Scene: At a holy pilgrimage place , 6 years back
Me: “Do we really have to do this? Wouldn’t visiting the temple at RT Nagar suffice?”
Mom: “I prayed and promised the lord that I would bring you here once you graduated and got yourself a job”
Me: (Sigh)“How does being pushed and shoved in a maddening crowd for hours on end make sense when the same thing can be achieved at home ? Anyways ,lets finish it if it makes you happy”
Five hours later, Mom & me had lost track of each other in the aggravating mob amidst a lot of pushing and shoving. We were fully prepared for this to happen, and had decided to meet outside the temple in such a scenario. Conversation continues after we meet outside:
Me(irritant): “Where on earth did you disappear?”
Mom(sad tone) : I wasn’t even able to see the lord! I was too busy arguing with the boy scout who was pushing me and shouting at me, asking me to move ahead!
Me(amused): “Amma look ! A little boy is peeing there in the corner !!”
Mom(shocked at the scene) – “What has the world come to ?He is peeing and his parents are happily watching him!”
We hadn’t even gotten out of the temple premises.
Six years later- Mr. Vijay Mallya donates 3 kg gold to a holy temple. Everyone rants and raves. The media is filled with breaking news / articles about “How Mr. Mallya donated 3kg gold and hasn’t paid his staff”. The whole of India is busy criticizing him
You go on the same pilgrimage.
You spend any amount between INR 500 to 5000 per ticket.
Depending on the amount you have paid to the temple authorities, You either
- spend endless hours amidst a maddening crowd, getting pushed and shoved for a less than ten second view of your lord
- get to go and watch the temple authorities perform a special Pooja.
You spend an extra amount of INR 100- 500 to get Prasad for your office colleagues.
You eat Prasad , hunt for your shoes, and step out of the temple . A beggar approaches you, but you choose to ignore him.
What makes you so different from Mr. Vijay Mallya? Why does he need to change his habits when you can’t change yours? If you had donated even half that money to an orphanage or a beggar, it might have bought them/him one day of food.No wonder, visitors to India find our country to possess a sort of “Dual Nature” !
Someone once taught me to find God in every person who greets me and within myself. It makes more sense to donate all that money to my servant who comes to help us with the household chores every evening rather than spend it on a 10 second view of an idol(not to forget – watch a little boy peeing :)). It would help her buy food for her family of ten plus people for at least five or ten days.
Am I atheist? No, I believe I’m agnostic!