Wednesday, July 21, 2004

For whom the bell rang

The bell rang in mid-morning. Everyone was so busy in the usual hurrying and scurrying to take a bath / meditate /cook /get out of the maid's way and a hundred other things that one does out here, so I went to answer the door bell ouside the main gates. It turned out to be a stranger and so I gave my normal 'Nahi chahiye' (I dont want whatever that you are selling). Only this guy didnt look like a hawker. He was wearing white dhoti and kurta and had a red tilak on his forehead marking him out to be a member of some religious sect or the other.

'I am not selling anything. I just want to inform you that there will be a 'prabachan' on Shirdi Sai baba (Guru of Sai baba of the afro hairdo fame) at saket tomorrow. Please come with your family members'. I should have ended the conversation then and there since we wont be going to any prabachan, not today and definitely not tomorrow and even if we did, Saket was on the other end of the world. But somehow I didn't. And he continued, outside the iron gates and me inside the main doors with only my head sticking out.

- Have you heard of Shirdi Sai baba?
- Yes. ( I drove down to Shirdi with some friends from aurangabad in 1997, I think...not so much because I wanted to, but because my friends, incidentally my hosts, wanted to. It was the usual thing. Buying some sweets, flowers, incense sticks to be given as prasad, queuing up for a darshan...but not being able to manage more than couple of seconds in front of Shirdi Sai baba, because of the rush. The only interesting thing that happened was when a hushed sort of buzz went around: It seems Dawood Ibrahim's henchman was there for a darshan as well. A stout, middle aged gentleman with green eyes, wifey and daughter. Dont quite know why or how it went around, but all of us were trying our best to look at them without seeming to! Who knows if he was or wasnt...but it was sort of interesting to think he was).
- OK. There is some good news coming your way by the 16th of August. So if you are planning a trip to Shirdi, dont go before the 16th.
- And Behena (sister in hindi), I see saturn's shadow over you. (So a hundred odd pandits and astro have told my ma), so dont wear any black clothing (I dont....or atleast rarely). And behena, your parents havent raised you like a daughter (they havent? Sob, sob). They have raised you like a son. (I wonder why?). And are you married? Yes? So your wedding must have taken place suddenly. You must have....

And just as he was (I am sure) about to tell me about me finding my personal pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, our fascinating conversation, sorry monologue was cut short since my bro-in-law came up behind me and said rather loudly 'what is all this bakwas (nonsense)?'. I gave a hasty nod cum namaskar to the chap and shut the door.

I wonder would he have said the same thing to my m-i-l / f-i-l/ b-i-l /maid had they opened the doors? or am I being cynical and should have more faith in miracles?! Hehe...time will tell.
August 16th isn't so far away is it?...I might even blog about it.....

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