Incidents that brought surprise, fun and laughter!
It was spring and a Saturday evening. I was at home with my wife and son watching Jimi, the dog and Lulu, the fat cat as they played hide and seek game. They were best of friends and the hide and seek game was their favourite. Lulu would go upstairs and hide somewhere and Jimi, after waiting for sometime for Lulu to hide, would look for her and they would thereafter be back in the drawing room - one chasing the other.
Two of my friends, Deepak and Subir, arrived. They asked me if I would go with them to attend the congregation at the local Theatre hall.
‘ You mean to hear what the Sadhu has to say at the gathering?’ I asked.
Deepak was a very much religious minded person. I could make out he didn’t quite like my question, at least the way I asked. He kept quiet. Subir mentioned the name of the Sadhu and said ‘ Come on let’s go, you may find the discussions interesting you know!’
I smiled and said ‘O.K. I shall go.’
Deepak and Subir were pleased and they asked me to hurry up.
I changed my shirt quickly and was about to pick up my pair of shoes. Deepak said ‘ Come on, you don’t have to put on shoes. Come with your sandals, that will be convenient because I know for sure that we all have to leave them outside and enter the hall’.
I took out my new pair of sandals which my wife bought for me only a week ago. They were black in colour, good designed and very comfortable.Jimi looked at me,barked for sometime and then made some kind of sound which we were familiar with. He realized that I would be going out and so he wanted to go with me.
I told my wife ‘ It’s O.K. let him come , he will soon return’.
We walked slowly enjoying the evening’s gentle breeze and watching hundreds of people who were all on their way to attend the congregation. The Theatre hall was only about a half mile away from the house we lived in. Jimi followed us and he behaved well.
As we reached our destination the Volunteers , who we all knew, asked us and everyone to take off shoes,sandals and keep them outside, on the verandah. I saw Jimi keeping a watch on us as he sat at a distance in the field under a lamp post.
We switched off our mobile telephones and made entry after leaving our sandals on the verandah at a convenient place so that we could find them quickly once the congregation was over. Most of the seats were occupied. We found a few seats vacant at the corner. We went over there and took our seats. There was total silence in the hall. We could see the Sadhu very clearly as he came on the stage and sat on the chair which looked like a throne and very comfortable. This was fitted with some shiny particles and with the light effect they were glittering like pearls. The sadhu, whose name I cannot recollect now, was a very tall gentleman, looked strong and stout. He had long hair, long beard , all white and he was wearing a robe, saffron in colour. He had some red marks on his forehead. He sat on the throne, smiled, looked left, right, straight everywhere with his big eyes which dazzled in the light – a kind of hypnotizing effect we had!
Then he raised his right hand to bless every one present and started chanting a mantra in Sanskrit. Well, our knowledge of Sanskrit was limited as we had studied the language years ago at school and that too up to a certain level only.
Quite frankly, though we did not know the language that well , the mantra sounded very well with his excellent pronunciation and it was mesmarising. Then he started to talk about spirits, heavenly bodies, purpose of our living on the earth etc etc. The congregation was nearly over when suddenly there was total blackout with the electricity failure resulting from a lightning followed by a loud thunder which rattled all the doors, windows and the roof top. There was hue and cry inside the hall, people started coming out as fast as they could with the help of the lights of their mobile telephones as they wanted to go home before the rain started. The sky was covered with thick and black clouds. Many of the people couldn’t find their shoes and sandals and went home wearing whatever they could find! There were total chaos! People were rushing to leave as it would rain any minute and by the look of the cloud the rain was expected to be heavy. You could see all the vehicles trying to find some ways to move fast. There were bicycles, scooters and motorbikes too.
I couldn’t find my sandals anywhere and though Deepak had his sandals Subir’s sandal for his right foot was missing.There was an undersized sandal for someone’s right foot was available. Subir put that one on and looked funny. Well at least they had somethings under their feet but there was I standing there bare footed!
Mr. Sen, a gentleman who lived in our area, was about to take out his car. He asked us to jump in and so we did. He dropped us just outside our house. My wife looked at Subir’s feet and she was laughing. My son also started to laugh.
‘But my dear I have come bare footed, can you see?’ I said to my wife and was surprised to see no reaction in her face!.
‘ What happened to your sandals dad ?’ my son asked. He had a smile on his face.
My wife then smiled. She said ‘ We had tried to phone you but it was switched off. ’
‘ Yes we had to switch off our cellphones. But my dear I feel so sad for the loss of my sandals! ’
‘ Are you sure you had them on when you went out ?’
‘ Are you kidding? Did I walk to the Theatre hall bare footed?’
Every one started to laugh. I was wondering what could be the reason of their laughter.
Wife said ‘ Your dear Jimi brought them home.’
‘Well take a look at the shoe shelf.’
I found the sandals and there was not even a mark of Jimi’s teeth .
Jimi kept on wagging his tail and the way he looked at me was as if he understood every single word of our conversation.
I kissed him which he deserved , patted his back and he was happy. There was Lulu sitting on the sofa busy licking her paws and not bothered about what we all went through.
The electricity line soon got restored. Surprisingly there was not even a drop of rain though we had expected that it would rain heavily. The sky being clear Deepak and Subir left after chatting for a while over hot cups of tea.
Next day in the morning Subir went to the Theatre Hall with me and we waited outside for a while. There were quite a few persons who were also present. One gentleman came forward, took a good look at Subir’s sandals, laughed and said, ‘My dear Friend aren’t we lucky? One of the sandals you have put on is mine and look I am having the one which is yours.’
We had a good laugh and as we were on our way home we found the Secretary of the Theatre Club Mr. Bose standing alone in one corner. He said to Subir ‘ My case is same as yours. But my luck has not favoured me as yet, here I am waiting with sandals that belong to some lady and possibly that lady is wearing mine!’
We all laughed and said ‘You never know a pretty lady may turn up anytime!’
He laughed and said ‘ Oh that would be Great!’