Tag Archives: Job

From God-fearing to God-loving.


“Om shun…Shanaischaraya Namaha”…is all that my lips chant since yesterday… Yesterday was a really auspicious day, the religious calendars said…with all those moon, sun, planet and star positioning….some great day that had come after a span of 170 years….isn’t it amazing??

I was amazed too…this day was called the Shani Divas….the day of the Saturn god….known to bring in hard times for people like you and I….

S o many poojas would have to be done…so many chants…so many rituals…lest we invoke Shani Maharaj’s annoyance and all that we would then have would be misfortune…

So then pooja’s had to be done any way…even the not so pious man would fear being an atheist this day….So everybody joined the bandwagon of devotees to please Shani Mahaprabhu and earn their share of the fortune cookie….

Thank God that it was my friend’s papa who had taken us to Mehrauli…the Largest Shani temple in Delhi…Had it been my papa I would never have been able to make it to the pooja mandap… 😛

From 7:45 to 10:45….we were in the queue…with thousand others….a small booklet of Shani mantras….a parched throat and a scorching sun above was all that we had…Me and my friend were taking turns reading that tiny book for a while thinking the queue would dissolve as we did so….but then we had to turn back and take solace at the increasing numbers behind us rather than the numbers before in the queue…

From dusty streets to green carpet strips….we never could know where the actual temple was for nearly 2 hours…as the media people from India TV and P7 thronged the place for an interesting capture….

The wait led to a relieve period as we saw the temple gate and the mist from the unusual water spraying fans touched our red hot faces….Maroon never seemed soo good before until we were shifted to a maroon carpet patch and came to realize this was the last part of the queue… 😀

Unitl then I had lost the last iota of energy…ceased looking back or front…had shut my lips indefinitely….and just kept the chant going within my head, knowing that I may swoon any time soon. 😛  My friend’s father with hair all gray and forbearance at an epoch was my inspiration to keep me going in the infinite wait….

I was surprised to see new entrants fighting their way into the mid of the queue with so much of an audacious shamelessness, in lying to the volunteers that they were there since the morning…. O great!! they really understood the essence of praying to God and visiting temples….chicanery and deception had seeped into our bloods so much…..that made us lie on days that we considered so auspicious….

As the queue ended and so did the wait eventually…we caught a glimpse of Shani Maharaj’s Gigantic idol….I could never explain the turbulence within me…the sight made us all forget that our heels were roasting on the heated floor…I had prepared a long list of family ailments and ”things to ask for”….soon that list started playing in my head…Rewind…Pause…Forward ….and Play…. 🙂

As we all bought Pooja Thalis…we were sure God would definitely hear us this time…. We had come so far…waited so long….and had held on to faith all our lives…. Yes…the pain was worth a reward….

People were all frantic and flustered as Shani Maharaj was known to be an angry God… They should certainly perform all those rituals….and all the more religiously lest they displease bhagwanji….The Fear Factor frenzying the Diya hall…where the crowd kept on crashing into each other and each of us….at the peak of our panics….as our Diyas didn’t light…”O my God what a omen it was!!….Will it bring misfortune for sure…or was there any ritual that would compensate???!!!!” 😦

They said we were supposed to light the Diyas with our own matchstick and should not share the flame with another’s diya…as it would dump his sack of sins onto ours….O God!! Never  would I take anybody’s sins!! Was my share of sins less bothersome that I would crave for more…!!???!! 😛

…there was a separate queue for offering oil to bhagawanji….we entered that too…bought our offerings and set off…But Lo!! They would only allow Men folk to do so…and only when they took their baths and changed into a miniscule piece of red langot!!!…. 🙂

So all we could do was hand over our bottles to a someone in the queue and take leave…

….Gulping down the last sip of the lassi there and looking at the new people in the queue…we were delighted beyond measure….that we had finally done it!!

Dozing off in the car….I came back to my senses in the underground parking of Bangla Sahib…I wished for a bed but was bumped into the lift…. 😦

And as we entered the gurudwara compound…the moments were overpowering… fraught with flash backs of my entire life…

People say…” Hands that help are holier than lips that pray…But then I came to know this after coming here…after coming to you ….. to fold my hands in prayer…to open my lips for taking your name…. Your prayers have made me realize…I need to understand first and to be understood second….”

As I came to see those hands that not only joined in prayer but also helped the needy… those lips that not only chanted your name but also uttered words of compassion… I felt strangely relieved….I didn’t have to choose which was holier….which was better 🙂

As we kept our shoes in the shoe racks…I wished there would be any ritual to keep me consumed…to keep me away from this “difficult to handle” feeling…but I hardly could find any…I found myself gaping at the all sophisticated people who might have been dropped by a Mercedes and were polishing shoes here….cleaning the floor with a radiant smile emanating from their faces….

The water from the tubes at the feet of the stairs wet my feet…I felt it wet my heart too…cleaned my feet and cleansed my soul…. as I bowed down to kiss the stairs…I saw little girls of my age were offering the Amrit Jal…never had the water tasted soo different…We took the halwa Prasad into the gurudwara…and having done the parikrama….sat down to pray…

Then it just would not stop…dripping incessantly… as if determined to flush away all that I had…and never again moisten my cheeks….I suddenly had a running nose too…and I found myself floundering which one to wipe…the eyes or the nose??!!

Thank God that we drape our Dupattas over  our heads here…that hid some of the water flow…and Thank God…that she never questions too much….perhaps she was going through the same as was I…

They were chanting the Amrit Vaani…and I was startled to find my soul responding to a language that I couldn’t even remotely understand….The words Prem and Satya…..being repeated over and over …..and tears running down over and over…

I couldn’t take it any more and so decided to move out…as we got into the waiting hall for having the langar….I was still trying to figure out why couldn’t I ask Bhagwaanji for a single thing from my wish list….except a “samastanka bhala hou….May everybody have your good will….” How dumb I was to forget wishing??!!…the shani chant still hanging around my head….made me feel dizzier than ever before…..

The wait ended soon and we were made to sit in a commodious hall with an assortment of people from all layers of our social strata…

It was more than describable more than divine as a feeble old man kept reciting… “ wahe guru da khalsa …wahe guru di fateh….and something followed by a satnaam….” I switched off everything within me…even the chants…. and my lips repeated his words….

We finished the lunch and set out….

Everybody was smiling at each other…as if they had known each other since ages…. everybody seemed so fearless….the intrepid aura clearly warming each soul…there was no ritual that could go wrong…there was no folly that could enrage Bhagwaanji….there was no nothing that could stir up the serenity….all that pervaded was Peace….

As we were buying a few kadaas…the echoes of the amrit vaani was playing both loud and gentle….something which meant…”You have come here to me….with all your fears….but just don’t forget my child….you need not fear when I am here…. Just don’t worry….Surrender yourself….surrender….because I am there….and I will take care….”

Thanks…..I do believe you will take care….all my life I have asked you for so many things..never realizing you already knew what I desire….what I deserve….and that you will take care….

I had feared all my life whether my prayers would be answered?? Whether the diya that I couldn’t light at the first stroke would bring me misfortune??  Whether consciously  or unconsciously I commit a folly…and what if the folly isn’t a folly, but a sin??…..Never realizing,  I was merely a medium….whatever happened and whatever would happen was all a part of your design….

Today I go back….and having taken so much from you…I return back all that I had been collecting since consciousness prevailed….Yes….I  give you all my fears….just one…that, “Do I deserve all that I desire??” for the first time in life I pray to deserve rather than desire….Well …I know..You would take care of everything….and you would make me capable of deserving whatever I desire in life…and beyond…..

I had come here God-fearing….and I go back loving you….loving myself…loving whatever you have surrounded me with….

I go back fearless….I go back God-loving……

Because I know…You would take care……

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O Stranger! How can I say Thank you!


..Dont know where it all started…but before I could realise..it was too late…I had already been attacked by..what I called “Crossophobia“…traffic panciked me…the very thought of crossing a busy road kept me at home on bright spring days…

You may term it as.. lack of confidence… I may not agree with you, but neither can I shoo it away completely ….Never for anything else in my life, have I felt …what I feel on seeing a road zooming with traffic…

Cars honking madly at each other..make me a lunatic ..The traffic signals, indications of the Traffic police have always gone over my head tangentially… I can swear by God…that Traffic signs for me are as apprehensible as Rocket Science..!! :D….

So Delhi…one of the most thronged cities of India…had always been on the top of my phobia list…

I had heard people say..”God puts you before what you most fear ..so that you will emerge courageous…stronger and  …victorious…”

And perhaps..for God ..I was no exception…

After drenching myself in the Mysore rains…I had to come to Delhi to gather dust…Cant say how and when…just as it was happening..I feel I have changed a lot..  Sure..it was to happen..the dust on the Delhi streets has settled over the rain drops clinging to my body from Mysore…and they have given me the smell of the dry earth being sprinkled with rain drops…. a colour of the golden mud…While some may call the smell and the sight..DIVINE…for others it can be just another repulsive sight…

So the cold war began… The Traffic… the Crowd would never stop for me…So.. why do I stop for them…??? I would wage a war..a Cold war…

And Sure enough …cold it was for me ..

With every sight of a road to be crossed..I got cold feet…and with every step I took while crossing it..I was drenched in cold sweat…cold were my heart beats and cold was I……Even after having crossed the road…the thought of having done so…. made me shiver from disbelief..for another fifteen minutes..cold blood rushing through my veins  and making me numb…..(or rather Dumb!! 😛 )….So cold it was for me…that it left me..frozen to death…

But then there were people…some people around me…well Colleagues at firstno rather friends… Perhaps much more than that….probably..One my Breath and the other my Beats… No …in Short..THE Rolly and THE Ahmad for me…

We had stuck by each other in the hardest of times…and put up cat fights in the most trifle of matters…I guess that describes all… 🙂

I clung to their palms…mine all sweaty…and theirs perhaps a Solace to me…                                                                                                            She would drag me safely and sometimes get reprimanded for that….and he would gently take me by my arm..never forgetting the basic difference that existed between him and me… 🙂

But it was a shortcoming …and I was unable to bear it..With each passing day…                                                                                                           An indistinct indifference irked me each moment of the day…I could hold their hands..while crossing my life…but I just didn’t want to hold them while I crossed the road… 🙂

I wanted a confident chuckle to burst from my cheeks with every cross-road in life …and I wanted to do it all alone…

So that I could stand up in front of the mirror and say…”Yes Pamela…You can do it”…and See my reflection wave back to me and say..”I trust you..”

Days went by …I stopped counting them as weeks rolled over…then there had to be months….and then there were the seasons…

I had dried up my tears in the dry autumn..that brought me to Delhi…I froze my emotions and crystallized myself into a cold stone..with the chilling winter….thinking that my fears would never spill out from my cold surface…

fortunately or unfortunately… I was wrong…

But then..after every winter comes a Spring…melting the ice crystals all over…I found myself changing again..hope to despair and now despair to hope….The hope this time was sweeter…perhaps the water from the melting ice is always better than the one which has never experienced seasons..

So…one day ..the Spring Bloomed a lovely afternoon in my life…

Rolly, Ahmad and I set out to the nearby Rail-Bhawan to fetch some tit-bits at the lunch break. It was the same story…I was the cheese in the Sandwich while tip-toeing through that busy road….

But the story wasn’t exactly the same…

Something changed…. and it changed Something forever…

On the way back…I received my Mummy’s call…and with the “Hello”..there also burst a giggle…an innocent and abrupt..grin across my face…and a loud….”WOOOOOOOOOOOW……Kete saara Pigeons… ” we had just intruded the chowraha..where hundreds of pigeons were flying hanky-panky….!!! Strange Sight…!!…and then…something even stranger…

A lean little girl ..Ummm not so little…probably just like me..clung tight to my arm…just as we were about to cross the road…Rolly and Ahmad were taken aback..and I stood there completely flummoxed…

Before I could ask ..a few quick words..”WhO…WhAt and WhY Me?”… She uttered something magical… which I was hearing for the very first time in my life…” I want to cross the road…and I can’t ..Please ..take me there…I ..ummmm…actually …..umm please…..”

Then ….did I think twice…?? Strangely No!!!…I mean I said …”YES!!! …ya sure…” and that..with such grace….as if I had been doing that …ever since I had learnt to walk..!! 😛

As if suddenly all wisdom struck me…As if I was not I , me not me….. Suddenly the sounds didn’t matter and the crowd faded away..the honking…it just seemed distant..everything vanished…all I could then see was the other end of the road..where she wanted to go…

I pressed her hands in mine…for the first time I wasn’t embarrassed by my wet palms….and the sweat in her palms..seemed like a coolant to me… :)..

we kept walking…oblivious of the noise, the traffic, the jostling crowd….the pigeons…The Rolly …The Ahmad…

I asked her …”how many years..in Delhi..”…She mumbled..6 years..and you?”..

I was proud to say..I have persisted.. 6 long months….since Sept 14…

then again..she asked..”which way are you going??”…..I returned….“which way are you going??”…

That was it…I went past my office …and walked with her…to the other side of the lane…

Something which I had never done before… all alone..not even for myself…

Then there was no losing time…I hicupped the last question…rather my last words…with her..”WHY ME?? !!?!”…

the reply makes me ponder even today…”You were happy to see those Pigeons…”..

She jumped over into the bus..there was no waving…there was no good-bye…not even a Thank You..

There was no time to ask her name…and there was no time to think..and determine what I got back …

There was just..No time to realise..I had one more road to cross alone…

Ahmad had come over ..to make me cross again…

But I couldn’t notice him…I think I crossed the lane..by myself..

Rolly and Ahmad..were chortling with laughter…saying…”Pammi should get a Bravery Award for the feat…One who doesn’t know how to cross herself…sets out guiding others… :P”..!!!

But then it hardly mattered…I knew what I’d got..

I was at the crossroad of my life…not knowing which step to take and how big my step should be…and whether to take the right or that which was left… I didn’t know..it myself…

And she was a Stranger…How did she know..what I was to do???..I’m perplexed…” How did she know that getting across the Central Secretariat Crossing …would make me get across the Crossroad I was standing at in life…??

I   don’t promise …I will begin to like the Delhi crowd…the mad traffic….                                                                                                                            I don’t promise ….I wouldn’t be scared to cross the road alone..ever again…                                                                                                            I  don’t promise I would gracefully walk across and never panic….

But I certainly do promise…I will wipe my sweaty palms on my T-shirt…won’t be embarrassed that I panic….Look   at the Bhagwanji’s wallpaper on my cellphone…smile to myself and say….”Yes..you have done  it before …and you can do it now…you can trust YOURSELF Pammi…Go on…”

I cannot muster up words to mumble…What I have got from YOU…

Neither will YOU ever know….that…

“You have given me …ME…the me that I had always longed for…

Lucky that you didn’t say a Thank you…because I don’t know how am I to pay back…what you have given me….You have gifted me your confidence and You have gifted me mine too dear…

Just tell me….Tell me please…

O Stranger….how can I ever say …THANK YOU….

hmm atlast...I did it..