The Mystique of ‘M’
The man slowly walked towards the boy. The stranger wore a single, white loin-cloth (mundu in Malayalam), and he had long hair and a straggly beard. He tenderly laid his hand on M and spoke to him in Deccani Urdu, the boy’s mother tongue: “I am your teacher, though you won’t be meeting me for a long time to come. But I shall always be there, overseeing your growth. You are very young now; so continue with your normal schooling. From time to time, you will, of course, come by a different kind of knowledge.” After enjoining the dazed boy to strict silence about the ‘visitation’ till the time was ripe for its revelation, the stranger walked away or disappeared all of a sudden. Though his young brain was unable to make any sense out of the words spoken to him or of recognize this most important person in his life?), he decided to remain silent about this incident. Not that he remembered making any covenant with the stranger about keeping the visit a secret; but, for some inexplicable reason, he wanted to hold on to it as a privately cherished secret.
What is of significance is that his life took a different direction from then on. He began to be drawn more and more towards pursuits which, considering his age, could be labelled aberrant or deviant. Outwardly, he didn’t appear to be much different from his coevals, except for his penchant for things spiritual and for frequently withdrawing himself into a mental shell of his own.