“BhaiSahab Mandir me Bhandara hai,” said the Priest with his pink chipped booklet which read Mahamandleswar nath mandir, Meerut.
I saw my father walk away smiling and nodding to the priest while enchanting his silent prayers to the idols in the Mahamandleswar nath mandir. I stood near the priest who was sitting in front of the cooler with a pen in his hand and a bundle of green rupee notes beneath his pink chipped booklet which had yellow pages. Upon those yellow pages , all I could read was
MAHAMANDLESWAR NATH MANDIR SEVA MANDAL, MEERUT
I wondered why my father has not paid any green rupee to the priest for the Bhandara he is asking? We stepped out of the temple and were walking past the famous shop of Gazak, Rewari in Budhana gate, AMAR SWEETS SHOP where there was an Apple seller standing waiting for a customer to buy them. My father started checking those apples and me who could not wait to ask and in front of the Apple seller asked him
“Why didn’t you pay any green paper to the pink chipped Priest? ” Sarcastically in English to avoid Apple seller understand anything which I Spoke to my Dad. My Dad smiled and nodded, leaving the apples behind , we both jumped into the car to go home.
Ever since I was a child I had known my father to be a religious person who used to spend most of his life in devotion to god, and Prayers. Being holy and saintly, donating his hard earned money for the religious good and helping & serving the Deprived class of the society.
Whenever some priest or person asked for the holy donation he used to give without quoting his name & without a second thought. He never wanted the world to know that he donated this much for some holy good, But he was against the thought of superstitiously believing in God. He always criticized people spending lakhs of money donating gold and expensive items at temples. He said to use this money for the education, for the growth of children, for malnourished, to help the poor people.
Then why today no green rupee? As my father drove through the yellow shine clad roads of Meerut due streetlight of the night, I looked out of the Window. It was Saturday and our every Saturday visit to Budhana gate never stopped. We have been coming here since eternity since I opened my eyes I believe.
My Father didn’t respond to my question. I knew about the financial crisis that my family faced ever since I grew up to be the strong young girl. But my father never ever made me feel less than a Princess.
I entered the temple Mahamandleswar Nath Mandir, Meerut. There was the same old pink chipped priest on the plastic chair in front of the cooler with pen and green rupee notes. A person in a Blue shirt walked past the priest.
“BhaiSahab Mandir me Bhandara hai”, said the same priest to blue shirt gentleman.
“Pandit ji kitni baar aap bolenge humse? Jab bhi mandir ata hoon yahi bolte hain aap. Apko yaad nahi hai kya, Maine apko ek mahine pehle hi Bhandare k paise de diye the? Apne raseed bhi kat di thi.” Said the person with exceptional politeness.
I saw my father laughing and shaking hands with that gentleman, seemed as if they both knew each other.
I heard my father saying he also underwent the same thing last week. It was then I understood Why he didn’t pay any green rupee to the Pink priest, but he chose not to speak anything, instead maintain the dignity of the priest.
I got my answers, instead of claiming anything bad about him he chose not to lessen the respect that I have for him as the next god after the real deity’s.
It was that day I realised what Asaram bapu and all the other priest were doing for which they ended up in Prison. People should not think that because he is a priest he deserves respect. If a priest is doing wrong he should be punished, People should raise voice against them too. because if we stay silence we are giving way to more people like Asaram bapu.
Whether it be a Priest or people these days, I noticed that people now are not focused on maintaining a good mutual friendship or relationship with different people. Nobody is interested in knowing who the person is or how people are. They emphasize on the work or the job they are doing be it legitimate or not.
The priest above never recognized the donors or the people who were the daily visitors instead, he was more bent on collecting the money. Might be for good or bad.
Mandir masjid Sikh Isaai.
Asli Dharam ye Na Hai Bhai,
Saccha Manushye jano usko
Jisne hai Manavta NIbhaii.