Namita Nepal

All of my family members are religion aficionados, all deity worshippers, except me, that is. What I believe is worshipping idols cannot gratify the heaven we believe in; the only way is to assist the poor and deprived. However my doctrine does not go well with my family members. They are dogmatic and believe working under the guideline set by theology. Visiting shrines and other sacred places is their daily routine. Even the frosty cold of Kathamandu does not deter them.

One night before going to my bed, my mother asked me to join her the next day for one such visit. The temple was very far, she reasoned, and she could not go alone. Though I did not like the idea, yet she kept on insisting my company, so much so that I had to accept her proposal. The next morning, I woke up to the notes of “lousy brat”, she spat out as she stood in her crimson dress, her basket overflowing with offerings. “Why do you need all these things?” I queried. “It’s all part of the ritual,” she replied.

We set out on our journey and after an hour, reached the destination. Reluctantly, I took off my shoes and other leather articles outside the temple premises when a man who looked like a guard did not allow me to go further. We stood on the queue to enter the main entrance. It took almost 20 minutes to reach the shrine. As soon as my mother completed her part of her rituals, we returned to collect my accessories that I had left before entering the temple. But to our great surprise, the man and our goods were no where to be seen.

We went hither and thither inquiring every single person nearby. When we failed to get any clue we decided to report to the nearby police station. But neither the police nor the people could bring to light anything regarding my belongings. I was furious and decided to move out barefooted when I spotted belongings in the possession of a man who, on closer inspection, turned out to be the same chap whom I had earlier entrusted my wares. They were being displayed for easy sale.

After a hectic search for the police station and a written complaint about my goods being taken away, I had to surrender to my mother’s advise that unless I bought back the stuff, the lout would sell it to somebody soon. Besides, I could not conclusively prove to the police that the articles were indeed mine. Disagree as you may, I bought back my stuff for a thousand rupees, that too after a hard bargain!