Home » Adi & Praja 167

Adi & Praja 167

| Contents |
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Adi and Praja

Chapter 10

Issue 167: Then it happened

He lost his intolerance for emotional and sentimental people, for people who created an emotional elephant out of a mosquito. He himself could have been that other person who he had despised earlier.


(then it happened)

Then it happened – when he was riding through the desert with his camel friend who was now strong enough to carry Mustafa. But Mustafa liked walking, so most of the time he just led the camel. Not this time though. On top of a sand-dune – not the most fit place for human feet to walk on – at the horizon miles before him, he saw a person, apparently also with a camel – they were merely two dots on the horizon. Mustafa had his camel kneel and climbed it its back, and – as always while uttering the most terrifying and pitiful sound of the desert – he made his camel stand upright and the animal was happy again. They moved in the direction of the two dots. But the two dots disappeared behind a low hill, and from the other side only one dot – now a small man – appeared. Ultimately Mustafa and the lonely traveler from nowhere met. They didn’t speak. They didn’t have to. The man looked as if from another world – extremely old and had an almost transparent skin. His beard looked as if he had seen no barbershop in the last three hundred years. Then the man turned his face to the East, and pointed exactly to the point where the sun had risen that morning on that hot day in the middle of the summer. Mustafa understood immediately that he had to walk in that direction, and walk on, everyday towards the point where the sun was rising, until he would have found his destination. He saw a vision of a red building high up in the mountains and surrounded by a white landscape of snowy peaks. Before Mustafa turned his head back, the man had disappeared. But he had received his orders, and he knew that he had but to obey. So Mustafa and his camel set off in easterly direction.

He went to his parents that evening to spend the last night in their house. Of course they tried to stop him, and his mother cried and pleaded him to stay or turn back soon. Mustafa said nothing. But seeing Mustafa’s amazing inner calm, his quiet but forceful and vivid eyes, his patience, and at the same time his absolute conviction that he had to go East to unknown lands – they felt that no wall as massive as a mountain could stop him. The next morning he left with his camel, fodder bags, water bags and bags full of the dried fruits which his mother had almost miraculously been able to gather in that one night for him. He took nothing else. No phone, no global positioner, no chip as almost everyone had inserted under their skin these days, especially travelers, so that they could always be traced by friends and family if necessary. He knew that he had to go. He didn’t know how long and far, but had no fear, no doubt.

Some ten days after he had left to the East, a mail came from the university where he had studied. His father opened his mail: a seat had come free at the university at the Philosophy department. It was a request to Mustafa to become professor at the faculty. His father almost got a heart attack. At all cost they wanted to call him back. He would be the youngest philosophy professor ever at that university, and the honor of the family, and he would get a very handsome salary. Mother cried again. … They knew he had gone east, and he couldn’t be far. With a small helicopter they would find him soon.

This became Mustafa’s only disturbance of the silence of the desert. A tremendous noise appeared from behind the horizon. The camel began to run. First forward, then to the left, ten to the right. But a camel is no match for a helicopter. The pilot and his father got down, and they gave him a printout of the mail. His father urged him to immediately take the third seat in the helicopter. Mustafa said nothing. He didn’t smile or show any emotion. He looked his father straight in the eyes, and said: “I have been ordered.” That was all he said. His father understood, though he didn’t want to understand. He knew his son. His willpower was stronger than a rector magnificus, a desert and a helicopter together. They stayed together without saying a word, looking at each other, for half an hour. Silently they parted.

Days and weeks went by. At night they stopped, they ate, and then the only sound to be heard was that of the ruminating camel – the only proof of the presence of reality under the millions of stars. He had loaded the camel with fodder and water bags, and some provisions like a blanket, a plate and a pan and dried fruits for himself. Sometimes they traveled days without meeting an oasis or a leaf of green vegetation. The days were blazing hot, and shadow was nowhere. But evenings and nights were pleasant and the silence revealed many of the deserts secrets. Mustafa never felt lonely. For him the desert was alive and the old man he had met seemed always with him, he felt – as if he and his camel were watched over and taken care of.

His old friends, if he would have met them again, would hardly have recognized his character: instead of his eternal intelligent but distanced reasonings and solutions, he had become a very empathic person. The hard desert had softened him! The loneliness had made him into a more social being. He felt as much, or more, love for people now than for stones and wasps. It is a pity that his old friends never saw him like this. It all happened after he had left them forever in easterly direction. If he would have returned now and accepted the post as professor, he would definitely have been a better professor than at the moment of the request.

They walked on for months through desert countries. There were some small towns deep in the deserts, around oases, all of which had an airport with lined up private planes of rich city people who like to spend their weekends in quietude. All houses were like five-star hotels, fully air-conditioned, each with its own swimming pool surrounded by groves of date palms. Mustafa’s camel was much interested in the swimming pools, which it saw as pure drinking nectar. But most people didn’t allow the camel to drink, because they feared pollution. Mustafa even had to buy water for his friend, even though the people who traditionally lived in these oasis may have been the great grandparents of the present tourists. But others were friendlier, and in one desert resort they stayed for some four days.

The first half of his journey consisted of desert and his camel, only silence and aloneness reigned.

D a i l y T h e o s o p h y ©

O n l i n e