Thursday, February 10, 2011

In the name of God

10th February, 2011
11:30 am

A tall man in a red turban and tweed suit rang the bell. I could see him from the corridor. As I walked upto the iron grilled safety door, I saw another person with a rifle standing behind him. He was a policeman.

This isn't an everyday occurrence so I decided to open the door myself.

The tall man had an imposing stature. He folded his hands in namaskar.

I knew this had to do something about some kind of a donation. Living in these parts of the city had drilled that much sense in us. As expected it was about the langar at the nearby Gurudwara. He asked how much I was willing to shell out.

Willing...u say willing??? I wanted to say 'zero' as the recent Andaman trip had already burnt a big black hole in our pockets but then a tiny conscientious thought gnawed my poor soul. "You can spend thousands on a pleasure trip and nothing for God". I decided to part with a 100 rupee note.

I said,"A hundred." They started writing that on the receipt as I turned to get the money. I locked the iron grill door behind me. It was rude but I felt safe that way.

By the time I came back, the man had a few questions waiting for me.

He wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it over. It wasn't the receipt.

He asked me to choose a number between 3 and 7. 
I said 3.  
He asked me to choose another number.
I said 5.
He asked me to choose a flower.
I said rose.

Why am I being questioned like this. Worse still, why am I answering them???

He asked me to open the piece of paper he had given me. It had Rose and number 5 written on it. Big deal I thought. Rose is such a common flower. 

Then he said,"On 16th of May you will hear three good news".
I said ok. I wanted these men to leave.

The policeman said,"This man here is a big Swamiji, it is rare that one gets to meet him.". "He knocked on my door to ask for donation. Of course he is going to talk to me." I thought.

As I was about to lock the door he asked me,"Are you married?".
Yes, I said.
"Will you write your anniversary date, your bothers name and 2 of your wishes on this paper?"
I wrote. Silly, stupid and totally idiotic thing to do but I did it.

He asked me if any of my family members name started with an 'S'.
'S' is such a common letter. Families are bound to have at least one member with that letter. This made me look at them with a hooked brow.

He wrote a number '2' on a paper and asked,"Would you say you knew at least these many men before your marriage. And the one that you married....is he one of these 2??"

He didn't realise what he had done. He had sparked off the cat in me. I clawed at them with a hair-raising "What rubbish!!! I am doing nothing of that sort. I do not wish to entertain you guys any further. Please leave!!!!" I fumed. I have no clue why I was bearing with it for so long. They had crossed their limits, pointing fingers at something which has more sanctity than any Langar or God in the world.

The policeman intervened,"Madam, this Swamiji here is a very respected man. A lot of ministers seek his blessings. On this cue, the turbaned man took out laminated letters from his folder which had flowery words from various ministers.

My upbringing forbids me from slamming the door shut on anyones face. To hell with my upbringing I thought.

"You will have to leave now." I said and bolted the iron grill.

"At least make a rs. 500/- donation madam," pleaded the policeman. I was alone at home and didn't want any trouble so I said," I have rationed monies, this is it. Take it or leave it."

"Madam ji is not interested in knowing about her future, let it be," the supposed Swamiji sighed.

I had taken my paper back on which I had written my anniversary date, brothers name and two wishes. How gullible of me!!! We know it's silly to do this but still we do it. Why are we so afraid/shy of shutting the door on someone?? Why do we have to behave courteously with people we don't want to interact with??

As they were leaving, the Swamiji asked a parting question,"which ministry do you work in....you mentioned some election monies."

"No election monies, rationed monies and that's what you will get from this house," I told him as I banged the door.

I latched everything behind me. I saw the receipt in my hand.

The langar isn't even in Delhi. It is from "Pravhin Langar Shri Guru Nanak Annakshetra Bhandar - Haridwar".

I felt bad. I sent a Godman away. I sent a person who was going to tell me good things about my future away.  I sent a man who is feeding people in a langar away. 

I sent them away coz I didn't want to get hurt. This is Delhi where crimes are committed everyday. Houses are burgled, women are raped, innocents are killed at the drop of a hat.

I can risk being called an atheist but I don't want to get hurt in the name of God.
Yet I wait eagerly for the 16th of May. Mind games I tell you!

(Similar incidents have happened at Hindon, Motibagh, Pandhara road at different intervals of time with donation seekers of varied religious affiliations. In another friend's case there were two Pandit Jis who talked her into removing her gold bangles. She was in a trance as they spoke with her until the maid interrupted them. I think of myself as an aware person but if you ask me now, I will not be able to recognise those two people. This is strange, scary and uncanny. All I want to say is please steer clear of such people and don't look into their eyes as they speak.)

9 comments:

  1. Hola,

    And this happened with me too....was in college methinks, same story, sans the rifle toting gun man...same number and flower story...number I had said was 7 and flower rose, and really I was a sensible kid in college too and was surprised that I volunteered to answer, that was totally unlike me...and yes ofcourse he had showed me a chit with Rose,7 written on it...glad that you had the good sense to slam the door on him...and yes I guess everyone says rose when asked for flower!...and I know what you mean by mind games - do post if something happens on 16th May :-)

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  2. thanks kasturi....for sharing what happened with u. I wish one could share this with a lot of people so the fraud comes to an end. I was as gullible as anyone (despite me thinking me is so smart ;)....

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  3. Strange.....good thing you sent them away....I normally don't even open the door...I handle these people through the window that's adjacent to the front door....

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  4. that's a smart thing to do...I spoke thru the grill door but now regret having entertained them

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  5. Vandana, thanks for sharing this. You know what my mother does... she gives them 5 bucks and tells them-
    "मुझे मेरा भविष्य नहीं जानना है! कृपया आगे जाईये!!" :D

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  6. this happened to me today. same story two men came

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  7. the same story happens to me. i was in my office and two men came. I managed in Rs.100 only but he was asking 5100/,7100 0r 11000

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  8. I know. They try and make u feel guilty about it. These people have some hypnotic power for sure.

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  9. Thank you for sharing the incident in such details. I was searching on the net on "shri gurunanak annakshetra bhandar haridwar" and found this page.
    This exact sequence of event happened yesterday with me at London. I was walking and a Sikh person generally asked for direction, which I tried to help with and he immediately started engaging me in dialogue. The events are exactly the same as you mentioned, numbers, flowers, dates, relations etc. By nature I tried to be attentive and listened to what he has to say. Didn't think bad about him either. He wrote a number 125 and later requested me to make a donation of 125 pounds. I didn't have that kind of money with me but still he insisted I donate what best I can. I requested his forgiveness, but explained that I don't know him or the organisation well, however if I get the chance to visit the place I will consider donating. This is because I donate only to known organisations whom I identify with. He said that I might not be trusting him and that saints should not be let go empty handed. I tried to be honest with him wishing that he understands rather than making me feel guilty or raising questions on trust. Then I asked him if I can buy him food which he agreed and I bought him a meal of sandwich, chips and drinks from a shop close by. My recommendation is where we are faced with such dilemma, try to help with kinds like food or anything you feel good with rather than donating money. Same with charity organisations as well unless and otherwise you know them well. God resides in everyone, so I would prefer to treat all human beings equally irrespective of whether they are saint or not. So I think at the end of it I enjoyed having a dialogue with this person though he kept on going and I had to later stop him and rush. Felt happy that I didn't let him go empty handed. Felt good that I could be honest with him. No guilt, no mistrust :-)
    He had shown me his ID card from "shri gurunanak annakshetra bhandar haridwar" which is what I was searching on the net

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