The hours of darshan were over, curtains drawn and place was getting readied for the discourse scheduled for the evening.
People, mostly middle aged and some old, were settling down on the huge blankets spread out on the floor.
The pravachankaar (speaker), a man of god, clad in ochre robes cleared his throat and got ready to begin. The mike was adjusted for his easy reach. The subject for the evening was ‘Laukeekam (worldly life) and Aanmeegam (spiritual life).’ A vexing subject if not handled right. Essentially a question of how to ride ‘two horses’ at once, with minds of their own?
Just then, a luxury car sailed in outside the temple. First, a lady got down, fussing around collecting from inside a big wicker-plate of fruits and flowers. Obviously for presenting it to the pravachankaar. A man, her husband, joined her. Aware they were holding up the proceedings, she hurried up to the make-shift dais at the far end. Coming up behind her was the man, walking slowly, head up and looking all around the pandal. Was there a hint of disdain on his visage?
Up at the dais, she paid her obeisance’s, placing the fruits and flowers before the speaker. Among them was also an envelope most likely to contain some cash contribution. Her man stood behind, unmoved.
The man of god blessed the couple. As she turned to move away, the man came up to the pravachankaar and politely inquired if he could do something good for the bhakta’s who had assembled to listen to the discourse. The speaker nodded his assent.
What he did next shocked his good lady wife and others on the dais.
He pulled out wads of currency notes from a pouch he carried and flung them up in the air – one here, one there, another there…
In a moment, there was complete chaos…everyone scrambling to get hold of as much as they could. And some were not above snatching from another’s hands.
That was not all – the crowning ‘glory’ was the sight of the speaker going gung-ho on all fours clutching lustily a few notes in his hand.
The man winked a ‘I told you so…all fakes’ at his wife. She went pale and stood transfixed.
After a few minutes, peace and order returned.
The smug look on everyone’s face said each got his fair share of the windfall– the man had somehow done a good job of covering them equitably.
And now they were ready for ‘Laukeekam and Aanmeegam.’
When they turned their attention to the dais, the speaker was not found to be at his station.
The lady followed by her man made haste to the waiting car saving herself further embarrassment. On the way out she caught the sight of the pravachankaar down on his haunches beside the few old people left sitting out on the action minutes ago, giving them his collection.
His audience was growing impatient over the delay.
None in the assembly including the speaker presently knew his act was by happenstance a teaser ‘show’ in real of what the discourse to follow was all about: Life for most of us, Laukeekam, is essentially one horse play, the horse guided and goaded in its ride by cries and calls of Aanmeegam.
Source: Image from Jagran.com