There is an old Kali Mandir a few kilometres down my residence, on the outer Ring Road, opposite a bus stop which has now been named after it. A Mall has come up right behind it. The Mandir overlooks a busy service-lane. The untidy, unmarked abode of the Divine Supreme stands resolutely in the midst of honking traffic and hustle and bustle of day to day modern life as though superimposing itself with conscious determination on a world which has almost forgotten its existence in its callous, go-getter frenzy.

Even after several attempts at architectural grandeur, the temple remains dirty and beggar ridden. Nevertheless, devotees throng the premise with deeply guarded secrets in their heart of hearts just for the ears of the deity. The legend is that all prayers get heard at the deity’s durbar; however unassuming the precincts be the Goddess is ever awake and aware of the plaintive calls of her devotees. Many a time pilgrims are seen crawling on the ground fronting the temple in a bid to express their heart felt gratitude upon fulfilment of a mannat.

Interestingly, I was introduced to the sanctum by an auto driver. At that time I used to stay around fifteen to sixteen kilometres away from my present residence and was frantically looking for a flat on rent in the locality wherein I presently reside. My weekends would be spent house hunting, of course, without any positive results which meant that I passed by the temple every week without being aware of its whereabouts. Months went by in hopeless efforts till one fine afternoon speeding by the temple in an auto, the driver suddenly pressed the brakes to slow down the vehicle to offer his thankful prayers to the deity. The temple shutters are always open and one can have a darshan from the main road itself.

Touched to witness such pure devotion even amidst busy work schedule, I exclaimed with astonishment to find the pious spot so close to where I intended to make my home. It was then that the auto wallah told me how he had been lucky to have received Maata’s blessings during the adverse phases of his life – how all his prayers were heard and wishes got fulfilled in no time. Spellbound I listened to the incredible experiences. After a while, as he steered the auto past the temple, I suddenly bowed low and murmured a prayer. The weekly house hunting was bearing down on my nerves. Mentally and physically exhausted I pleaded to Maa for mercy.

Strangely, within a day or two I got the much coveted flat and by the end of the month settled down peacefully therein. Thereafter, on several occasions, I have felt the urge to visit Maata’s durbar and after every such visit I have returned happy and contented.

However, more recently I had another instance of visiting the temple when my pet Mr. Snow Boot suddenly took ill. No amount of medication and veterinary care seemed to have any impact on his declining health. Nothing seemed to be working for Snow. Day and night we would be coaxing Snow to have a few morsels of food but he plainly refused as though he had just given up on living. As a last resort I ran to the temple to pray for Snow’s recovery. With choked throat and tears streaming down my cheeks I whispered my prayers to Maa. In some corner of my heart I was fully confident that Maa would listen to me and extend a helping hand in my times of despair and distress. I returned lighter of heart and mind after my anguish filled communion with the Goddess.

A week later Snow left this mortal world forever.

I was dumbfounded. I did not know what went wrong. Where did I falter? Did I expect too much from The Almighty? Why did Maa not listen to my prayers? All my questions remained unanswered on that bleak morning when heart broken and grief stricken we buried Snow in the lap of Mother Earth.

It was a few weeks later that an e-mail message from my esteemed friend Omji cleared my doubts. It said that the Lord knew best which one of our prayers to hear and which ones to disregard. Plans of a mortal being fail as the Lord takes over to decide in which direction our lives should move. He is the best judge. Even if we try we cannot fathom his greater and wiser moves and plans which get revealed only on hindsight.

The message opened my eyes. Though I still pine for my friend Mr. Snow Boot and still do not know why he was so suddenly taken away from us, I want to tell all my friends and readers that I have not stopped praying, oh yes, knowing fully well that at times the answer can be a very big no. Surrendering to the All Powerful with the strongest, staunchest belief that He would never fail to be by my side in times of need and necessity; even though he may not give a vote of agreement to all my desires and pleas, nevertheless, He would always guide me well and clear my path of all thorns and thistles as I stagger along.

I continue to humbly bow to His command…

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About gc1963

A working woman with interests in reading, writing, music, poetry and fine arts.

12 responses »

  1. vimalaramuv says:

    I loved your article, Geeta.

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  2. gc1963 says:

    Thanks Vimala.

    Like

  3. I believe such painful moments eventually become an opportunity to create long term value in life. Your unseen and unsung virtue is bound to bring visible rewards Shree! Loved it.

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    • gc1963 says:

      Tanujadi, your words are so full of encouragement and empathy that I feel almost buoyant. Thanks for reading and the illuminig note which has upped my spirit and filled me with hope.

      Like

  4. jmathur says:

    Geeta Ji,

    Namaskar and Suprabhat.

    What can be a better time to read such devotion-filled post than the early morning hours, i.e., the Brahm-Muhoort. I agree with your conclusion. Late Harivansh Rai Bachchan used to tell his son (Amitabh) – ‘If the things happen according to your desire, it’s good and if the things do not happen according to your desire, it’s better because non-fulfillment of your desires means the things are going according to His desires and He never does any wrong (to you).

    However, I could not understand why at all, the Almighty did not listen to your prayer of saving the life of Snow Boot. Your heart was pure while praying (still it is) and your love for Snow Boot was untainted (still it is). Then the logic of His not acceding to your prayer is not understandable. Again, we, the lesser mortals, are not able to understand His logic, His plans and His understanding of our needs and what’s good or bad for us. How can we match His wisdom ?

    Sincere thanks for sharing this touching experience of your life coupled with your thoughts.

    Regards.

    Jitendra

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    • gc1963 says:

      To be very honest I do not have the answer for the question that you have asked. Perhaps I never shall have the answer and the question will remain as an eternal query even in my mind. The only consolation in the whole affair being that (as you have rightly quoted) things are happening according to His desire.

      Thanks for reading the article

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  5. Geetaji,
    It will be difficult for any consolation to enter the heart when we lose a member of our family. In the song, The winner takes it all, Abba Group tells it so succinctly : The Gods may throw the dice, their minds as cold as ice, and someone way down here, loses someone dear….” – But as rightly pointed out by you in the narrative, GOD knows what He is doing – and we may never understand His wisdom when we look from OUR perspective…..

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    • gc1963 says:

      Very aptly and succinctly put. Lets for one moment keep aside our perspective and rejoice his wisdom. Lets for one moment forget our own grief and bask in the glory of the Lord. Thanks Omji.

      Like

  6. Shernaz says:

    Geeta, Snow Boot wasn’t meant to suffer more. Had your prayer been answered his life might have been prolonged but would he have recovered from an illness that did not respond to treatment? I know how it feels to lose a pet but when we realise that it was the best for the poor animal, there is comfort in that thought. A lovely article, full of hope and faith amidst pain.

    Like

    • gc1963 says:

      Shernaz, I guess you are right. Even I have thought on these lines. Perhaps Snow did not want to stay on…. the week he refused to eat , he would just look at me with an odd expression as though telling me not to try too hard for him….as if he wanted to tell me that he was going away to a higher plane. It was heartrending but perhaps it was a blessing in disguise for him…….at least he was freed from the shackles of physical pain and torment.

      Thanks for your consoling comment.

      Like

  7. A.Hari says:

    Very difficult to handle moments like this. Any amount of explanation will not be able to answer our queries. Hope u would have recovered by now..

    A.Hari

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  8. gc1963 says:

    Yes. yes very very difficult to keep one’s faith intact in such trying times. I am gradually getting over my grief but the process of recovery is time consuming. Very pleasantly surprised to find you here. I have read your blogs. They are fascinating and very inspiring.

    Like

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