Puja or disturbing god?
I had woken up at around 6.45 in the morning that Saturday.
It was drizzling. I went out to fetch milk and sweets to offer god. I passed Ganeshthan and though it was not a Tuesday, I suddenly had this urge to offer my prayers at this altar.
So, I went round the temple, offered the sweets and tugged at the bell next to the temple with all my might to remind god of my existence. I smiled to myself and looked around nervously and made a beeline for my house.
The day being Saturday, it was washing day. I had spent time at the temple so I was late for breakfast. I gobbled up the roti and some leftover curry with tea.
I collected my washing and went downstairs. My aunt was already there mixing the detergent in water.
“Nini (Aunt in Newari)...,” I said.
She looked at me and answered, “Yes, I know it’s drizzling, but it will stop soon.”
And it did stop after a while, but I knew it in my heart that it wouldn’t be long before it would start raining again.
Swosh... swosh... swosh... we started our washing. We’d been at it for sometime, when out of the air something dropped into the tub of washing.
It was bird dropping. Pigeons.
Outraged, I tried to shoo away the pigeon that was perched on a rod right above the tub.
My aunt said, “Oh, don’t shout at it. I guess it’s just practising the freedom of Loktantra.”
Her words forced a smile out of me.
We kept on with our work and when we had nearly finished, it started raining suddenly and heavily. My aunt said, “Put on your raincoat. It’s almost over.”
That was the last thing I wanted to hear. Getting wet in rain is fun, but donning a raincoat just to finish one’s washing ? No way!
However, I put on the raincoat and went back to the washing. But the raincoat did not shield me from the rain properly and was wet by the time I finished.
This was not an interesting Saturday at all. The next day I didn’t go round Ganeshthan in case I felt the urge to ring the bell again and was punished like the earlier day. After all hadn’t I disturbed the almighty on a Saturday — a holiday?