Monday, July 11, 2011

I need your blessings only

I have always liked travelling in trains. It is the next best thing to driving, especially for long distances. You are not boxed in a seat. You get to walk around if you want or if like me, can happily lie down and doze off. You are much at ease. You make new friends, can have long and animated face to face discussions about anything important or not. You can’t do all this stuff in a flight. 

I too fly for the sake of time, but I spend my time cramped and hoping the guy sitting next to me does not sneeze. Bacteria are not exactly the thing which you want to take home from a journey.

God forbid, but I can only pity you if you have a newly minted couple in the seats next to you in a flight. But that is another story for another day.

So it was a nice comfortable train journey. Reading, sleeping then reading some more, checking out the cuteness of fellow passengers, sleeping again, you know, the regular stuff.

I was lying down, concentrating hard trying to figure out a figure, when I overheard someone talking about this great shaman. This was the man who bestows his blessings and goodness to everyone unconditionally.

Now everyone knows that there are many such in India. Everyone knows that all of them have a hotline with God. Some of them can levitate others can conjure sweets and gold out of thin air. Everyone knows that they are rich people. And everyone knows that you ought to donate large sums to their charities out of the kindness of your heart and to promote their noble deeds.

And I agree to it. I mean, look at how many jobs such people generate. If for nothing, I support them for that. Last I heard they were planning to have advanced courses on how to become a popular god men and women as a part of the poverty and unemployment alleviation plans. No, everyone does not know this.

So this great man (let’s call him guru henceforth in this true story, it’s easy to type) was talked about because he ran his trade somewhere near to where the train was passing through at that time. As luck would have it, while the discussion and debates on his holiness were on, the train came to an abrupt screeching halt.

On enquiry it was found that there was some fault with the rails ahead and we have to wait till that gets fixed. Now that can be shocking or not so shocking depending on where you are on the globe at the moment. I, for one, was not too surprised.

Enterprising as we are in India, we strive to get something out of even the most hopeless situations. And we are optimistic as hell. Someone thought aloud that that was a sign that we should go visit the guru.

Some of us took that idea and ran with it (pun, eh?). But who would pass on that divine opportunity? So a group of us got ready to trek to the guru’s abode.

Good thing about not knowing where you are going is that you are ready to take anything that comes. Or you just don't care.

It’s a darn good thing too, for when I reached there I found that the guru was none other than the local police officer, with a handlebar moustache and all. Also, the guru’s abode was a police station, or maybe it was the other way round.

There was this long queue that was there, meandering through many checkpoints. There was a booth where you were security screened and then a booth where you had to pay huge sums as offering to the guru, all of your own free will. They even gave you receipts for this so that you could flaunt it at home and show off amongst your friends. There also was a booth selling lemonade.

I wouldn’t bore you with the details of how long and boring the queue was. Not to mention extremely hot and stuffy hallway the queue was going through. It was just the expectant joy of being in the company of the guru that kept us all going.

Then the moment came when I was in the presence of divinity. The guru police officer had such a look on his face that I was tongue tied. I don’t know how to describe what I felt there.

I would have described it as overwhelming if this word would not have got overwhelmed with the burden of the feelings I intended to put on it. It was too much of a good thing. It probably was way too much of it, and all I wanted to do at the moment was to leave and go back to the mundane.

And then the serene voice floated to my ears.

“What do you want?”

“I want nothing, just your blessings.”

He smiled, chuckled even, and said, “Yes that is ok, but what do you want”. He gently patted my arm saying this.

My eyes tightly shut, I managed to mumble, “I want your blessings only”.

He says, “Yes, you have my blessing. But what do you want?”

He patted a lot harder this time. As if he was almost slapping my arm. Much like a doctor slaps the arms of unconscious patients to bring them back. Why, I think I heard him giggle too.

Perplexed, I opened my eyes, only to see the steward from the train's dining car grinning right next to my face.

I acted as if nothing has happened and everything is normal and promptly ordered the regular chicken dinner.


Vibha said...

You have my blessings :-)

Sudhanshu said...

One thing I inferred. You pined for the blessings of that cute (debatable) co-passenger throughout the journey. Am I right??

Pratyush said...

What do I do with that? Do you have some money to spare instead?
But thanks for reading and commenting. Much likes :-)

Sudhanshu Ji,
No sir, you are not. It was a train, the cuteness is debatable, I was nicely sleeping, the food was good.
And I'm no more a teenager like you.
So, no.
But thanks for inferring something. Normally people just make funny faces after reading what I write.


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