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The Universe Would Deliver September 6, 2010

Posted by Gomathi Reddy in Desi Indian, Love and Life, Personal, Spirituality, Women and Children.
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Every week, I make it a ritual to go to a prototype temple of Lord Venkateshwara in Chennai –a miniature version of The Big Vatican of Hindus, in my home town.  I drive down, find it hard to find a place to park and keep hoping that the road-side parking will not add one more scathing scratch to my much bullied car, and in all earnest, pray to the Lord to take care of it, while I am away.   I often hurry keeping in mind my client appointments, and even plan out my prayer – which in all probability will be about my anxieties and ambitions.

As I walked down the road, I noticed this heavily wrinkled woman, squatting on the road – literally on the road – with squalid and flies all around her.  She was lost in thought, though she seemed to be alert to what was happening to her.  My heart went out to this old woman, sitting there, trying to eat sambhar rice out of a heavily-recycled polythene carry bag.  Close-by there was a huge garbage trolley with broken wheels, precariously balancing all that overflowing junk from the posh neighbourhood.  It served a purpose for her – that of providing some shade to her bent, almost bare back. The entire sight and smell, was nauseating, but she sat there, with nothing to care for, eating out of, probably, her only possession for the moment.  I couldn’t move away wondering if she could come to some harm, from the vehicles, the fruit vendors, the people, the street dogs, oh-those-ever-so- many-things, that I fret over, whenever I walk down, with my child.  She needed some protection, as much, and isn’t there something I can do for her?

She turned around, and looked at me, to my “Amma(mother)

Those deep, sad cataract-filled eyes looked at me with a blank expression and then she looked away.  They must’ve been beautiful and twinkling, during her happier days, though there was not even a glint of it, now.  I asked her, if she wanted something. She just shook her head in that typical Indian way from left-to-right and right-to-left, meaning, “no.” I thrust a hundred rupee note into her hand, she looked at me with an expression that looked like oh-you-silly, and gave it back to me.  I was touched, and lost.  She just gestured me to move on, with the same lost look in her eyes, as her right hand continued to pick the food.  There were quite a few shops close-by and there were auto rickshaw drivers in groups, embroiled in animated conversations, though everybody seemed to be oblivious of her, and her condition.  I moved on a few steps away from her, but couldn’t leave her like that.

Suddenly there were a few dogs scampering toward her and my heart was in my mouth –   All of these were rabies infected street dogs, rushing towards her and one came close to snatching her food. It was as though time had frozen, and the people around were also frozen in time, and only I could experience this whole scenario in slow-motion, like in movies, of what the old woman was subjected to.  I was scared to move, though I think I shouted for help.  Nothing happened, for a few minutes, and then I witnessed something amazing.

One among those street dogs brandished its snarling canines and chased away all the other rogue dogs.  He just stood there, next to this old woman, guarding her, as she continued her picking, totally unaffected by all that was happening around her food packet.   A few minutes later, she threw away her food packet and  this hero walked away, after making sure, the rogue band was nowhere nearby.

The old woman seemed completely relaxed.  There was no fear, no desperation and probably she felt connected to some energy that placated her, despite her condition.

Was she serene because she trusted that the Universe would deliver?  Is this what it is?



1. paddy - September 6, 2010

She absolutely lives in the present – no past or future daunting her – a state only the enlightened souls attain !
Btw, have you particpated in any short-story writing competition ? Here’s a winning entry….

Gomathi Reddy - September 7, 2010

Hey Paddy…thank you for your thoughts. 🙂

2. Shashi - February 17, 2011

Living in now is the most difficult thing to do … we always live in the past memories and future anxieties.. I am not sure of this lady but unaffected by happenings around us comes from Sambhav (Equanimity) as described in Gita. I am happy that this particular incident had triggered some reflections in you…
I enjoyed going through your blog today… thanks for sharing interesting thoughts…

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

Gomathi Reddy - February 17, 2011

Hi Shashi,
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

It was a revelation – and it hit me hard. I realized that my life, and the fashion in which it reveals itself to me and to my small world, is pre-defined – so why fret over the small things in life.



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