Kyrgyzstan is a relatively quiet country and not very densely populated. The main town of Bishkek mostly has all the amenities that a capital city should have like airport, malls, eateries, hotels, transportation, taxi, salons and bars. The town is a maze of lanes running across each other. You can find gardens and greenery all around the city. Muaazam Bhat was my roommate in Olive as I slept with him during the shoot. A fellow Kashmiri, Muaazam was a devout Muslim and many times, I had to wait outside the room when he would be praying to Allah and performing the Namaz. This Kashmiri had a thick brown beard and a lean body. He was as tall as me I suppose and enjoyed eating fruits and dates during the day.
I went around the city bookshops and malls taking videos with my GoPro. Because of no shooting and delays, we overslept most days. It was very hot in the afternoon to venture out of our AC rooms. There was an expression of peace on Muaazam’s face all the time. He was at peace with himself and had a calm slow purposeful walk. I gifted him a free copy of my book but it was not until the very last night before pickup that we got embroiled in some heavy conversation about life, philosophy and faith.
Being a Muslim, he had his views about sex, marrying four wives and the search of truth within. He sure looked like a man who had tasted the inner reaches through meditation, Sadhana and prayer. I am sure he went into trances while performing the Namaz.
“Tho aap ne zindegi mein kya sikha?” He asked me as I lay on the sofa in the lobby of the hotel. “Very easy. Everything in this world is transient. What you have today, you will not tomorrow and the same goes for your relationships. There is nothing like success and failures. They are both imposters.” I gave him a piece of my mind.
We knew that it was our last night in the city together. It is then that I told him about the tragedy of my life and the demise of my father. Bhat was stunned but then smiled, “You are one tough nut, my brother. You can teach us a lot through such a deeply personal experience.” He understood the evangelist hidden within me and the spirit with which I wanted to travel the world spreading love, wisdom, peace and joy to every human being. There, I made my global vision and the vision of my Travelthon clear to my roommate. “I have tasted the inner riches through mediation and renunciation of material death and things. I have done the inner journey and have been lost in its energies, light and wisdom. I have known it very closely but the end of that path is only Moksha or Nirvana when the mind and body drop and the soul is released into the universal consciousness or essence.”
I explained to him in great detail about my love for OSHO and the various chakras I was able to arise while doing his meditation and how I would laugh for hours after doing the Nathbhram meditation in particular. Muaazam and I finally connected that night as I had to be awake to catch my flight to the airport before dawn. “I will read your book. Have you written all the things you just spoke about in the book?” He was indeed excited about the content of my book. I just shook my head and said “Yes”. Then I walked out of the room towards my waiting taxi.