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Godman`s Cult - Part 4: The ride

by  Meena

Posted: Thursday, October 30, 2003
Word Count: 1175
Summary: Continuation of the cult story

The Godman – Part 4. : The ride

We left early on Saturday, 4 a.m. to be precise, for the visit to the ‘Snakeism Ashram’. We must get there early as possible to get darshan of ‘Devji Maharaj’ my uncle Praful had announced once he knew we were going.

Dad had borrowed a family matador from his work into which we all filed in, but before that Uncle Praful insisted on putting a red spot on everyone’s forehead for good luck and to make us feel holy and special. I would rather I was allowed to put on one of my nice diamante spots or bindi as they are called sometimes. But we had to go as simply dressed as possible. Uncle Praful and dad insisted.

SO, here we all were – Dad driving with Uncle Praful next to him. Mum and Auntie next to each other giggling and whispering like little school girls. Sanjay, Naman and myself we sat in a row at the back of the matador. Dad was dead pleased to know that I had invited Naman to come. He must have thought, great to have another devotee. But what he didn’t know was our plan to report everything back to Naman’s dad as he was a police inspector with the Mumbai police.

All us kids were quiet, as we were still sleepy having woken up early when it should have been one of our ‘late lie in days’. Apart from mum and Auntie whispering there was no sound in the matador apart from the engine. Soon Sanjay and Naman had gone into the deep slumber land. My thoughts went to what would lie ahead today for all of us. My brain was telling me that this movement was based on the ideas taken from all the world religions. But, let’s face it and get real – I mean any ONE RELIGION was difficult to follow or understand entirely let alone mix all ideas from everywhere. What a mumbo jumbo would we be hearing or experiencing in this place. Plus, I did not want to devote much time or energy to this Godman. I mean there are too many Godmen and GodWOMEN even in this world who are too busy and greedy, building new places of worship and travelling the world at the expanse of us poor blind faithed followers. Umm! I do wonder who their advisors were. Maybe I could advise them to divert their attention to more humane causes like health and hygiene or the environment. Ah! Well we can all dream but hell its multishit all around. Might as well sleep and get real dreams.

This red spot on my forehead was really troubling me. I was feeling itchy around there, what could I do? I grunted and shifted and mum turned with an annoyed frown on her face

‘Fiddle, fiddle and fidget away will you!! Can't you sit still? Why can’t you relax or sleep like Sanjay and Naman?

‘Mum, this spot is really itchy. Please can I take it off! I might get a terrible rash or something which could spread to my face you know?’

That got her sacred. Mum did not want anything to spoil my smooth and silky brown skin. She hissed to me

‘Rub it off and here put this diamante tika on. No one will notice in their excitement once we get to ‘Snakeism Ashram.’

Ahh! At last bliss. I can twist my mum round my little
finger. But dad well he was altogether a different case…

We were at a motorway dhaba now for refreshments and tea. I went and sat down at one of the tables. Soon there was a loud noisy group of people disembarking from a mini bus with huge camera.

‘This will do. It’s a nice spot for the shot. Ah! that young lady will be just right for this flirty song. She could be an extra. Go and ask her if she would like to be in the movie.’ A man was saying pointing a finger at me. He must be the director I thought.

Goodness gracious me! This was a Bollywood film in the process of being shot. I turned to mum with pleading eyes to ask permission. But, I could see she was excited for me and proud in the knowledge that her daughter was going to be in a Bollywood movie. She nodded furiously with her hands gesturing me to go forward.

‘Who is the hero?’ I asked the director, trying to look calm and cool

‘Oh! the hero! He is Salim Khan.’

I just blinked. My legs turned into jelly, my bones disappearing and my legs almost giving way beneath me. My heart was racing fast and I could hear the pounding heart beats in my ears. I could also hear Naman and Sanjay sniggering and giggling away. But, I tried to be brave. Chance of a lifetime I thought, can’t miss being with and seeing my hero now could I?

The director told me all I had to do was sit at the table. Salim Khan would come over and say his lines which were supposed to raise rage and jealousy in the heroine. Fine. Great. I thought. How cool! My friends would laugh at me. But no way of escaping now.

I sat at the table with a glass of strawberry and orange juice. Some makeup people where busy putting some make-up on me. Soon the shot was ready for a take and out came Salim Khan from the mini bus looking ravishing – in Jeans and Nike T-shirt with his strong biceps on show. My god what a hottie, what a hunk he was– Wow, wow, WOW I thought.
Soon he was at my table looking at my face, and moving in a bit closer he started his dialogue

The shinning bindi
The third eye of beautiful ladies
Shaped like a flower, enchanting
Adorning your forehead and face
Ah! What should I describe it as?
A bindi, a tilak, a tikka, sindoor, or Bindiya
Just one look, my eyes and heart sparkle
I am mesmerised
I am drowned
In the shine of your diamante bindi

With that Salim Khan got up to kiss me on my forehead, but there was a sudden shine of light and heat on my face with a lot of noise and voices. Thinking it was the spot lights from the shooting cameras I screwed my eyes shut, but I was forced to open them when the light was getting even hotter on my face. I opened my eyes and soon became aware that I was dreaming again. The shooting, Salim Khan and the Bollywood director had vanished and instead there were some ugly faces staring into my face with their torches. We had arrived at Snakeism Ashram. It was still dark outside. So the torches to make sure we were devotees and not some terrorists or spies I suppose. I looked at my wrist watch. It was 6 a.m. It was still dark outside.