I have a God today..one which I didn’t have yesterday..or so I thought. The age was the 90’s, the spring, very young, much like my naivety, without the essence of faith or fear of the unknown. It was quite a fashion among the young girls in the college to fast on Mondays, wear clean clothes, put a sprig of a flower, torn from someone’s garden or stolen from the temple gate that the moneyed had left, on to their heads. The lipsticks that adorned the lips, on those days were a faint resemblance of their counterparts on other days, they resembled an art form called, carefully careless..just luscious enough to eat, faint enough to be stopped from calling a whore. Piousness was all about decorum I thought. And since I had learnt neither discipline nor decorum from anyone largely, I remained uncouth to the priests, the girls and divinity I guess.
But like in the everything of life I went along here too..curious to see what it held for me..or not…pot bellied structures, damsels in various poses of passion adorned every structure called temple in every vicinity..I wondered about man’s extreme passion hid in the realms of statues they named the Gods.
One such morning, washed and adequately pious for the consumption of the Gods, I stood in mute abstract near a temple gate, close to where I stayed..the place was nice, people of every hue..the rich blended with the poor in unanimous hues of faith..some for homage..some for blessings..all about the package called Divinity I suppose. Inside the temple, sat the lord, dark hued..absorbing the evils of man.. we had colored him so I suppose, and yet more to go..that’s large hearted I thought and accommodating still. I came out, the puja in the mind complete and looked about me for some answers for the within.
Close to the temple quarters stood a tree..numerous wishes had been made there..if one were to gauge the number of threads tied to the tree..some for love, some for health..how many for Divinity I thought? In one corner of the wish tree, in pious stillness stood a tiny figurine in black ..the scales had somewhat peeled off his Devine self , the face was a studious expression of nothingness, and yet I felt a tug within me. Dazed I looked at my feet leave my self and walk in somber progression towards it. I sat on the little circular dais, usually allotted to faith and cradled the little statue in hand. It seemed to be pleased by the fact that I had picked it up, somewhere somethings smiled.. .the God’s cousin’s perhaps?
Suddenly someone screamed, from the depth of the earth it seemed. I looked up, a man in bare nothings, smeared in mud and madness looked at me with brazen eyes of the ascetic. He was the ‘mad sadhu’..as everyone knew. He screamed at me in a language I did not know, in spite of knowing the language of the land.. something I had taken that was his?... I thought. The stone had slipped from my hands since long and settled into the debris of the tree and its followers. The incensed sadhu pushed me back and sat himself where I had. He cradled the lord in hands that were smeared in ashes and insecurities of the everyday. I walked away, it was a private moment after all, this meeting between him and the lord. A little distance away, and that call again, this time from somewhere long lost it seemed. I turned my back and looked at him and the strange one beckoned me. As I stood before him silently knowing not what to say, and yet there seemed to be nothing to be afraid of, in this man…where the God’s resided. He stretched his hands, cradled in the palms lay the figure in black, skin peeled of in parts. He said, “Tu le ja” ( you take him)
The little black God, my God it had become, remained..in times both bad and good. The Gods had finally come home and to me.
My little Ganesha, shall stay within the me- and the myself
In his hues of black he shall show me colors of faith
Piety and happiness..in the pot bellied structure of fulfillment-
In him I shall merge from time to time
And emerge from me to me..
In the nothingness of the everything and beyond.
© 2011 Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury