There exists a dam within. A dam which holds the river, the invincible waters, within its place. We dam off and dam away this part of ourselves. And yet, it exists and continues to gain momentum within its walled-off boundaries.
One day, someone pokes a hole in the dam and a bit of water begins to seep through. At first, the water within you is captivated by the trickle of its newfound terrain. With time, this hole grows bigger and bigger. More and more water begins to seep through. One day, you hear a hard knock, a break and a bang.
The river’s journey had finally begun.
Rohini in Sanskrit means red, alluding to the passion and sensuality that we long to experience as physical beings. The lunar mansion of the Rohini is in the sign of Taurus which is ruled by Venus, but the nakshatra itself is ruled by the Moon. In the Western system, it is known as Aldebaran, a giant star measured to be about 65 light-years from the Sun.
According to the myths, Rohini was the Moon’s favourite wife. What did she do to earn his favour? Or did she merely strike down the dam within him that was holding it all together?
The life force of every human being can sometimes be akin to a dam that holds it all together. We deny ourselves our desires and what truly arouses us as we plod along and perform our duties and our dharma.
And we continue doing that… till something or someone comes along and the dam that held us together finally rips us apart. The flow that ensues is unfathomable.
I had a vision appear to me as I was meditating on the Nakshatra of Rohini. I saw a woman married to a man whom she respected greatly. He was a hardworking, stern and disciplined person. He was a creator or sculptor of some sort who worked with his hands. You saw him alone in the workshop, working away to provide for the life they shared together.
He provided for his wife and took good care of her and the home they had together. He was a quiet man who barely spoke. His wife would observe him quietly whenever he wasn’t looking in an attempt to try and understand him better.
There was a longing in her eyes. A longing for him. She wondered when he would notice her. If he would ever notice her the way she did him.
At first glance, it seemed he took care of her and that was that.
Then a second vision came to me.
It showed her at the market handpicking every ingredient that would go into their meal. She would haggle with the men at the market, fussing over the price and the quality. She would carry those big bags of groceries home alone and begin cooking. She would spend hours preparing what she thought he might like.
When he returned home, there was food on the table. He never said anything about her cooking and never paid her a compliment. She would figure out what he liked by looking at how much of what he’d eaten and what was leftover.
She mended his clothes when she noticed a stitch was coming loose. She repaired his shoes and polished them. She took care of him and he barely noticed her. If he did, he never said a word. He always greeted her with that same sense of indifference.
She would watch women dancing in a restaurant and wonder if she would ever be that free. She wondered if her husband might one day look at her. If he would take her into his arms and dance with her.
When he came home from work, he was often tired and never saw the way her eyes would light up when he walked into the room. With time, she accepted that that was their life together.
Till someone poked a hole in the dam.
Years would pass. They would have two kids. The kids would bring her joy and with time the deep and acute loneliness she once felt began to disappear. Her husband did not pay much attention to their kids, but they were together and the children had a father–which was more than what she’d had.
And then one day… As she was doing her daily chores in her humdrum life, a man across the street looked at her and smiled. She was walking with her kids when he interrupted her and introduced himself. He asked if he could see her again. She laughed and said she was married.
But when a dam wants to break, it will break.
And break it did.
All those years of the raging river that she’d held within her being started to split open. She allowed herself to fulfil those wishes and longings that stirred within her. Her lover awakened a part of her she did not even know existed. With him, she had no inhibitions. She was Herself. She became the part of Herself that was always there and that she had never explored.
With time and patience, she experienced passion. It rocked her being to new heights she never thought possible. Her desire had finally come to its fruition.
So how does the story end? I’d like to think that there are a few alternative endings to this story.
- She leaves her husband for the man who inspires that passion in her.
- She continues to see both men at the same time, creating a new dam.
- She leaves them both and finds her own happiness.
- Her husband finds out about the affair and kills them both.
- She writes a book about her affair and it becomes the next 50 Shades of Grey
Does it matter how the story ends? I’m not sure that it does. There are many solutions and many endings–as there is in life.
The real lesson of Rohini is that it is not only desire–but the awakening of that desire which breaks that dam. To have desire alone is not enough. We must be roused and aroused… Till we finally surrender the dam that held it all together and allow ourselves to roam free.
I close my eyes again and find the final vision to conclude the story. Yes, in life, there are many ways a story can end, but in stories, there is always an ending, a conclusion, a finale.
The woman is now Rohini. She was once but a humble housewife who longed for her husband to notice her, but now she is Rohini. It did not have much to do with the way he looked at her, but the way she looked at herself.
Rohini finds herself with child again, but she knows the child belongs to her lover and not her husband. She cannot tell her husband, of course. Their first daughter is born. Her lover knows, but cannot see the child or identify himself as the father. The child grows up thinking her step-father is her true father. The daughter sees her biological father now and then… But they are as good as strangers. He longs to be with his daughter, but he cannot.
The child, however, is the one who finally manages to melt her husband’s heart. He smiles whenever he gazes upon the child. Laughter finally returns to his soul and his eyes. He loves the child of another man more than he ever did his own.
He is so blind, so unaware that the child is not his. When his wife sees her husband’s love for her daughter, she is happy that someone could give him that–give him the happiness she never could. She had already given up on ever creating happiness in his heart and was all too glad that someone could.
The dam in her husband’s heart had finally broken.
One night, the husband finally goes to his wife and tries to kiss her. Not as a husband but as a lover. Her whole body convulses into a state of shock–as a longing she had forgotten so long ago is re-awakened. She goes to the bathroom and cries for all the years she longed for him and he never noticed her.
Her husband hears her crying and lays a hand on her shoulder. He embraces her as she cries in his arms. It is the first time he had ever held her in that way.
The dam that the two of them were holding in their hearts had, at long last, been broken.