Printed from WriteWords -

Godman`s Cult - Part 2 : Enter the Godman

by  Meena

Posted: Friday, October 10, 2003
Word Count: 1338
Summary: Continued from part 1. Is it worthing of wider publication. I would like it to be!!

Part 2. Enter the Godman

Many foreigners from India and abroad come to Mallepy to see the sunset and the sunrise as it is one of the points on Indian land known as the ‘Sun raise/Sun set point.’ You may well wonder that how can there be a village with a population of 3000 people, sounds more like a town. But if you consider the population of India or NO let’s say Mumbai alone which has 14 to 15 million people, 3000 people in a village are peanuts. Oh! Yeah! You may well wonder too, why I call my own people foreigners from India – well that is because they come from other end of the vast country that is India for a holiday, they speak different languages from my own mother tongue which is Marathi,and,India has over 24 different languages depending where or which state one comes from. So I say thank God for our national language Hindi and the global business language English. Mind you my mum and dad are always complaining to us kids we do not speak our mother tongue enough.

‘Nidhi, come down immediately. If you miss that school bus again I will not let you go to the cinema this Sunday’ shouted my dad this time.

I rushed down the stairs. Ayayo! Ayayo, I did not want to miss going to the cinema on Sunday, our fortnightly trip to Mumbai for a day out, especially when we were going to see the movie starting my favourite hottie hunk Sallu baby whom I dream about everyday. A private sin, just for me to indulge in.

‘Pull your skirt down. It’s showing the colour of your knickers’, mum complained, as I went to the kitchen to get my breakfast.

But mum I argued ‘All the girls from the city wear mini skirts as it’s in fashion.’

‘I do not care about other girls. No wonder there a lot of abductions, rape and murders in the recent past months’ mum continued

‘How do you know?’ I commented

‘Well, I can read too. I studied up to the 8th standard you know. Besides your dad tells me about these things. And let me tell you one thing, it is worrying. That is one of the reasons we prefer to stay in a village and not the city.’

Hum! So that’s the reason why we never think about going to live in Mumbai despite our school being there and dad having his job with the railways in the city. Just than I felt a kick on my backside. It was my brother, only a year older than me 15 he was.

‘Hurry up you lazy slop’.

I turned and got a grip round his neck ‘Say sorry! Why did you kick me in the butt? You great big bully.’

Dad came in just than ‘Talk in Marathi. Not English. At least keep your mother tongue alive in the home.’

Here we go again; it’s the mother tongue bit. As I loosened the grip round Sanjay’s neck.

‘Sorry dad, we speak in English or Hindi at school so its so easy to drift between these languages’ I apologised realising that we should really be proud of our heritage and languages, promising to make an effort. But promises can be broken so easily.

I gulped down my tea and ran after Sanjay to catch the bus to the St. Saviours School in Mumbai.

Yeah! From that cosy family scene you may have guessed how many we are. Let me elaborate – there is my mum, dad, Sanjay my brother and me. Our Gran and Grandad who lives with us too. In the village my cousins and Nana and Nani live down the road from our house.

Our house is one storey house like a bungalow, but not exactly a bunglow. There is a huge gate at the front made of railings. The yard housing the water features which we fill everyday. The holy Tulsi plant pot in the middle of the yard facing the entrance to the house. There were pots of other plants round the yard like roses, jasmine and a few herbs like garlic, coriander and fenugreek planted.

The house itself had a long porch with four bedrooms, puja room and kitchen all in a row next to each other. So it was an elongated bungalow or house what ever the preference. A very nice home too facing the sea, with the coconut trees and the golden beach on the far horizon.

Mum ran after us with our lunch dabas

‘You two, don’t want lunch today’ she yelled

Sanjay stopped his running. He could never stay hungry for long. He grabbed both our lunch dabas and started to catch up with me.

All the school kids bunched into gangs at the only stop in the village from where we got picked up everyday at 7.30 a.m. sharp and dropped back at 3.00 p.m in the afternoon. Dad had his own motorbike to commute. Mum stayed at home to take care of the house, Gran, and Granddad. She worked from home making pickles, pappodums and snacks.

All the kids were in their own gangs. All stood in tight knots at the bus stop with their book bags on their backs and clasping their lunch dabas, the contents of which would be looked at and compared once on the bus. My gang consisted of my brother, Meesha, Naman, and me. When we got nearer we saw them clutching a newspaper article.

‘What is it’ I said excitedly, thinking it was something about my, you know the hottie hunk Sallu.

‘It’s not what you think?’ smirked Naman

‘Oh Yeah? How do you know what I am thinking?’ I barked

They all laughed at me saying in unison ‘We all know about your crush on Salim Khan.’

Sanjay said teasingly ‘As if he is going to look at her ugly face anyway. You will be married off to some tweedy, boring, bald and fat boy from USA.’

I butted him one on the head and kicked him in the shin saying sharply

‘Shut up! I may not be beautiful but I AM pretty with a great personality and fun attitude. Not like you a frog – croak-croak-croak.’

I grabbed the newspaper from Naman to see what they were all looking at. The article was about a girl and her young mum going missing.

I shoved it back at Naman saying ‘Oh! What’s so exciting about this? Lots of people go missing. Do they ever find them NO. The police are useless for us ordinary people.’

Naman answered seriously ‘The missing people happen to be some friends of my dad at the police headquarters. And don’t be so rude about my dad’s profession. My dad was saying they think they know who is behind these recent kidnappings, but so far they have no evidence.’

I looked at Naman’s offended face

‘Sorry. I didn’t know you knew them’ I said demurely ‘Who are they?’ I questioned him quietly

‘I don’t know. My dad was mentioning some Godman who is running some sort of a religious cult. I think it’s called Sankeism and they call him ‘Devji Maharaj’ meaning King of deities or some sort.’

The bus came just than and everyone shuffled onto it. We went and plonked ourselves on the back seat so that we could all seat in line together. Everything was forgotten about the newspaper article as we all exchanged a look at each other’s lunches. My mum had made cauliflower spicy stuffed parathas with cucumber raita and potato curry. Naman had Samosas with coriander chutney. Meesha had in her lunch daba bhel which was a mixture of crispy chickpea noodles, fried puffed rice, boiled potato with peas and spicy tamarind gravy. Hum! We are going to have a mini party feast today at lunch I thought, because we all shared our lunches.

‘Yum-Yum’ I shouted

Everyone on the bus turned to look at me…

‘You idiot’ my gang hissed.