Virupa

One friday afternoon, a man and his friend entered The Happy Dog bar.

The bar was fairly busy. Not bad for the time period between lunch and Happy Hour. The barkeep, a small and feminine young woman with many tattoos, felt immediately comfortable and friendly with the two men as they sat themselves at the bar.

She asked them their names.

“My name is Virupa and this is my friend, Tim”

“Great, what can I get for you?”

“Whatever you would call the house red wine.”

“Sure, I’ll have it right up”

“Wait! Before you pour anything” interjected Virupa

“I would like to make a slightly special arrangement involving payment.”

“Hmmm, what do you have in mind?”, said the bartender. More entertained than she was annoyed by the idea.

“I would like to pay our tab in full, but only after the line of sun on the wall reaches that mark.” Virupa pointed towards a crack in the wall.

“Hahaha, that’s fine!” responded the bartender. She found the man playful and cute. She also knew that could be no more than a few hours from now.

The barkeep presented the men with their wine.

“Keep em coming!” Smiled Virupa.

Virupa raised his left hand into a mudra, and fixed his right around his wine glass.

A stillness filled the bar. Virupa sat like a mountain in time. Moving only his right arm and mouth for occasional sips of wine. The rest of his body sat in perfect stillness. His eyes fixed to a point a few feet ahead of him, behind the bar.

The atmosphere of the bar began to make most of the people in it quite uncomfortable. They squirmed from side to side, fidgeted with their keys, cleared their throats, daydreamed about meaningless worries, and made idle conversation.

Something was different. The moment seemed to linger unchanging.

Virupa sat perfectly comfortably. Both his body and mind unmoving. A soft and pleasing smile on his face.

After Virupa had consumed 5 bottles of the house red wine, nothing had changed. The same feeling floated in the air. The bartender glanced at the sun, to see if it was time for Virupa to pay his tab. She noticed that the sun had not moved even an inch.

“No, I must just be mistaken about where the sun was when he came in” she thought to herself.

She made careful note of the exact position on the wall.

Now people really got restless. There were sighs and groans. Some folks paced back and forth. Trying to find anything to fix their minds on.

Virupa looked as though he was at perfect peace. His soft smile unchanged. Moving his body only to take small sips from his glass.

As the bartender uncorked his 10th bottle of house red, she again looked to the wall, hoping to see that it was time for Virupa to pay.

She again noticed that the sun had not progressed at all. She was certain of it this time. She felt a sense of panic. The moment felt too empty. Existence itself seemed silent.

The bartender did her best to fill the moment. She restocked all the coolers, balanced the drawer, and cleaned everything until it sparkled. She paused only when Virupa needed his glass refilled.

She counted the empty house reds on the floor near the trash. 20. He has had 20 bottles of house red. That’s the whole weeks supply!

She glanced in desperation at the Sun on the wall. Again, it had not moved even an inch!

“He’s had 20 bottles of wine and no time has passed!” she whispered under her breath.

Virupa sat in great peace. Looking calm and joyful. That wonderful soft smile. Content in the stillness that made everyone else squirm and worry.

Finally, the bartender could take it no more.

She threw herself at Virupa’s feet and cried, “Stop whatever you’re doing! Your drinks are free today! Your drinks are free everyday! Just make it stop!”

Finally, Virupa’s motionless posture changed. He turned quickly around in his bar stool and let out a great laugh.

The barkeep looked up from the ground. Suddenly it was completely dark outside. There was motion and noise again. The moment was full of thoughts and business and chatter. Things were back to normal.

Virupa and his friend rose and walked politely out of the bar. Giving each person they passed a joyful smile on their way.