Sunday, April 19, 2009

Namaste!

I finished my business at my daughter’s school and walked down to the bus stop at the junction just a stone's throw from the school.

It was a beautiful junction. A gigantic tree stood in front of a temple, and spread its branches right across the street. The tree was easily more than 100 yrs old. I stood in its shade, my eyes running over the trunk for some label indicating its age. I found none.

I waited under the tree on that hot day, but enjoyed the wait.

Then it happened the first time.

A car pulled up across the street, bang opposite where I was standing. A gentleman looked out, joined his hands in a namaste. There was an expression of deep devotion in his eyes. Without thinking, I acknowledged the namaste with my own. The car drove off.

I was puzzled. Why did he greet me? Did I know him?

As I stood there trying to solve the mystery, another car pulled up. There was a repeat performance, both on the driver’s part and mine.

No sooner had that car left than another one stopped opposite me. Again that reverential namaste, and I, though flustered, reciprocated.

By now I was confused. And alarmed. Just the previous week Doordarshan had aired Satyajit Ray’s Devi, in which the head of the family gets a vision that the new bahu is a Devi. I tried to remember how my face looked in the mirror before I left the house. Yes, I sported a gigantic Sringar Bindi (Size 1) as also the scarlet red Sindhur. Could it be that -- - - -I brushed aside the silly thought from my mind.

And then another car stopped. This time it was an antique Benz. The person sitting in the back seat rolled down the dark tinted glass and looked out. Apparently he was a Tamilian, and wore a safari suit. The namaste again accompanied an intensely worshipful look, with eyes shut for a few seconds. The glass rolled up again, and the car sped away.

I was totally perplexed and terrible uneasy. I was more or less convinced that I was being mistaken for a Devi? I started looking around for an auto.

Before I could hail the auto that was cruising down the street, another car stopped, right in front of me and not across the road as it was going in the opposite direction. The man sitting in the back seat looked out with joined hands. Automatically my palms too joined in a low confidence namaste.

And then I noticed that he was not looking at me but at something behind me.

I whirled around to discover/remember that I was standing right in front of a temple whose deity was prominently visible. I remembered someone say that the deity of that temple was a very powerful one.

11 comments:

  1. Ah, KPJ! Be like Robert "You Talking to Me?" De Nero before you accept and return greetings from strangers.

    Hilarious, nonetheless.

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  2. Namastey!

    (bell rings once..clang!)

    Blessings vallathum parcel aayittu kittiyo Mrs. Devi?

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  3. Happens! :p Wish someone had offered you prasaadam! That would have been interesting! :|

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  4. Ha ha
    You leave even gods behind you. :-)

    -Nikhil

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  5. LOL..
    And you offered a namaste back to everyone :D

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  6. ehehe.... reminds me of that portion from the movie "aaraam thampuraan", where mohanlal goes: "..oru devi prathyaksha pettathu pole... ennu parayanamengile, kaanunnavane kannu pottan aayirikkunam..."

    ROTFL post!!!

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  7. I think it was your bindi- sounds like it rivalled the size of Mata Amritanandamayi. :)

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  8. @sujatha
    possible:-)
    i forehead is all over the place-so i always shopped around for biggest bindi in the market.
    recently my student turned colleague told me that one thing she learnt from me is the availability of huge bindis in the market!!

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