gentleman visited us yesterday. He had had a go at celebrityhood and
hadn't fared really well. A middle aged man,he claims he is the chosen
one to spread the lore of his Lord and is doing so using the film and
televison as a medium.
He came in, and with an extreme
'karunamay' expression, greeted me with a namastey. I am very bad at
this - meeting people I do not know. And being used to socialising in
the comfort zone alone, I find it difficult after the Hi and Hello . If
the greeting is to be in Hindi i do not understand how to address the
person. The marwari neighbourhood has now got me familiar with the
"bhaisaab" and the "ji". but it still isn't as effortless as I would
like it to be and the awkwardness persists.
Yesterday I was also trying to be the ideal spouse, what with my resoluton of thursday night.
Hmm. so the gentleman says his namastey and I say mine. He
continues standing with his palms folded, eyes crimped , a beatific
smile playing on the lips. I am uncomfortable. I try to hold on to my
smile. I dont want the husband to see this confused state of mine, he
will remember to comment later - " hide, hide at home.. how will the
feeling of discomfort go away, if u refuse to interact."...... and more
I am a bit wary of preachers. I had my defences up. But was willing to give the gentleman a chance .
He had brought us some books.
After a while we realised he was wanting to say something but he
was thinking. He said, "aapke mandir mein mujhe kuch kaaala dikhai de
raha hai. That has to be removed. It is not right. " I thought the
husband had shown him our pooja room and I didn't like it at all. He
kept staring at me pointedly, trying to emphasise on me the importance
of that 'kala' object. I firmly told him there is nothing of that sort
in my pooja room. He didnt seem convinced. He kept staring into a vacant
spot , looking thoughtful. This was unsettling. It seemed like the
typical "pick up" line.
And then he asked, "aapka mandir
kahaan hai?". And I remembered my google search on him. He was also a
self professed clairvoyant. I was relieved. This I could handle.
So he came to the pooja room. I was keeping an eye on him. I do not like people intruding in my space. Literally too.
He started concentrating. Trying to locate the "kala" object. I was
feeling smug. - Aisa kuch bhi nahi milega. After about 10 painful
minutes , he said, "woh raha'. He pointed put to a small dust ball in
one corner. Now it was his turn to sport the smug expression. "maine
kaha tha na, kuch kala hai. I could see it. That is the one which is
blocking the positive energy from flowing into the house. Mujhe aatey
hee mehsoos hua tha. "
I was amused that he found nothing and
hence he pinned the blame on the poor dust ball. I felt sorry for him - A
middle aged man, trying hard to play the usual card . I felt sorry for
him having to resort to these tricks. I was angry with myself for not
having cleaned the room better - not for the so called negative energy,
but for the simple reason that the mandir is indeed sacred.
I was suddenly scared. I hoped and prayed that the otherwise very logical and practical husband hadn't succumbed.
The gentleman said he is into spiritualism. Spirituality is different from Religion he said.
My father joined in the conversation at this stage. And I left.
When I joined in again, he once more went on to look at me and then
stare at a spot on the wall. For several minutes. He said, "aapke bete
ko legs mein kuch problem hai?" No , i said.
He shut his
eyes, concentrating and then the same beatific smile played on his lips.
He said " I can see a problem with his knees." He shut his eyes
again, and after a while, in a serious voice said, "There is some fluid
formation in his knees. AAp pls jald se jald uske knees kissi achhe Dr
ko dikhaiye. Prevention is better than cure". I almost wanted to
strangle the husband, for imposing this man on us.
Yesterday the maid had announced her chutti for Sunday. In order to ease
the 'Bartan" ka pressure , I had planned to serve dinner on Banana
The man was impressed. At least he pretended to be.
"main kele ke patte par 11 saal baaad khaana khaa raha hoon. Aap roz
aise hee in patton par khaatey hain? " No said the father, Only on
festive occasions" . "Or when u have guests over", added the gentleman !
I dared not look at the husband.
He went on... "aapko pata hai, Kele ka patta bada saatvik hota hai, issspar khaaya hua khaana pet ke liye achha hota hai. "
The conversation moved on to saints . Dad was talking about Sant
Dnyaneshwar.. About how there was a point in the saint's life , after he
composed the gnyaneshwari, where he realised that he didnt want to live
anymreo as he found no more purpose for life. At this point our guest
interrupted, "See the irony. I am at that point in my life now. I have
no use for my life, money... I am ready to die . Move over to the other
The evening was indeed a strange one.
He left after a while.
Nobody discussed him yesterday night.
Today I couldn;t hold myself and asked WHY?
Apparently the hsuband had happened to meet him on a flight, they
got talking. He spoke of his celebrity status but was extremely modest
about it. The husband who is not clued in into the Hindi TV or movie
scene, was clueless. The man was honest about his failures and didn't
have any airs. He wanted to meet up once again while he was in Mumbai . He
was insistant about meeting at our home. The husband couldn't refuse.
My impression - He wasn't really a conman. Really felt sorry for him, for
the kind of tricks he tried to resort to, whatever his intention. He was a shrewd businessman .. was
intelligent enough to use God , Vastu, sentiments to influence. Was
shrewd enough to try try and try . Gullible ones could succumb.. He
came dressed well, suited n booted. He spoke impeccable English. He
threw the right words and lines. Spoke about Moses , Mahabharata,
philosophy.... Lines which were vague.. Not many would have got into a
counter argument with him. People either wouldn't care or would have a
complex that they didnt have the "knowledge" he had.
I know one thing for sure, the husband and I need to review the rules about who gets invited home . :-))