The Art of Life|May 4, 2013 4:02 AM| by:

Heart of a Lock

There is this ancient lock in the main entrance to our house, known as the भुन्नासी ताला, (Bhunnasi Taala) the floor interlock. Huge strong fellow, with a big big key. Every time he needs to be shut, I am called. The neighborhood chatter is that he will listen “…only to Akanksha”.

To shut the Bhunnasi, I have to operate in complete darkness. There is no light outside. [I can actually use a torch to shut him, but it’s synthetic, no fun.] The lock is on the floor. So first I lie on the ground. Then insert the key, very gently. You see, you can’t force your way on locks of the stature of a Bhunnasi. You need to be very, very soft, tender, loving. Keep your hands as loose as possible. Center yourself on the navel and ask the lock, where it wants to turn. As you move the key in softly to the left and then to the right, you can feel the Bhunnasi guiding you. The key turns – click click. And, he is On!

As I left home yesterday the same procedure was deployed to turn on our old friend, the Bhunnasi.

This evening, there were some 11 missed calls on my mobile. I called back. Verma Ji, the security guard began by scolding me, “How can you leave the house unlocked?”

There had a been a theft in our neighborhood. Someone tried to open our door too. The main door has two small Harrison Talas (locks) and one big भुन्नासी (Bhunnasi). The thieves had broken the Harrisons. But they couldn’t crack the funda of our भुन्नासी. He remained locked. The thieves got tired, left. Our house was saved from robbery.

In India, stealing has been an art. We even call our God हरी (Hari), the one who steals. The key of the art lies not in the gross force, but in the inner intelligence, the finesse. But these modern day thieves are no fun. Push, pull, break, run. No कला (art). Just like the modern locks. So-So. Mediocre. But our fellow, भुन्नासी, he belongs to another era, where to open locks and and to open hearts are both an art.

Yes, there are a few many things to be grateful for. And one of those includes good ol’ भुन्नासी ताला: the big dude who opens his heart only to very tender, very silent, very relaxed loving.