Monday, July 22, 2013

A Godly Ritual !

Short Story

(Hindus believe in multi-godly powers. Lord Ganesha is one of the powerful gods.)
The night opened its eyes to a Thursday. The chill of  rains covered everyone like a sopping blanket. The sun was playing hide and seek behind the mighty clouds. At daybreak Manjusha woke up and her hands engaged in her households. After finishing her work somewhat, she had a dip in water  and strode to the temple nearby.

She trod lightly on the environs of the temple as the sactum-sactorum was closed for *1.ushappooja. Heavy downpours had let the feet of only a few devotees to fall on the ground. She lurked outside the temple. Since the priest opened the sacred door, Manjusha stepped in and placed herself beside the *2. namaskaarta-mantapa. After concluding the remaining domestics she had to proceed to the office. Urgency had conquered her mind though, she lay in wait placidly closing the eyes.

When the priest, Vishal Potti sprinkled holy water on devotees, he eyed a pretty lotus like countenance. Two endearing attractive optic organs had adorned  that cute visage. His sense of sight sent her figure to the inner screen of his mind.
 “Oh! No, such feelings shouldn’t  triumph over me. It is temple, only  piety should be there in my mind.” He found no intricacy in retracting his mind to the sacred procedures.

 But  when he reached home his mind turned disobedient and loitered around that beautiful face of Manjusha like a beetle around a flower. However that face vanished from his thoughts after a few days. He had to immerse in the groundwork for higher studies also. He had hankered for higher studies abroad and hence was he occupied much. In the meantime the holy rituals of the temple he had mastered. His father entrusted him with the morning rituals.

“ Holy priest, can you carry out a *3.Ganapatihomam in our domicile?”
When Vishal raised his head to locate the voice, that very person with an affluent-looking middle aged female fell into his sense of sight. The voice   
had emerged from the latter. She was Majusha’s mother,Sunita.

“O! Sure. I shall come, I shall come,” replied he with a covert excitement.

“Tell me the date and I shall bring the requirements. You need not buy anything.”

“The 16th of next month is apposite.” Manjusha.
 The astrologer had opined so.
“Oho! Let it be. Early morning at crack of dawn itself all have to be all set.”

They quit the vicinity of the divine area. Had a new vigor and verve crept into him? He started observing things more fondly. Flowers looked lovelier. The sun shone brighter. The woods seemed shadier. The aves sang sweeter. The breeze fondled him softer. The night illuminated the sky more and celebrated  * 4.Deepavali. The outstanding large light in the middle emitted inexplicable glow. Altogether an exquisiteness was felt everywhere. Some old love melodies cat-walked into his mind and they came out as humming-tunes at times.

Is spite of his busy engagements in sanctification of the idol and preparation for higher admission, Vishal Potti experienced a sort of tardiness in passing the time. Hours seemed to contain more than sixty minutes and days more than twenty four hours before the day of Ganapatihomam.

“Why am I after that girl. If she is not a Brahmin my parents won’t favour me. And more over me is only twenty two.” He whispered to himself.
Again his mind deserted him and decided to follow that girl. He solved that enigma thus, “There isn’t any harm in fixing the marriage, which can be solemnized later. Amma(mother),who will not stand against my will, will bring Achchan(father) to my favour.”

Vishal spun dreamy threads and wove them into future plans. He didn’t judge any  fertility or futility in his dream. His decision  was imperative for him.

Oh! Eventually the very coveted dream day arrived. He was on his steps from bed much earlier than usual. Brushing, bathing etc. were not allotted much of his time. Within minutes he was ready on his heels. His father  was already informed about it.

The vehicle carried him to Manjusha’s residence and her mother received him, as if she was in wait for him. His mind travelled all over the large portico of the house in search of Manjusha. She was not there.
But all the members including Manjusha made their presence in the hall in devotion within minutes. At the conclusive ebb Manjusha’s father handed over *5.Dakshina to the priest.
“She may be your youngest issue, I suppose,” Vishal by seeing a five year old beside Sunita.
“O! No. She is my grand child. And that is her mother, Manjusha. Her husband was not sanctioned leave,” Sunita.

Vishal felt as if  a bullet or bomb had passed through his mind. He thought he was sinking in the fissure of the earth. Somehow he managed to drive back home with a heavy weight inside his head.

He sat on the bed for a while and replayed the whole story on the picture- tube of his mind. “What a fool am I ? I was in the Utopian world these days. She might not have even seen me.” His reason  began to play its role.

 “I have learned a lesson. I will never jump into a dream world like this. I have to put in all my efforts for higher studies.A smile visited his lips.”

The weight was off his head.

     * 1.Morning rituals of worship.
   2.Pavillion for the priest to prostrate before the deity.
        3. Exaltation to Lord Ganesha!
        4.A festival of Light.
        5.The gift in effusiveness.




  1. Excellent short story. I know you are putting me up to an unexpected end. But I never expected this conclusion. Loved this.

  2. I realised that this was a translation only when I began reading it.
    I liked the version in Malyalam , to be honest. It had the feel.

  3. loved the way it was concluded :)