A Page from Guiding Star
THE ADVENT OF BLISS
"Are you not thinking about tomorrow?" A little one working in a Bahá'í group asked a youth sitting next to him. The youth looked at the little one and smiled. "Of course, Dear, everybody is thinking about that, " he said. A temporary silence prevailed in the room but something had clicked in the hearts of all those present. No words could ever explain how eagerly all of them were waiting for the next day to come. Anyhow the restless hearts got themselves busy with their work because that was the only way for them to maintain their peace.
A Bahá'í in his mid forties was talking to his friend. He said "Are not you excited? How would she look like? Of course, I have seen 'Amatu'l-Bahá's picture and have gone through her books, but literature, you know, can never equal life. I say what a great opportunity we have been bestowed with !"
An Iranian lady pioneer exclaimed, "I have not slept for nights ..... I have forgotten everything ..... Oh, when will she come?" The whole of the Bahá'í community was anxiously waiting for 'Amatu'l-Bahá to arrive. The whole day, with their hearts trying to jump out of their bodies, they had decorated their Centre beautifully, arranged for the stay and comfort of their Blessed quest and chalked out detailed programmers. They had exhausted all their energies to see that their quest would be comfortable. It was night time now. The heart of every believer was choked with excitement. They did not want to leave the Centre but the schedule of nature was heavy on them. At last they went to their homes, But where was sleep ?
No Bahá'í could sleep that night. Early morning at 7 A.M. they were supposed to be at the airport to receive Ruhiyyih Khanum. The time was fixed at 6 A.M. to reach the Bahá'í Centre. They were all there in time. Only one hour was left and then they would meet their heart's desire, but how heavily time hung over them! One minute seemed to equal one hour at that time. They all stood there waiting ..... waiting anxiously for the taxis to come. 6. 15 A.M. and the taxis still did not arrive. Some one suggested "Just go and ring up the taxi stand." Another rushed to the phone, "Hello, hey you there, you promised to send five taxis at 6. A.M. Where are they? ....Have they already left? But where are they? .... I don't believe a word of what you say .... kindly send them without further delay now....."
Somebody shouted from outside, "Come back .........the taxis are here ......" The phone slipped from his hand. He ran to join his fellow Bahá'ís lest he should be left out !
The taxi had arrived but it was only one. They were 60 .... some had their scooters with them. It was getting late. 6.30 A.M.! All were getting impatient. "Sahib, the plane will land at 7.30 A.M." Said the taxi driver. But who had the patience to listen to him? Would that they had wings!
A suggestion was given to the scooter owners "Why don't you go on your scooters?" They did not wait any more. The noise of scooters rent the atmosphere and off they went.
6.50 A.M. and they had reached the airport. The rest of them joined a minute later. They were all at the airport now and some more. About 75 of them-Iranians, Indians, Americans and the English. Two senior Bahá'ís collected them all and requested them to be seated. They started explaining the discipline and the order in which their guest was to be received. All were listening quietly. Suddenly ....... there was a great excitement. They had seen the plane ... It would touch the ground in no time. They all rose from their seats and rushed to receive their distinguished guest. They had forgotten all about discipline. A great army of thirstily souls had become like small children who could never be bound to any serious discipline. They could hardly believe it. The well had come to the thirsty !
The plane stopped taxiing. The passengers came down one by one and there they had all come down. Where was their guest? A sudden hush fell over them. "Then had not ......" And all of a sudden there she was at the door of the plane! Beloved Hand of the Cause of God 'Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Rabbani. Oh! how happy they were. They waved madly to her. With an affectionate smile on her saintly face, she waved back to them and hurried along the small ramp to be with her children.
"Welcome to Chandigarh, 'Amatu'l-Baha, very-very welcome."
Garlands upon garlands were put around her ivory neck till she was all laden with them. The camera clicked every second. All eyes were on her.
O God, what a joy! She had arrived at last. There she was kissing a baby, thumping others and smiling to others. There stood before them the goddess of their dreams in solid flesh and blood―in the human robe, just one foot from them. Her face was a strange combination of youth and age, of affection and strictness, of joy and serenity, of happiness and sufferings and of dignity and humility. It could in no way be understood nor explained. But there she was, happy to be amongst her children, and her children were only too happy to be with her.
© Prof. Anil Sarwal