Sunday, October 04, 2009

Divine Conversations II

“Ooh, aah, hey, hold me tight on the left… oye, you on the right, lift me higher or else you will drop me”!! Man, Mahisasur was easy killing. Balancing yourself atop these tens of men is so tough! To make things worse, all my kids are on the platform with me. Do I take care of myself, my husband, my kids, my weapons, my make up, my saree …? I sure deserve to be a goddess! Thank You for declaring me one.

“Ma, are you okay”, whispered Ganesha. I can hardly breathe down here. I can hardly speak either. They have stuffed my mouth with so much of sondesh & mishtee, I can hardly move my stuck lips. Hope Lakshmi Didi & Saraswati Didi are fine. Am sure Karthik Dada has flown away in his pretty peacock. Can someone please find my rat? Thank You.

“Stop complaining Ganesha”, snapped Lakshmi. You are the heaviest of the lot. The world has moved on to dieting & yoga & gymming. Why don’t you start thinking about reducing a bit, will help all of us. Every year, we are made to go through this ordeal and you are not much of help with your belly, roving nose & buck teeth. With all the money & wealth I bestow onto people, I for myself, cannot do any bit of spa treatment. Can anyone please look at having Pujo indoors in an AC hall next year, please? Thank You.

“Didi, they broke my strings”, choked Saraswati. I had ordered the latest version of lithium wires this year. But these hooligans have no respect for music or its beholder. Aren’t we supposed to be celebrities too? Then, why don’t we get some security cover? I mean what justice is this? People have fun on our account for 10 days & on the 10th day they just dump us like nobodies! Mind it, Ma. I am telling you right away, I am not coming next year. Thank You for treating us like this.

“Calm down, calm down, pretty peacock”, shouted Karthik exasperatedly. Hey, you guys, can you please calm down & keep your voices low. You are frightening my peacock! He is not used to crowds, allergic to sweets & is a high maintenance fly. He needs space to spread his feathers, clay to land his petite feet & pearls to match his colors. On top of it, he is a low mileage guy, flies only 20 meters at a stretch. Yet, I come here every year, bring my beauty along & try having fun. Could you please keep it down? Thank You.

Hey, fellows, came a voice from down below. You all are worried about your own problems. Atleast you are standing on your feet and please note that you are standing on my chest!! Can you please spare me a few light moments by stepping aside? Also, I don’t know if it’s possible but can someone give me a hand & scratch my back, please? I think Ganesha’s rat is somewhere there. Thank You, said Shiva.

“Oops, what was that? What did I step on”? shrieked Ma, suddenly. “That was I, Ma, Nag”. Was tired lying there around Baba’s neck so thought, will stroll a bit before they throw us all in the dirty waters. Hearing all of you, can I also say something? Not many know except Baba that I suffer from hydrophobia!! But, Thank You for letting me speak.

“Hydrophobia, my foot.” Not just my foot, my shoulders are paining more than the arms of the dhaaki players who continued playing day & night. They would not stop a bit. I mean, sure, kudos to them, but for a moment think of me, man. I have been standing here in this most awkward posture, stretching on my left knee, with the lion kneading ferociously with his claws on my right knee, I have to be turned towards Ma, time and again trying to dodge the Trishul, while holding this heavy sickle. You guys should rest a while, let the dhaaki relax & give me some moments to stretch too!! But no, dhaaki won’t stop playing; crowds won’t stop coming and no peace for me, ofcourse. Thank you for finally taking us away & dropping us in the water. I will get some much needed stretching space, fresh air to breathe & not so fresh water to wash off sweat. Thank you.


Divine Conversations I

“Holy Mother! What is that noise at this hour of the night?”

“It’s not night, its early morning. It’s not noise either. That’s a Welcome Song. The mortals are singing in the praise of the Mother you just remembered, Ma Durga, & welcoming us.”

“Ok, thank you for the welcome, yet another year. And please, do not get any happier. They are welcoming only the one they are praising. Not you & me. And a welcome will be more welcomed if you are not woken up suddenly in the middle of the night, huh, ok, ok, early morning, in such darkness from your deep slumber without a warning!” I mean, there are lions, snakes, rats, owls & god knows what all kinds of animals roaming, isn’t it?

“Don’t worry. God knows. And She will make sure you rest in peace, Mahi.”

Yeah, thanks Lux. By the way, that reminds me, which soap do you use?”

“Soap!! Sorry, Mahisasur. In these 10 days, there is no chance on earth that we siblings get a chance to get fresh. No bath, no freshening up, no costume changes, no make up. Just, nothing. We are at the mercy of the hands of the artisan community. We resemble their imagination. Ofcourse, one of the biggest (mis)happenings of the year on earth, may become the theme of the year to certainly fuel their creativity. We have no choice though, before, during or after things are finalized. We have to stand still, keep smiling & keep blessing all kinds of souls bowing down infront of us. Rich, poor, evil, cruel, manipulative, Good Samaritan, smart, stupid. We have to listen to all kind of prayers.”

“Really, Lakshmi? So don’t the wicked ones worship the Evil Lords?”

“Ha, fat chance. Creatures like you are made Lords & brought only as a symbol to display the difference between good & evil, right & wrong. But then, we can only show them a path. To follow or not, is the choice of mortals.” Even or odd, there is only God.

“Now, I get you. Even though in our statuette we are given super biceps, six pack abs & a magnetic personality, we never win. I mean, even the lion gets sweets at the end of it all. No one feeds me!”

“Don’t feel so bad, mate.” But they do dedicate a session of Puja & mantras for you too.”

“Tell me one thing, Laks. You are the goddess of wealth & prosperity, right? So, do you get requests only to make money & garner more & more wealth?”

“Mostly, yes. But then there are people who also request to reduce money & loss of wealth.”

“No kidding, really?”

“Let me complete, my friend.” They pray this for the other person!!

“While on my way this time, I overheard Narad saying that earth is facing its worst financial crisis ever. Has it got something to do with you, Lakshmi?

“I don’t think so. The Puja that I am going to pose for this year, had a budget of Rs. 10 Lacs. This year they have planned for Rs. 30 Lacs. Last year, they had booking for 14 stalls. It has doubled this year. Last year, the President of the Puja drove a Santro. I saw him driving into the pandal in a new Honda City this year.

I clearly don’t see any crisis. Financial, being the least of them, if at all.