Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The One rupee coin

Yesterday when I was waiting at the famous SRP tools junction there was a group of transgenders who were asking for alms. I usually look away as they can be a little pushy and it can be quite uncomfortable in trains but this time I saw one person who approached my car asking for alms. I picked out a 10 rupee note and gave it to the person, the person asked me for a 1 rupee coin. I was confused and said I did not have coins.

The person asked the others in the group if they had a rupee to give me. I was confused even more when the person said that the rupee is for me. Thoroughly puzzled I found a coin which I handed over. This person bit the coin almost like athletes bite their medals these days and asked to see my wallet.  Then the person put the coin in my wallet and said do not spend this and walked away with a blessing that I should live well.

This short interaction disturbed me:
-          These people are outcasts and not respected yet they came asking for alms without any nuisance
-          They received money and they wanted to give something in return, though I am still not sure about biting it
-          Since I could not initially find a coin they were ready to give me one of their coins
-          They walked away with a blessing which somehow appeared to be heart felt.

These people will not be accepted into the mainstream, surely there can be something that they can do besides asking for alms?
What is the significance of this one rupee coin? Why did they bite it?
Will I still react with revulsion or fear or disgust when I see these people again?
Would I have had the same dignity with which they carried themselves if I was also not an ordinary person?

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

God is...

Conversation 1
“So why do you go on this pilgrimage?”
“It’s because my favourite God is there!”
“Really, then what about the places of worship nearby?”
“They are there but my favourite God is there and since childhood I like going there”

Conversation 2
“So why are you going on this pilgrimage?”
“I am going to see God there”
“What do you mean you are going to see God there? Is not God everywhere?”
“Yes but this is special”
“So where do you see God?”
“Inside the sanctum”
“But that is an artist’s personal idea of God and how can that be God”
“That is God!”

Conversation 3
“It is the time to wake up God”
“Are you serious? You are going to see a ceremony to wake up God?”
“Yes, it is very special, they have songs and chants for this, it is a great experience”
“I would be very worried if God were to sleep, what will happen to the world at that time?”
“God is in control always”
“So why would God sleep?”

How little we know about God, how often we make God to suit our understanding, how often we try to fit God into our creations, the places of worship that we make pilgrimages to, we fight battles about, we break up relationships over.
We agree that:
-       God is everywhere
-       God is omnipotent
-       God loves his / her people (no conflict there!)
-       God is all powerful
-       God is in control
-       God is beyond human comprehension
-       God who rules the heavens and the earth cannot be confined to a simple earthly creation

And yet we do silly things…

Image courtesy - Google Images