Good Lord, Don’t Listen To Us…

…prayers excepted.


‘Don’t forget. Next Tuesday is Rama’s birthday by our calendar. Take Rs 500 with you and pay it at the office for a one-day upayam on that day. I wonder if you remember – hers is kettai nakshatram and gothram is vaadula, yours. They’ll need these details. Her exams are coming up and she must do well…make sure you collect the receipt.’

To let you know, we celebrate birthdays according to Srirangam panchangam (a well-known authoritative traditional calendar cast in the town of Srirangam), the date determined by the month and the star at the time of birth, with gothram specifying the lineage. Most temples have this scheme where one pays a part of that day’s expenses for conducting special prayers and rituals in the name of a person specified. In this instance, my daughter.

‘Also pray for your father. The poor man is suffering from joint pains, unable to walk like before. And, of course, for yourself so He may bless you with the promotion you’re seeking.’

You guessed right, that was my wife filling up the order-book for me.   

Forty minutes later, I was back all done, after praying for my father and myself and, for my daughter, enrolling for the one-day upayam coming up in the following week. Also included, of course, was a non-specific prayer for my lady’s well-being. Did not forget to collect the receipt. Domestic bliss assured with a 10/10 performance, I thought.

But there was something else…though not hell-raising and luckily I was not on stage.

As I let myself in, I heard her voice coming in from the kitchen.

‘Only two months ago you came asking for Rs 200 for buying medicines for your husband. I gave you without saying a thing. Last month it was another 200 for your child’s school uniform and now you want 300 for some repairs in your house. Helping out someone in need once or twice is fine. But don’t make a habit of asking, asking, asking…No one will oblige all the time. I’ll give you this once – but don’t come back with something else anytime soon.’

It must be the maid talked to.

A thought crossed my mind as I collected the kumkum and the flowers brought from the temple and the all-important receipt for handing over: It was my hope our kind Lord in the skies above didn’t listen in and get ideas, abandoning His good old ways.


Image from

Now You Know Why They Tell You…

to see god in everything around you in all the life around you as in your boss, wife, children, Amazon, United, government…and in non-life too like the pothole on the road…?

They all have choices of their own:-(


By David Berger

This guy comes back to his apartment late one night, and there’s a golden statue of a god he doesn’t recognize in his living room.

“What the hell?” he says.

“Hell is a state of mind,” the statue says.

“What are you doing in my apartment?” he asks.

“You want me to be elsewhere?” the statue asks.

“I have a choice?”

“You always have a choice,”

“Can I choose you to be elsewhere?”


“Okay. I choose you to be elsewhere.”

The statue stays where it is.

“What happened?” he asks.

The statue shrugs its shoulders. “We all have choices.”

David Berger is a self-described “old guy from Brooklyn, now living in Manhattan with my wife of 25 years: the best jazz singer in NYC. I’m a father and grandfather. I’ve been, among other things, a case worker, construction worker, letter carrier, high school and ESL…

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‘Let There Be No Light,’ He said. So, It Was (Wasn’t) drunk

It had been a rather difficult day for them.

They retreated to where they usually did when overwhelmed with the feeling of not being equal to the world out there. Thank god (!) for these islands of solace where they let one lick one’s hurts and wounds undisturbed, unhurriedly and unwatched, and often magically transform, however briefly, sorry losers into bristling winners.

Like all good things, this too had to end.

Making their way out, somehow going astray, they found themselves passing by the gates of a shrine.

A booming voice from inside stopped them dead in their tracks, admonishing:

‘Ye sinners, how much more would you do…’

They looked at each other.

The voice kept up: ‘…alcohol, gambling, women…’, pausing for effect.

‘Who is talking to us?’

The taller of them peered inside.

‘Oh, it’s a guy in white robes.’

‘Why is he talking to us? We said nothing to him.’

‘It’s not just us, there’s a whole bunch seated before him.’

‘Why are they letting him insult…instead of grabbing him by his neck and throwing him out?’

‘How would I know?’

The man in robes resumed: ‘There’s only so much god puts up with…’ pausing again.

The penny then dropped for the taller one: ’Oh, he’s a godman, a preacher.’

The shorter wondered: ‘It’s a mystery to me…why doesn’t he show up if had a message for us instead of…’

He was rudely interrupted in his reverie when the man in robes thundered: ‘And when that happens, there’s hide and heart to pay. Begins with light being snatched away from your eyes…yes. You go blind…’

And there it happened with a flash and a pop.

Seconds later, the taller yelped: ‘Man, I’ve gone blind, can’t see a thing.’

The shorter joined: ‘Oh, no, me too…it’s all so unfair…to pull our sights out…just like that without a word or warning…’

The taller was one with his friend. ‘You’re right. How’re we to know how much is ‘so much’?’

The shorter speculated: ‘Is this man god himself in disguise?’

Just then someone bumped into the two.

The shorter recovered his poise and consoled the offender who also appeared to be not seeing: ‘No use making haste, now, mate. What’s done is already done…I mean ‘so much’ that you have already piled up to your (dis)credit…’

‘Move aside, will you, idiots,’ hissed the figure, ‘Need to get there, I’m the electrician here.’





Source: PInspired by a post from interest, image from

The Day God Lost It

On my way to the temple in the mornings, like on other days, I gave some money to the woman first and later to the man, both mentally disturbed, elderly, sitting at their usual places on the pavements. This small act eases my conscience to a little extent, though the feeling of helplessness and guilt never goes away for not doing more and not drawing the attention of any charitable agency equipped to them sustained assistance.

As I walked back, the thought of the two home-less came to my mind leading to this conversation of mine, not the first, with God:

‘Hey, Almighty, why do you let these people suffer like this? They are your wards and you’re abandoning them showing no mercy?’

‘Why’re you raising it? Because you’re feeling clean and good after your little errand of mercy just a while ago? If it is so, how should I be feeling blessing you and others with so much more’?

‘But there are many from whom you have snatched away everything.  It’s about them we’re talking, while being thankful for what you’ve given us.’

‘My dear, it’s all about one’s Karma’s and I don’t stand in the way of Karma taking effect.’

‘While it’s all just to extract payback for the bad deed one did in the past, don’t you feel sorry when it actually plays out?  How can you be so heartless?  We praise you, worship you as the merciful One, don’t you ever forgive them?’

At this point, busily engaged in the conversation, I walked smack into a young chap standing in my way, sipping a glass of tea in front of the wayside tea-stall. The glass fell from his hands and broke, spilling hot tea on the ground.  Luckily no one was hurt.

I apologized profusely and offered to make good his loss. He politely declined. As I bent down to help him clean up, he kept me out. I had no option but to move on.

We resumed our conversation.

‘See, he was karma-ordained not to have that cup of tea this morning.  What specific karmic debt he discharged in this case, I’m not at liberty to disclose or discuss.  It’s quite complex accounting.’

‘But, dear God, You know You lost it this time?’

‘How do you mean?’

‘Well, where You didn’t, he did – the young chap forgave me!!…And, don’t You debit it to me as a bad karma in Your book of accounts!’

An inscrutable smile appeared on His face and He was gone.

OMG, have I offended Him seriously by showing Him to be the loser? What’ll happen now?

Vexed as I was, I got my answer minutes later when a scooter dangerously cut across the traffic and raced past from behind, very narrowly missing me, braking to a halt only a few feet ahead of me. I pointed to the offender how close we were to a bad accident and moved on as he mumbled his apologies.  I took it to mean I was forgiven for my recent judgement against Him!


It’s His Wish!

The picture showed the Multi-zillionaire tycoon Ambani worshipping Laalbaug-cha-Raja, the mammoth Ganesha hosted this year at Laalbaug, with his family.

The speculation rife on the social network was: while the family was offering prayers what could Ambani possibly asking of the God.  



Ever Wonder About the Size of Things? (A 100-Words Drabble)

From, authored by Beata Gallay at 


Compared to a particle, an ant is pretty damned big.

So an elephant compared to the ant.

Supersaurus weighed as much as seven elephants,

not to mention a blue whale that could weigh 150 tons,

three times heavier than a dinosaur of the same size.

But that’s where it stops, folks. Why?

Not enough food, bone structure cannot hold the weight,

limited speed of neurons from head to tail

equals too slow reaction time for survival.

Pretty lame excuses, if you ask me.

Is that the best you, the omniscient, omnipotent god

could come up with? You’re fired!





Good Lord, You Surely Made A Mistake

free clipart net Businessman_10

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.

‘And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’


About Pigeons And Prayers

Pigeon kamil_stepinski
Can’t quite recall when and how it started. Now every morning, I go to the terrace above our flat with a bowl of raw wheat grains to feed the pigeons. Looking at the numbers that flock – usually they’re already there before I reach up – it can’t be more than a few grains for each. May be I should double or triple the feed. I take care to spread the grains to give everyone his/her – haven’t learnt yet to make out a male from s female – share. It’s polished off in less than a minute. It’s good to see the crows – they too are around in plenty – don’t elbow out the pigeons. I’ve seen occasionally an inexperienced crow pick up a grain only to drop it in a moment and move away.

Leads me to wonder what do these guys survive on in this concrete jungle? Unlike crows they don’t settle on any kind of refuse. And they do look plump and numbers are not on the wane. Also what do the mynas, sparrows, parrots, koel’s find to eat in this vegetation-insect-bereft no-soil neighborhood?

I see them in hues of jet black, dull grey, just grey to even white all over with a few dark spots. A few have iridescent feathers around their neck. Some of the larger ones stomp around in circles aggressively grunting. And in a flock, one of these bullies is sure to take a shine to another smaller specimen and is hard to shake off. Is that their courting game?

I realized these guys do nothing all day long besides swiveling their necks around and changing their perch once in a while. Pretty comfy life? Do these guys have an ecological role at all to play? Only their end is invariably tragic. They become flightless due to age or injury and are savagely pecked to death by the crows.

Different from the flock, there are two special guests that are served every day at an exclusive table to seat just one diner at a time – on the metal-top of the aircon sitting outside the bed-room window. One guy comes in the morning – for some reason, he has lost all his feathers around the neck, and the other – his feathers form distinctive serrations on his body, though I can never be sure if he’s the same guy – comes in the evening. They would sit patiently, occasionally peeking in through the window crack, until I feed them. And when I do it, I lay the grains noiselessly so that intruders don’t invite themselves. Of course these guys chase them out if they do. The fights can be pretty rough. It’s always the narrow neck of the interloper that is pinched with the small beak.

To be honest there are days when I get irritated that these little speechless guys force me to act in ways they want me to. The wish to do the unexpected is overpowering. I know I’m shamelessly falling far short of the ‘dharma’ (cardinal principles) of ‘dhaanam’ (giving away) that says when the right hand gives away even the left hand should not know. They just sit there severely looking at me with their tiny orange-ringed black-pepper-like eyes on rubbery necks easily swiveling from side to side with no hint of humor or gratitude, bidding me to do the right thing by them day after day. I make faces at them, tell them to go off elsewhere…They tell me to stop being foolish and get on with it.
Jaganath Ramchand
Does He in His High Heavens too feel like-wise at our prayers pressed on Him? I think I’ve stumbled upon why sometimes prayers go unheeded.

Can’t do much but feel sorry for His plight. Or, perhaps, pray?


Credits: (kamil_stepinski, Ramchand)

Miracle In A Garage


It was a long weekend. The parents of two boys (14 and 16 year-old’s) went on a trip with friends. They left early Friday morning and the boys were left alone at home.

That evening the younger boy made the suggestion that they take their dad’s car, pick up some girls and go to the local disco. The 16-year-old boy could drive a bit but was too scared. After some nagging he gave in and off they went to enjoy the evening.

When they got back to the car after a lot of discothequeing, they noticed a huge dent in the rear of the car – someone must have bumped into the car and drove off. Frantically they phoned their friends to find a panel-beater/spray-painter to fix their dad’s car.

Finally they found one on Saturday morning who promised to do the job on the same day if they brought the car right away.

The car was fixed properly and they parked it back in the garage that afternoon.

Their parents returned the next day but the boys were too terrified to say anything about the accident.

The father went to get something from the garage, came back very amazed and said to the family in the lounge,

‘A miracle has happened! The car has no scratches at all.’

The boys froze.

The mother threw a ‘So, what is the miracle?’ look at the husband.

‘If this isn’t a miracle…A guy drove into the back of my car on Thursday and now it is fixed without a scratch!’

Source:, openclipart (mazeo)

What’s Your Religion?

It was clear something bothered the man.

The Guru called him to his side and asked:

‘You want to tell me something?’

‘Yes…I have to confess, I’m not religious.’

‘That’s not unusual.’

‘So much disease, deprivation, hate, chicanery, crime, and wars… killing innocents all around.


‘Not sure if anyone is in charge here. This cannot be god’s – if there’s one – creation. I don’t believe in god, worship or prayer.’

‘You’ve a point.’

‘I don’t believe in karma and rebirth…and, in swarga (heaven), narak (hell) or moksha (eternal salvation). Life is here and now. Who has seen after-life?’

‘So much you don’t believe in. You believe in anything…anything at all?’

‘Not sure if I do. With so much suffering, inequities…’

‘Alright – is there anything you want to believe in?’

‘Well, if you put it that way…in goodness of man, perhaps, whatever is left.’

‘That’s here, not other-worldly and a good enough religion to go after, my friend.’