Circa 1993. It was a lazy summer afternoon. A place in interior rural Bihar, a family was getting ready for the early evening tea, when they heard this voice on the door… Mayi bhikhsa milegi.. The house-lady went out to answer the call and saw a old sadhu standing on the door. As it was still hot outside, and this sadhu was looking very tired of his walk, the lady invited him in and asked whether he would be interested in having a cup of tea?
Indian families, in general; are always a little superstitious, with female members being far more superstitious than their male counter-parts. The belief in superstitions keeps rising with the age. When I was 16 I never really believed in any superstitions but at the age of 26, I ( and I know that several of my friends as well) have started believing in some form of palmistry, astronomy and of course Kundali Matchings.
All married and wannabe married guys, Vote Please🙂
Now, this family had three female members, the lady of the house, her daughter and her mother in law. The mother-in-law, in her late fifties now, was the most religious & God fearing of them all. Knowing that one saint has arrived in the family. She came at once, asked someone to arrange for the food, got hold of one traditional Punkah, sat beside this Sadhu Baba, and started fanning him. Making sure that the Sadhu feels happy about their service and in turn blesses them with his Aashirvaad.
Once the saint was done with the Bhojan, he joined the family for the tea session. Talks started and the saint came to know that the family is going through a difficult time. The Man of the house is spending most of his time & money in the courts because of some law suit. His daughter was grown up now, and like most families in India, they were also worried to find a suitable groom for her. Two sons, still in their primary classes; were usual brats and none of them looked very promising towards studies. To add to all the worries the house-lady was not keeping well, and her health was on a continuous downfall.
The Sadhu Baba also shared his story, that he is on a expedition, to meet people across India and gather donation for the upcoming Maha Kumbh. Every day he knocks on several doors, receives donations, blessings, suggestions, scoldings. Everything he takes with equal pleasure and returns his blessings and moves on to another door. That day he was almost done, and this was the last house that he was visiting.
He said that since he was getting late its time now that the family should give him some donation, so that he could leave.
Listening this, the old lady said, “Baba ! Sirf Daan hi loge !! Kuch doge nahi”.
To this the saint said, he doesn’t have any materialistic thing to give as he himself doesn’t possess any.
The old lady again said, pointing towards her grand daughter, “Baba fir iska haath hi dekh ke bata do, iski shadi kab hogi”…
The saint said: “Mataji mujhe haathon ki lakeeron ko padhna nahi aata”.
The old lady was little disappointed by listening that, but the saint continued saying.. that he doesn’t know the palmistry or astronomy, and that everything is in his God’s hands, and nothing in our hands.
He again said, I think everyone of us have our own Karma to do and our own path to follow. This is our fate, and which is visible in our face, in our eyes and in our forehead.
He said, you don’t need to ask anything. I know all your problems.
- You are worried about the girl. Don’t worry, she will get married to a good family. On appropriate time a good family from South will come and your girl will become part of their family.
- Your son, I see is having some trouble currently, but that too will get over before that.
- Your daughter-in-law, I can see that she is not keeping well. She will get well soon. But she will still have to take good care of herself, or face more health problems in the future
- The kids, look very bright to me. Both of them are going to have a good future, “aur chhota wala videsh ka anna khayega”
- Mataji, you have suffered a lot for your family. You don’t need to worry any more about them. I know that your son & his family is going through a tough time. It will take time, but they will get over it. They will be happy, they will be prosperous. But, I am afraid, you will not be able to enjoy it.
All this time, the younger son was also there, watching this conversation in amusement. He almost burst into laughter, when the sadhu Baba said that “Chhotawala Videsh ka Anna Khayega”, thinking may be India is going to import food from China or something. Thinking that he can’t tolerate more of this bull-shit, he went out to play cricket in the neighborhood.
That was 1993.
- In late 1994, the Son of the old lady won the legal battle against government. Got back his job, and the financial condition of the family stabilized.
- In 1995, the daughter got married to a family from Dhanbad, South Bihar.
- The old lady, though perfectly healthy in 1993 is no more now. She died within a month after the doctors diagnosed her for blood cancer, in late 1998
- The house lady had immediately recovered from health problems, but in the coming years (read 2005) she was diagnosed with diabetes.
- Both the grand sons of the old lady are doing good these days. The younger one though never planned for a foreign opportunities; recently got a job offer and moved to Singapore.
- He has just finished writing this post.