I am a firm-believer but not a regular temple-hopper. I go when I wish. Usually I avoid festival days or auspicious days as I hate crowd and the irritating cacophony it brings along. I prefer peace and I am a ‘gaay‘ (cow) unless provoked to be a sherni (tigress). So this fine Thursday eve I decided to make a visit to my friends at the temple, the stone idols who patiently listen to my bakwaas. I hopped along with my little girls and the neighbour’s daughter and hubby had said that he’ll meet me there at the temple.
At the Uttara Guruvayoorappan Temple, there was commotion just after our first pradakshinam or parikrama (circumambulation) around the temple. Some kid had urinated and they had to perform the Sudhi (purificatory rituals). Everyone within the Chuttaambalam (Sanctum Sanctorum) were asked to vacate the place. I was getting out of the temple door where a heavy wooden rod was kept to stop people from getting inside. I picked up the rod with one hand as my other hand was busy holding the prasadam bowl, wallet and phone. Lil Love and her friend were at the peak of their mischievousnous and were rushing out. I wanted to save them from crash landing so I asked this old man who ‘looked like a gentleman‘ to hold the rod. He kept staring at me as if I had asked him to touch my feet. A few seconds later, he started shouting at the top of his voice asking me how dare I ask him to hold the rod and to hold it myself or keep it down if I so wished. At that very moment I wished my parents didn’t teach me to respect elders else I would have given him a few blows with the rod right there in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum itself. I told him I had only asked him to hold it because I had to handle the kids and there were other people coming out of the temple and there was no space for me to move to the other side and be able to keep the rod down. To which he screamed back, “You don’t have any kids in your hand.”
As hubby said, “He doesn’t deserve your time or attention.”
But the fact is, I was fuming with anger. I cannot take people who are arrogant and ill-mannered. I am sorry but such behaviour doesn’t warrant any respect from me. I never speak that way even with my daughters or the presswala guy or the part-time maid or the sweeper (I have seen people misbehaving with all of them too; for no particular reason). I simply didn’t abuse him because of the way I have been brought up. He should thank my parents for the upbringing they have given me else I would have settled the matter then and there in Rajnikanth style.
I know this man very well and could have easily insulted him in public. But then there will be no difference between him and me. And that is exactly what I told him when he chased me asking how and why did I tell my hubby that he has gone mad. I said, “I don’t lie. And I don’t regret having said that.”
However successful you are in your life or at whatever position you are, you have no right to misbehave with another human being. I didn’t find any difference between him and those buggers who pass cuss words standing in the middle of the road.
I peacefully put him to rest in peace for the time being lest I’ll loose my temper again.
Well though there is no relationship between the stupid incident and this lovely post, but it somehow made me ponder a lot about this question.
With all this development and success, have we forgotten our roots and culture?
Politeness, kindness, grace, humility, all these are now only words that you can search in a dictionary. Get out of the house and your say starts with all MC, BC and the likes being showered lavishly by people all around. Switch on the idiot box and you find people ready to kill each other at the cheapest of reasons like not getting bed tea on time. Log into social media and it’s filled with either ‘superficial love’ or extreme hatred . The ‘F’ word is being used more generously than you use the tap water. Where will all this end up in?
I have no clue.
But then I went again and again to this post reading these lines.
“There is something so mystifying, real and beautiful about the terracotta pottery, as if reminding us to stay grounded, to stay close to the natural earth and yet transform ourselves into something more concrete, to become individualized yet always ready to unify and merge with the original source, to face the fire and heat and become useful for a specific purpose yet always remain vulnerable to cracks and scratches.
So much the humble pot says, if we listen.“
And I read about impermanence that the water teaches us.
Truly there’s a lot to learn from even the smallest of things around us. No wonder our ancestors had low-height doors in their houses to teach us to bow down, respect whatever we have and stick to our roots. The chulha on the floor kept us grounded. The mud floors taught us to be patient like them.
With all this advancements, we have forgotten our basic courtesy towards fellow humans.
I wish the ‘not-so-gentleman‘ gets to read this. Sir, you might be a businessman, you might be owning a huge empire, but to me you’re worse than the beggar sitting on the road. He is begging because he doesn’t have means for his food, but you were begging for ‘artificial respect’ without looking into your own behavior.
And now if you haven’t read Beloo’s post, please do. The translation she has provided of Amrita Pritam‘s Punjabi poem is just marvelous. I wish more of us are able to reinvent the poems in our native languages for the rest of us to understand the depth of those beautiful words.
This post is part of the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompts that they have provided. Today’s prompt is, “Island of misfit posts: We all have something we’d like to write about, but thatdoesn’t really “fit” our blog. Write it anyway.“