Friday, March 18, 2011

God!Is that you?

Amma tells me it is hot in Kochi. She adds with an acerbic tone reserved only for her beloved daughter,” I wonder how ‘the NRI’ is going to survive here even for a weekend.”
(Yeah.You heard it too; there was an unnecessary stress on NRI)
I don’t think twice before back lashing,”Ohhhhh yes. Just cannot handle the heat you know.”
Both of us know wherever I go, I will remain forever the “kochikari” with a penchant for convent junction, Shenoy’s theatre , Vrichika utsavam at  Poornathrayesa temple and Amma ’s Sāmbhar
(Definitely in the reverse order if Amma is reading this).

Even before I could read (or for that matter talk properly), I knew about “poornatheecha” of Poornathrayesa temple. The main deity is Vishnu in the form of Santhanagopala moorthy. I have a love-hate relation with him. I talk to him as a friend and as a foe for not taking my side on critical affairs of my life. It is cranky, but then that is the way we are [Me and Him, off course].

Life for natives of tripunithura, revolve around the temple. Irrespective of religion, all the people attend the temple festival, the melam and kacheris. Hence, before I do everything I take a counsel from Him. It so happened on the day before I was to join my college, along with my Ammoomma* I went to the temple to say my farewell. After all, I have been coming often and He should not wonder where I went off without telling Him. I was not at ease about going away from home or as I called, venturing into unknown wild territories of education. In one sentence, I was scared. Period.What if people ragged me? What if I couldn’t study well? What if I flunked? What if I did not have good friends? If there are more than two “what ifs” about a situation, I take a bath and run to the temple for clarity of thoughts. [Okei.I try to talk Him into solving my problem for me. Since it does not happen, I come back even more confused but a lot less scared]

After I finished my hymns, ballads and warnings, I stopped for a moment and like a devotee said,”God, I am leaving this place and going away tomorrow. I know not what life holds for me out there in college. I have no friends there as of now. I pray to you for good friends and good life. I pray that you cast a watchful eye on me (Ever in search for pits of trouble.)” After a full minute of silence, I added,” Bye. See you soon. Do take care of me”
I walked out of the temple to see my Ammoomma chatting with one of her friends (another granny).The topic was random; a randomizer would have been put to shame. It is like the tags on a blog post. Kids, legs, pain, temple, trips, outings, food, medicine, doctor, relatives, cousin’ s daughter’s mother in laws sister’s neighbors marriage (Puff Puff, water please).I like it when Ammoomma meets her friends, she beams from all the information transfer (news gained and news relayed).
As I joined them, her friend looks at me smiles,” Cannot believe children grow up so fast. It feels like yesterday when I had come to see her at the hospital when she was born.” There is an element happiness and pride in her voice of having known my life for so long.
“Heard you are going away for engineering.Good.Good.God bless you. Here take this prasadam.” She pushed a small packet wrapped in newspaper and hurried away. I opened the packet and I was awed for the little packet contained avil **, the favorite snack of Krishna according to Hindu mythology. I was stunned. I had never received any avil from the temple from when I could remember.Today, when I was there asking for His blessing on my new journey, I get this as prasadam.Was this some kind of a premonition that He was going to look after me?
I call it the touch of God or a streak of divine intervention in the otherwise run-of-the-mill life of this mortal. I have not had many interventions, any more. I cleared my papers. No back papers in any semester. No flying colors just normal mundane shade of black and blue. [With the kind of effort I was putting in, it was a miracle]
There will be days when I will beg to God and there will be days when I will scream at the heavens, fist curled,” why me?” and for the screaming quarreling days I keep this memory aside. To remind me of the peak view He gave me of his constant “monitoring” of my life.

P: S: I know it sounds blasphemous to some. I prefer looking at God as a supreme power who is a friend not a armed police man ready to admonish you for every mistake. I’m not superstitious but sometimes things happen which you cannot push away as coincidences. Well, people in medical profession agree,”There are things beyond our comprehension.”
*Ammoomma : Mother's mother.
** Avil : Beaten rice [The same fella of Krishna-Suddama tale]


  1. Interesting... :-)
    One of my fav quotes of Shakespeare is...
    "There are more things in heaven and earth,Horatio,. Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." —Hamlet

    Keep Blogging...


  2. I agree with you when yo say that you look upon god more as a friend than as somebody to be feared. I don't do daily prayers, all I do is light the lamp everyday and talk to Him. Talk about what's happening, sometimes I confess that I'm angry with him for whatever reasons, and everyday, I tell him to keep an eye on me. :).. It's all in the mind, my dear. God.. It's not like if you do the most heinous crimes and go to the temple to pray, god will favour you, right? It's God, after all. And if he's anything what our mothers and grandmothers say he is, then I'm sure he'll know what we truely are, temple-goer or non-temple-goer. :)

  3. There's nothing blasphemous in treating God as a friend. We seek him out in our moments of darkness and thank him in our moments of jubilation. We berate him when we are in trouble and expect him to love us unconditionally.

    I am far from ritualistic, in fact I rarely visit temples yet I believe in the power of the supreme being.

  4. @SUB : Mine too...There are more things in the world we don't see or can comprehend.I bow to the supreme.
    @Divya:We share the same thoughts on God.When I was young I thought He would actually get angry and punish me if I misbehaved or was naughty.I see a buddy in him now.
    @Purba:I like going to temples and praying,as long as the temple authorities have not made the temple into a commercial fanfare.Rs 100 for special pooja and "All dreams come true." :p

  5. I am a bit late to read it.loved the way you expressed the events and enriched tradition you carried through out the narration.

  6. Thanks Arpana.Even though I have had my tiffs with God,I'll never let go.

  7. Very true. I think I stopped going to temples after my trip to Pazhani a few years back. Rs.300 to go in directly without standing in the queue, Rs.200 to go in after standing for one hour in the queue, and Rs.100 if you're willing to wait for two-three hours. Ridiculous. And if you've ever visited Guruvayoor, you will know. You stand in the queue for three hours, and get a glimpse of god for three seconds before the pujari ushers you away like cattle. How can one even pray peacefully??!! And then all those commercial temples with blindingly-white marble and neon lights. I would rather sit at home and pray.
    And this is getting freaky! We end up blogging about pretty much the same things!
    Are we like long lost sisters or something? Did you ever go to the Khumbh mela? Do you have the other half of my locket?? :p

  8. Rs300 darshan and 3 sec darshan!!!.That's why I prefer my poornathresha.Nobody says that sorts of things there.Even if they do I'll roll my eyes to scare the guards away.

    Okei lets do a match the following between the posts we have written.Wait a minute,Mom has said something about picking me for Rs 5 from a hawker.Where you?

    So you are my blog Sister.And this is official?

  9. Well, my sister says that I came free with a kilo of stinky rice from Maveli stores. :p