up.
The brother said, “What’s your Name?”
Wow, what lovely speech! Nature has made these children so attractive! The faces were so attractive and the speech so fascinating. Growing plants, animals or children, they all have incomparable loveliness. If the seniors were given a chance to grow as they have grown, indeed they would also have a beautiful body and character. Amalesh thought to himself, he was receiving new knowledge after staring at these natural beauties.
He, now, became sure that the beautiful woman Maria has two children.
He thought, “Why is David becoming so crazy with such a mother of two young Kids? She seems to be about twenty-three or twenty-four, but the children are so grown. How young had she gotten married? She worked so hard with David leaving these young children in the car for a whole day. She is, of course, in her life-struggle for these young children.”
He floated in his own feelings staring at them. On the other side of the jungle he didn’t hear what David was saying to Maria. She was laughing loudly, enthralled by his conversation. There was no more noise coming from the saw, her laughter was scattering.
The sister tried to open the door from inside the car, but she could not. Amalesh was also eager to let them out. At this moment, they actually reminded him of his nephew and niece in Darjeeling. He helped her to open the door from outside.
She jumped out and said, “Thank you.”
Amalesh was surprised to see such amazing behavior from a small child. The small brother could not come out. He lifted him and placed him on the road. He was feeling pleasure but at the same moment, was startled for helping them out of the car. He thought whether or not it was bad manners not to get permission from their mother. So, he wondered for a while.
Both of the kids walked toward their mother through the narrow way into to the jungle. Following her mother’s voice, the sister walked forward and the small brother was behind. He could not jump the bush as his sister. Amalesh lifted him up. On the way the small brother said, ” Mummy, we ale hiel (we are here)!”
Maria, as she was far from there, said, “Don’t come inside, it’s dangerous here, stop there and play.”
Where would they play in such a jungle! They started playing somehow there, being obedient. After a while, Maria came over there. She smiled at Amalesh.
She said, “Did you help them out of the car?”
He said, Yes, I am sorry, they were helpless and wanted to come out”.
She smiled again and said, “That’s ok.”
Amalesh walked back into the jungle.
David asked him, “Are you ok? You look bored.”
Amalesh said, “You are both hard at work, I am bored here with nothing to do, what can I do for you?”
David said, “You can collect the trunks and branches separately that I chopped. In about an hour, we will go for lunch.”
He again started to cut down the trees. Amalesh started making piles of the wood.
Maria was busy working. Sometimes the sound of the birds and the kids could be heard collectively and at times independently. The portion of the property, where David planned to build his house, was becoming wider. He had already cut the trees on the driveway from the main road. The jungle was continuously being cleared. It was the noise of the saw and the falling trees that made the birds move far away. Their tattling did not stop.
The trees, standing strong just before, were being fallen one after another. Some of the birds probably had their habitats or nests in them. Surely, they lived there fearlessly several nights. Their ancestors hatched their eggs and gave birth to new birds in the same nests. Maybe this clearing destroyed their nests. The coming generations of birds was ruined with eggs being cracked or the new babies being killed.
Being pleasured with the twittering sound of birds, though they were crying in sorrow of their destroyed nests, David said, “I like birds. I will keep the rest of this jungle for them”.
Hearing him, Amalesh felt guilt toward this human feeling.
He thought, “As a whole, humankind could never show its compassion to other creatures for thousands of years.”
David showed Amalesh his broken chain saw while he was cutting the trees and said, “I have to go to Hilo to buy a new saw.”
He went to the road, starting the truck and drove fast to the east. Amalesh started to collect the logs. The kids were also playing with the small chops of the wood making small piles like the seniors. They had also collected the scattered leave. They would argue with each other if one of them didn’t like other’s activity. Maria would calm them down telling them not to fight with each other, in her soft and kind voice.
Maria again asked his name staring at him. She couldn’t understand his pronunciation, asked the spelling of his name and repeated it several times.
Collecting the wood in the piles, Amalesh asked her, “You have two kids?”
She replied, “I have three. The oldest one is six. I have dropped her off in school. I have to go to pick her up at two o’ clock.”
Being astonished, he asked, “Wow, you have three kids at this young age?”
She said, “I’m already thirty-three but I seem younger,
She presented her ebullient smile. He felt her cheery face with her smile easily. There was strange shyness hiding somewhere on her smile. The cuteness of a women’s inhibited smile was breathtaking. That’s what he felt.
Different people had told him about the economic growth, progress and the rise of the western countries. There are still several lifestyles in Darjeeling that had been left by the British government in their period. He watched several films about the modernized society in the west and read different stories too. But at this moment, he was with a helpless woman who had come to work hard, taking her lovely kids. It was a time when one of those two kids should go to school and the other needed his mother’s care at home. In such a jungle, centipedes, scorpion, wasps, bees or ants could sting them. It was really vulnerable for them in the thrones, splinters or the trunks of the trees.
Amalesh asked her, “Why did you bring them to the jungle, instead of leaving them at home?”
She replied in her strange voice, “I wanted to show them the challenges that I face for their future. I really want to show them my struggle from an early age and want to teach it to them.”
The mother, whose innocent children were so lucky to have been born in such a developed country, was bringing the bizarre voice from her mouth. Maria had, what David previously said, put much importance to money. David wants to have physical relation with this thirty-three year old woman for only sensual satisfaction. Perhaps he does not know about the depth of her trouble. Amalesh assumed there must be mystery in her sentimental expression. He felt guilt about her, whose beauty had attracted him even a while before.
Maria, clearing the ground, stood and said, “I need money, I can hardly take care of them.”
She looked at the location of the kids, but they were nowhere there. She couldn’t imagine how fast they reached the road! “Peter !….. Gloria!!….”
She called both of them. No answer. She ran following their way. She slipped down on a fern. Amalesh felt sorry to her. Nature has given several responsibilities to each and every mother in this world. But why don’t they get any justice! Why is it that women are being exploited by both nature and men? It’s the same type of exploitation against them in developed and underdeveloped nations.
Being shaken, he asked, “Are you ok, Maria?”
She stood up and wiped the mud from her pants.
She said, “Yes, I’m ok, thanks.”
She reached the road quickly and called them again, “Gloria, catch your brother.”
She came back with them and gave them some food from the car. They started to play again near their mother. Maria went right back to work. There was no sign of irritation, tension or frustration at all on her face.
All of the cut wood was put into piles. Maria was clearing the bushes. Amalesh helped her make piles of the bushes.
As they worked he asked, “Where is your husband?”
She replied, “We are still living in the same rental apartment but I have decided to divorce him.”
He wanted to know, “Why doesn’t he love you and these kids?”
She said, “We have these small kids, I wish I could work at house and take care of them, and he would earn money to helped us. But he wants me to go out and work. He doesn’t give us his earning. I have no desire to be here in this jungle with my poor kids”.
She was disappearing as he stared at her face. She was trying to be normal. He saw her for the first time losing her smile.
Amalesh had no reaction to this matter. He could not give advice or sympathy to fill the gap after her depressed expression. He just listened to her. She collected the small branches and made the next pile. Her cell phone fell out of her blouse when she bent down to collect the branches. She picked up the phone saying ‘oops’ and inserted it in her left breast. She stroked her blouse it to fix from the outside.
She said, “Indeed, he is much older than me.”
Amalesh asked, “How old is he now?”
She stared at him saying, “He is forty-eight now, I was just twenty-five when we got married”.
Maria was digging into the depths of the mystery of her past days turning the pages one after another. He was still more curious about the difficulties in the life of this pretty woman. His mind was forcing him not to ask more questions to disturb her. So he became silent for some time. The kids were playing and trying to grab each other’s stuff. The brother would complain to his mummy when he faced some problem with his sister.
Of course, the restlessness and impatience of young kids are the same in every corner in the world. Although the location and geographical landscape are different, the human sentiment, habits, their grief and sorrow, their expression of their joy and sadness are alike.
Being courageous, Amalesh asked Maria, “Why did you marry this older man?”
She said, “It’s, indeed, my second marriage. My first husband was older than this one. I was just twenty-two and my first husband was of forty-five. We lived together for three years then divorced.”
Amalesh felt Maria was going into the depth of her mystery.