Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Intruders

We all have guests visiting us from time to time; Friends, relatives; wanted and unwanted. People who come with appointments, and others who like to give a (little) surprise by landing without prior notice! “I was passing by, so thought I will just drop in” or “I was getting bored at home, so I thought of visiting you”. Such people are not bothered that they may be upsetting your pre-planned programme. However, in the true spirit of Indian hospitality, we welcome all with open arms and make them feel comfortable.

But I am going to talk about the visit of three totally unexpected visitors to our house. Let me elaborate.

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One day as is her practice, after her morning ablutions my wife was standing before the Puja Room, adjacent to our bedroom, paying obeisance or to put it simply saying good morning to the variety of Gods on display; when she felt something amiss in the puja room. Actually she found a lot of things missing – like the silver lamps – a silver idol of Lord Krishna and few other valuables. She also found the radio-transistor kept on a stand nearby missing!

My first reaction was that some petty thief must have walked into the house, through the front door which is often kept open by my wife during the day, when she is busy in the service verandah at the rear of the house or lost among the hundreds of potted plants she has nurtured around the house.

While we were blaming each other, my wife who was going around the house to find out what else was missing, noticed a whole window grill missing in the study room adjacent to the main hall. A burglar had obviously entered the house through the window! It was a pre-planned burglary the previous night, by some one who knew that our window grills were just screwed to the wooden frame without any extra safety mechanism. What shocked us was the audacity of the burglar who had entered the house when we were there; and what made us shudder was the realization that he could have walked into the adjacent bedroom, which was not locked and relieved us of all the jewellery and other valuables in the house, even probably threatening us at knife point! The Lord in whom I have immense faith obviously saved us from much greater loss! It was as if the Lord told the burglar: “Take whatever you want from this puja room but leave my devotee alone!”

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On another morning, when my wife was busy reading some prayer books, sitting inside the puja room, she heard a hissing sound and to her horror realised that she had illustrious company inside the puja room. Yes, it was a 3 ft. snake (mildly poisonous Sarai ) curled around one of the dozens of framed pictures on the wall.

A courageous person, she quietly got up and closed the puja room door and called my son for help. She was ready to kill the snake with a broom stick. (The number of creepy-crawly beings she has killed with a broom stick is legendary!).

My son had better ideas, and contacted the local snake park and requested them to send someone to catch the snake which was held captive in the puja room. The whole process took more than two hours but the snake was captured alive and taken in a bag by the snake catcher from the Irula community, who are specialised in this art. Though we had to pay a small price, it was better than our family getting a ` `Sarpa Shabham` (snake curse) if my wife had killed the snake as she had originally intended!

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The third intruder in my house – hold your breath – was a cow! On a Sunday morning, I was totally immersed in reading the morning newspaper lying on the easy chair in my bedroom. Hearing some commotion followed by screams from my wife, I looked up from the newspaper and realised that a cow’s face was staring at me and saying ‘Hello, I am your special guest this morning!!’

By the time I got up from my chair to handle the uninvited guest, the cow withdrew from the master bedroom and moved to the adjacent guest bedroom. It took a lot of coaxing and gentle pushing to get rid of this special guest.

Investigating the mystery of the ‘cow guest’, I learnt that the young cow ( not a calf nor a fully grown one) had walked into the compound of our independent home through the open gate, with the intention of having a breakfast of the delicious potted plants located all around the house. When my wife, who was busy tending to some plants noticed it and started screaming, the cow ran behind the house, and on finding the door of the service verandah at the rear of the house open, it had entered the house, walked through the kitchen and reached my bedroom to say ‘Hi’ to me!

While all of us at home were intrigued by the special visitor, some elders in the family had this to say: ‘Cow entering the house is very auspicious’. Auspicious or not, we had an interesting story to narrate about our special guest for the next couple of weeks!

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha...Mami seems to play an important role in all three stories