The sun beams from behind the huge structure of the temple gate.Shadows play in and out of the intricate ornations adorning it.Gods and goddesses look down,stirred from their divine slumber,upon mortals walking in and out of the temple .everyone is all pious and perfectly righteous as they wander in, in search of redemption.They are all promised just that,regardless of gender,caste or faith.But not everyone goes in,some like me linger on outside.Confused on whether they ought to go in or stay on,about where their loyalties lie.As usual,my eyes wander to search for the worst part of such a holy place.There are beggars sitting outside the gates,waiting for some good soul to come out and offer somthing to them.I order a cup of tea from the tea vendor,who seems scarcely bothered that he is sitting right outside the house of the most powerful non-human on earth.I watch as the days proceedings begin.
There are scores of beggars that are lying outside that place.They are in all sizs and types.Lepers,blind,handicapped and lame.Some really pitiable and others faking it.Little do they care or know that behind those gates lies an omniscient being that knows everything.They raise voices,hark out to anyone who would hear.They call out to them in his name,invoking his blessings on those who are generous enough.Of course,there is no doubting the generosity of humans in such places.They are so generous some would drop everything in their pockets,but at what exchange.I am a cynic,yes,but it seems to be thoroughly illogical to me that you come out of the presence of the omnipresent,omnipotent and all pervading spirit;having paid your obeisance to him and asked his favor and yet go on to ask the poor soul outside to invoke blessings for you in return for his morsel of food.But,not all things that hppen in this world are thorougly logical.Or else could someone explain to me how George Bush gets elected to the White house a second time.
The beggars are obviously not the most popular people around the temple.No poor soul likes being hankered after coming from a peaceful meeting.I'd rather they prefer the peace and quiet of himesh's songs.The priests are always on the alert from beggars.They never like competition.Understandably,as the common man's budget doesn't seem to fit an offering to both priests and beggars on the same day.Which is why they are always wary of these creatures.But working in the house of god always comes with certain 'Terms and Conditions Applied'.That is being good,kind,righteous et al.so the government steps in.Sometimes an irate havaldar would shoo off these guys ,and go on to be......err... for some offerings from fellow shopkeepers.All this while,a poor all powerful being watches jis creations display the full prowess of their mighty intellect.
As I was watching,the shopkeeper on the premises of the temple got terribly irritated with a few beggars.After a small argument,the head priest joined in and soon a crowd gathered.The beggars were left with no choice but to vacate their job for the day.As they left the shore,one-by-one, the last man stayed on for a while.He was a old blindman.After a while,he got to his feet,joined his hands and bowed the final time before the almighty(who i think was having his afternoon siesta)and decided to retire for the day.
As he walked away from the great house,he sang in his unique and rankling voice a song,that i had heard many times before.I do not know the entire song to heart,but the last couplet i heard stayed on in my ears.They were
" Anaathanchya Naatha Hari, Asa Dayavant
Vitthalachya Paayi veet,zhaali bhagyavant"
It roughly translates to this
"THe great god of the orphans (Hari) is so kind and munificent
that even the brick beneath his feet is liberated/ and hence is lucky"
The blind man saw the irony in the song.And the great god did too.