The day woke me up a little early than usual and after the running around for breakfast,ironing clothes and getting ready for office, had a good half an hour in hand,So, decided to pay a visit to the nearby temple I have been trying to go to since a long time..Reason,the looks of it, seemed to me like a pretty old temple, a big wide door to the entrance and big courtyard walls to the sides,Yes yes i like those kind of buildings 🙂
So landed inside the temple with a backpack and it was nice…. though seemed like not very well maintained….offered my prayers and put some money in the “aarti thali” and was about to leave when the priest came and asked me to wait for a while, I did not really know what for, because here in Bangalore I usually find kannada speaking priests and it is a difficult task to converse without a common language….but here the priest knew hindi to an extent and started asking me my name,”gotra” and my birth star of which the latter two I did not know 😉 Further to that he questioned me about my company and salary ??#@ which sent some negative signals to my instinct….I preferred to lie about both..After all that question session he took me to each individual temple, recited some sanskrit shlokas and asked me to repeat them. At the end of it took out the money I kept in the thali , asked me to put it in his hands,and finally permitted me to leave….
I came out but was left wondering, the priest did not care for all the pooja stuff until I put money in the “aarti thali” . Pondering over the whole thing, I walked back to workplace but then the event lingered in my mind for long until I narrated the whole thing to a colleague who stays close by the temple. She told me that they don’t visit the temple because of the priest’s greed, he expects all those who come to offer money to the extent he bars kids to enter the temple without money….I was left speechless…. at how people manage to loot in the name of God, and from where on earth they manage the guts to bar little kids to enter the temple..
I felt foolish for all that drama he did in the name of God….a very small incident but then left me mulling over….A country like India with so many pilgrim centers…. so much faith in the name they carry ….left to the mercy of greed. Does that serve right to the holiness,purity and heritage of the places or to the faith of people? Or it is that blind faith takes over faith, we know, we understand but we don’t question, even I did not….but it would have been better If I would have offered the money to someone in need rather than offering it to a fake priest …. Lesson learnt !!!!