‘Magic! I don’t have any magic wand, Ram, Sharma said with a guffaw. ‘But honestly, it’s that face … the power of the motorman’s face that does all the magic … that brings me all the luck and laurels. I had been to the railway station; saw that translucent face before walking into the Bank. And that did the trick … that got me the loan.’
‘Cut out that crap, Sharma’, Ram snorted, his face changed color. ‘You’re an idiot … a sentimental idiot. I sometimes get puzzled thinking how a post graduate in Science can talk and act like a crank. You read too much into accidental happenings and attribute the causes to what you call the power of a man you’re constantly meeting. All bullshit.’
‘Don’t blabber, Ram’, Sharma snapped at his friend. He became furious hearing Ram taunted his honest faith as idiosyncrasy. Sensing Sharma’s mood, Ram backed out; he had no inclination to lock horns with his friend over his foible. Ram left the canteen, saying he had to go and arrange for the GM’s farewell meet.
‘Go to hell,’ Sharma shouted at the Ram’s retreating figure. He was still furious, sitting lonely at the canteen and brooding … cut chewing how he met the motorman; he could still remember with gratitude the day of his meeting with him. That day, a few weeks ago, did not dawn well for him and he felt like sitting on an inferno. His mother, keeping the pink of health until then, had a massive heart attack early in the morning. Perplexed, Sharma admitted her into a nearby hospital. Doctors attending on her told him that they could say anything about his mother’s condition only after 24 hours.
Sharma wilted; panicked at the possibility of losing his mother; and smelt disaster sitting at his doorsteps. He felt blank, came out of the hospital in a trance. The summer sun, outside the hospital, was, like a ball of fire, blasting the metro.
He rambled on along the streets adjacent to the hospital in a stupor before reaching, by reflex, to the Egmore railway station. Sitting in one of the shabby wooden benches placed on the platform, he closed his eyes and not his mind which was hovering over his mother battling for life in a hospital. He came out of his reverie when he heard the hooting of a unit train and the fuss and clamor it had created on the platform.
He saw an old man waving hands at him from the motor car. His smile was ingratiating. Sharma’s cell phone rang when he too was smiling at the motorman. His sister spoke on the phone rather excitedly, saying that their mother had since recovered completely and the doctors called her recovery a miracle. Sharma hung up abruptly and saluted the motorman. ‘Mother must have been recovered at the moment when he was having the Dharshan of the noble soul. Can a human face have such an amazing healing power?’ Sharma said to himself.
So, from that day onwards Sharma plunged into quite a new world … a world of blind faith. His trips to the railway station to look out for the motorman became frequent. He went to the station at the time of fixing the marriage for Rohini, his sister; at the time of getting college admission for his brother; at the time of writing promotion test and at the time of Rohini’s delivery of a male child. For all and sundry things, Sharma was going to the station to take a look at his godly-figure. In fact, this had become one of his daily chores … an inseparable part of life.
When Sharma got home it was late in the night. It was at Ram’s insistence that he attended the GM’s farewell meet. It was a dreary affair. All those who called the GM a moron in the past, now showered praise on him eulogizing his business acumen, managerial skills and his Good Samaritan attitude to the staff members. ‘All euphemistic wise cracks’. Sharma thought.
Sharma had a quick shower, came striding over to the dining table where his mother, after having laid the table, was waiting for him.
‘Amma, I have good news for you. Today, I got our home loan sanctioned by the Bank’, Sharma said setting the plate on the table.
‘All god’s grace’, his mother replied, holding aloft her folded hands, a gesture of thanks to her gods.
‘No, Amma. It’s all due to the divine face that I see everyday’, Sharma quipped, his eyes glowed with pride.
‘O.K. Let it be’, Sharma’s mother smiled. ‘Now listen to me Sharma. The day after tomorrow is an auspicious day. Having got the loan, why don’t we have ‘Bhoomi Puja’ on that day?’
‘Good idea, Amma. I’ll make arrangements for the Puja tomorrow. But before that, let me go to the station and have the Dharshan of our man.’ Sharma stood up, walked over to the sink and washed his hands.
[To be continued]
Image courtesy: Google