Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When The Goddess Cheated

Last weekend, at my mother's, I chanced upon an animated discussion.

It pertained to a recently held temple festival, which, my home town is renowned for.
The subject, was, of no particular interest, to me.
But, for the want of a less strenuous activity,that lazy afternoon, I decided to don the part of the gracious hostess, and, flopped down on a floor cushion, right in the midst of the chattering flock.

Around me, echoed a shrill chorus of excited voices.

Each, clamouring, to outdo the rest.

As I lolled about on my burgundy cushion, quite oblivious to the cacophony that filled the room, my attention was, all at once, arrested by a strident voice beside me.

A lady in white, whose name I forget, and, whose corpulent form engulfed the cushions on our sofa, was recanting her experience, in a voice, that demanded as much notice, as it did applause.

" In spite of the long queue, Sridevi chechy*and I managed to cut ahead, and were positioned right in front of the Deity, just as the pooja** was beginning.
Can you believe our luck?
But, we were also smart. We used a lesser known path to reach the sanctum sanctorum.
And, that was not all.
As we were ushered out along with the crowd, we found little girls entering the inner sanctum to make the traditional offerings to the Goddess.
So, we got went along with them, once more, pretending to be a parent.
How would anyone know in that crush???
And, we got two excellent darshans*** in one evening!!!"

The smug glee in her voice, must have invoked the green-eyed monster in many a female breast.
But, not mine.

I thought of the few hundred devotees who, clad in their festive finery, would have, patiently sweated it out in the sweltering heat, for a rushed peek of the Goddess, praying, instead of devising ruses, or short-cuts, to attain divine favour.
And, I longed to cry out in indignation, that she had cheated!
In the house of God.

But, ever mindful of my self-assumed role, and I confess, my mother's stern eye upon me, I held my peace.

Even so, I could not resist asking her, if she thought, the Goddess would approve.

Pat, came the indignant reply.
" But, of course, who else, would put such thoughts in our heads, other than the Bhagavathy***? "

As the envious women around her, sighed in envy, and murmured their appreciation at her resourcefulness, I could not help but wonder if the Goddess was as impressed.
Or, if, the divinity was seething, at having been made an unwilling accomplice.

Sometimes, the Gods can be such convenient scapegoats!!!

* Chechy - Sister. Commonly used in Kerala, as a term of respect for a lady older than oneself
** Pooja - A sequence of rituals that make up the Hindu way of paying obeisance to the deities installed in a temple or in a house.
***Darshans - View of the Deity at the temple
****Bhagavathy - Goddess


shail said...

Lol Rekha, your mother's eye sure must have been stern or else I cannot imagine you stopping at this! ;) BTW why didn't you call??

Rekz said...

:) :)
Actually, it was a combination of inertia and mum's killer looks which worked!!!
Sorry for not calling...I misplaced your number and for the life of me, could not remember where I had scribbled it down...
Next time, for sure...

Ganga Dhanesh said...

Lol...cud 'see' the scene :)