Worship

She was sitting in her huge verandah knitting a sweater for her husband. The kids had gone to school, so she was free. She was engrossed in her knitting when she heard her maidservant call her.
“Memsaab?”
She lifted her gaze up to focus on Kamla, who was standing before her, arms folded. Kamla’s shabby garb presented a stark contrast to the opulent luxury of the bungalow.
“What is it, Kamla?”
“Memsaab, Raju wants to study further. He wants to become an engineer.”
“So?”
“Memsaab,” Kamla now had a pitiable expression on her face, as if she was about to break into tears at any moment. “You know how it is, Memsaab,” she continued, “That good-for-nothing drunkard does not give me any money at all. I have to fight like anything to keep him from laying his hands on my hard-earned money.”
“Hmm……”
“Memsaab, I barely make enough money to feed and clothe myself and Raju. Where do I have the money for his education?”
“Hmm……”
“Memsaab, I was thinking if you could ask Saab to support Raju’s education financially…..”
“Kamla, you said Raju wanted to become an engineer?”
“Yes, Memsaab.”
“He is in school now, na?”
“Yes, Memsaab, in the 8th grade.”
“So it will take at least 8 more years for him to complete his education.”
“Yes, Memsaab. Raju is really interested in becoming an engineer. He says he will first build a house for his mother.”
Kamla wiped away the tears that now streamed from her eyes with the tip of her pallu.
“I understand, Kamla,” she said, “We might support him initially, but we cannot support him throughout his education.”
“Memsaab, please do whatever you can do to help. Later on, we will manage.”
“How will you manage? You are thinking emotionally and not practically. Engineering is a costly affair these days.”
“Yes, Memsaab, but…..”
“Tell Raju to learn some kaam-dhaam and help you in your work. What is he going to do becoming an engineer?”
“But Memsaab….”
“Kamla, I told you once. You are dreaming of the impossible. Now let me go for my Pooja. It is getting late.”
She stood up, putting the knitting aside on the cane chair in which she had been sitting. She walked into the Pooja room, leaving a stunned, helpless Kamla standing in the verandah.
She took out the dried flowers from the small marble temple that she had got custom-made and arranged fresh flowers in their place. She lit the diyas and placed them before each idol in the temple. Then she proceeded to offer the Gods the dishes of ghee and dryfruit-laden sweets that she and Kamla had painstakingly prepared that morning. “Hare Ram, Hare Krishna, Om Namaha Shivaya,” she chanted busily. She opened the lota of gangajal and sprinkled some all around the room. “God, always keep your hand above my head and my family,” she prayed. “Forgive our sins, Parampita. You are the Great Lord of the Universe. Forgive our wrongdoings. We are but mere mortals…….”

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4 Comments

Filed under Everyday polambals, Musings, My stories

4 responses to “Worship

  1. Dhindu

    Somehow…This one story of yours is making me Think Think and Thinnnkkk…
    Hats Off…Hats Off.. n Hats Off..
    Wonder how this entry lacks comments..

  2. priyaiyer

    @dhindu

    danks! 🙂 this one is a personal favourite of mine….

    btw, what u think, think and think?

  3. Suriya Narayanan

    mm..Over Thinking…made me also make an amateur attempt to write a story on similar lines…:-)..read it in my blog pls.

  4. priyaiyer

    @sn

    read ur story. good one. 🙂

    a dilemma that everyone faces…. atleast one which every sensitive person faces…..

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