Two Laws

Noop hobbled into the lounge and looked around her. It was airy, bright and open. The small manager welcomed her personally, saying, “Mrs. Irene Todd, it’s always nice to see new faces. I hope that we will see you here often.”

She said, “I’ve been quite busy since Aidan died. It’s been a difficult period.”

“We’ll do whatever we can to help you.” He indicated the staff now busy making dinner. “Our main goal is sociability. We like to draw people out.” He smiled at her like an imp. He was an imp. “So please don’t be shy.” It must be hard work “drawing people out” she thought. Some of them were drooling and dazed. Thankfully she still had her wits about her. That was a nice little temple they’d made, with different gods and goddesses. There were Ram & Sita. Why did it feel so natural to say Hai Ram?

“Please make yourself comfortable,” said the manager. “Will you be dining with us, or have you brought your own lunch?”

“I will be eating here,” she said. She hadn’t heard great things about the food, but wanted to try it. She hoped it was something spicy, even if they made it poorly. It would be better than bland food.

“Okay, great. I’ll introduce you to some of the others at lunch. Will you be okay here for a while? I’ve just got to call the Village about transport, and the Medical Centre about their new healthy eating guidelines. As you can see, bureaucracy never ends – even when our lives do.”

Noop sat on the sofa outside the manager’s office. She could have walked over to the other women, but preferred to be introduced. There aren’t many men here, she thought. They must have disappeared early like her Aidan. How did the tradition develop – all over the world – of men marrying younger women? On average men die five years before women – it doesn’t make sense. Hai Ram.

Her Aidan had been a good man mostly. He’d provided well for her and the kids. He’d built her a home. He’d taken her on holidays. He’d bought her flowers and gifts. In fifty years he’d never missed one Valentines’ Day. “There was more than one St. Valentine,” he said. “Maybe three or four. But all were martyrs. Let’s go one day to Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, and see St. Valentine’s flower-crowned skull.” They’d never made it. Like the manager here, Aidan complained about bureaucracy. He blamed it for most things – even their lack of seeing the flower-crowned skull. “Bloody governments,” he said. “Making rules and regulations. How’s a man ever to fight his way out? My skull is crowned with photocopies and receipts.” He’d done his best. He was a good husband. But in her heart she had always known that he wasn’t her true love.

Noop looked across the room and saw…

The next thing she knew, bright lights filled her eyes. She was looking up at the ceiling. What had happened? Was she lying on the floor? The manager’s imp face was close to her, saying, “Mrs. Todd? Can you hear me? Irene?” Other staff crowded around her. She panicked at first, but relaxed quickly. This wasn’t the first time. She knew it had happened before. But where? And why? The man she’d seen was known to her. But who was he?

An ambulance came and took her to the hospital. They said that it was just a momentary lapse. Nothing to worry about. She checked out later the same day.

Noop should have stayed at home the next day, but just had to go to the Centre. She knew the man there. He didn’t seem to recognize her though. He had lost his mind. He was drooling slightly. She wiped his mouth with a tissue. Other women began gossiping about her. She didn’t care. The way he looked at her. He knew too. So late in this life! Why so late in this life! But they were still connected. Hai Ram.

Through Noop’s many lifetimes, with many different names, one thing had become clear. That there were only two laws at work in the world. The Law of Attraction and the Law of Karma.

The Law of Attraction was qualitative. There were no absolutes. Its vehicle was your imagination. Whatever you thought about, desired wholeheartedly, and worked towards was ultimately yours. It may take a while to get there, but it would come. Noop and Raja had been circling each other for countless lifetimes, like the gods Ram and Sita. They came together like sugar and water, dissolving into each other completely. But that water was spilled again after forty, fifty, or seventy years. They were entwined and could never be separated entirely, but must find new containers to mingle. That was their endless journey, to find a grail in which to merge. Maybe one day forever.

The Law of Karma, however, didn’t make things easy. You did the best you could, given your circumstances. You tried to be diligent, hardworking, truthful, just, and kind. You retained faith in God and fulfilled your earthly duty. But no one knew the repercussions of their every action, multiplied infinitely. You did your best, that’s all you could do – and that changed continually: with each moment, day, year, and lifetime. Karma was quantitative: a huge balance sheet of plus and minus – leading to a grand net total. If positive – you advanced, and if negative – you retreated. So it was.

Plato spoke of divided souls, searching for their completion. Sufis yearned for a return to their original unity. All lovers seek soulmates. Twin flames, lit from the same source, can merge again. But till then they must wander as lone sparks.

Noop looked into Raja’s eyes, though he didn’t seem to be looking into hers. She held his hand, squeezed his fingers, and said, “I have found you again, my love. I am your Sita. Hai Ram.

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