I am breaking this spell of ennui and sharing an unbelievably interesting recent episode.

I have met a fair share of people whom I consider mad, but there is one whom anyone can officially call insane, if you go by this story. One Sunday afternoon Mrs B called me up frantically asking me if I wanted to save the life of the man I was going to marry. I thought she had a bad dream. She said, "Hurry up and I will take you to a dangerous place where your photos are lying," and hung up. I had no idea what I was in for.

Shell shocked, I drove to where she was waiting for me. I wondered who and how got our photographs and who had given the supari for us. Mrs B was waiting outside her gate. Seemingly impatient and nervous as hell -- more than me -- she refused answers in details and said a friend, who had been her best friend till late but fell out with her as she suspected the friend of having an affair with her husband, had left the photographs there. We drove to the lanes and by-lanes of a busy market area in South Delhi and parked my car at a point, after which she made me buy some sweets (as a form of bribe for taking back the photos).

After many nooks and corners and turns and twists, we reached a small house in one of the lanes. She rudely woke up a pregnant woman and requested her to take us to her mother. Another 10 min walk and we reached a small house. Outside, the shoes were piled up. It was a holy place, she said. An old woman, a young boy of 16-17 years and a middle aged man were the occupants of the one-room house. The room had some seven to eight plastic Gods on display. She explained they were the many "Matas" or Goddesses. The woman and the boy were possessed by the Matas and people came to them to find solution for all of their life's woes. In their possesesed state, they would tell them the many odd remedies to their problems.

I was appalled by what I saw. Placed right above the Gods and the many incense sticks and flowers were my photographs. At first, it looked like I was the Maha-God or the greatest God. The woman and boy greeted us with all enthusiasm. It was apparent Mrs B was great friends with them as they exchanged pleasantries. She was a regular visitor. "Kuch toh man main shanti hogi?" (There must be some peace in your mind now?), they asked her. She said she couldnt really tell as she was still disturbed and had migraines. I interrupted. "Give me my photos," at which Mrs B quietened me with a, "Shsshhh, don't show your impatience." Alright, I obeyed, and sat down to watch the dramas unfold before me.

"We'll do your puja today. Give me hundred rupees," Mrs B said to me. The middle aged man walked off with the money and returned with a handful of cloves and flowers. The woman got ready to be possesed, grunted and rolled her head three times. Then she decided the young lad would take the turn. "Aaj Gurgaon wali Mata ko bulate hain, (Let us call the Gurgaon Mata)," she said. Boy sat in action and rolled and rolled his head the way you would in a yogic exercise. Quickly he was given a hookah with probably hash to smoke, a cigarette which he took quick long drags, and then a cup of Bagpiper whisky poured from a bottle by the middle-aged man -- all at the same time. The ultimate high, I thought, so that whatever nonsense he blabbers is taken as God's words.

I was curious and nudged Mrs B. She said the God wants ciggies and whisky and what not. Some vices the God has, I thought! And then Mrs B prostrated in front of the boy, who was now her Mata and asked him many wishes, of which I distinctly remember three. "Mata, make me beautiful; Mata, my husband is going to sign a one crore project with the woman friend (who had supposedly left my photos), I need 50 lakh out of it; Mata, find me a friend." With his head still rolling, the boy replied, "Hogi, Hogi" to the first and third questions, "Manne bhi chaihiye (I want too)" to the second question. Mata wanted money too. Hmmmm... Mrs B replied, "If he gives me a few thousands, I won't give you, I want lots." Unfiied in their desire, the Mata gave Mrs B flowers, a lemon sliced into two to be thrown in some places, grains to eat, and ashes to mix in with the water in which she washes herself.

Next my turn. Mrs B told me to prostrate. I refused and asked her to do it for me. She then asked the Mata, "Let her marriage take place without any hurdles." I was given the same grains and flowers and cloves. Relieved it was all over, I asked, "Please give me the photgraphs now." "Nah," said the old woman. "It has now been handed to the Gods and will need many offerings to take it back." I asked what offerings. She listed: alcohol, saris, pigs, goat, toe rings and a finger ring. Mrs B quickly replied, "Oh she wont know how to get it all so tell us how much money she should shell out." The lady said, "Woh toh Mata batayegi, (the price Mata will quote)". After I insisted, old woman said two thousand bucks and liquor. I didnt know whether to laugh or to cry. I wasn't going to give them any more money.

Piqued and curious and still struggling to take in what I had witnessed, I asked Mrs B whether she really believed in all these. Pat came the reply, "How can you forget Indira Gandhi (our ex prime minister) who was surrounded by tantriks to remain in power"? I decided to say no more. I thought, let the Matas shuff my photos up their asses!

Haunted by it all, I called the friend who had allegedly left the photos there. She said she was taken through the same journey and tricked into getting my photos by Mrs B for reasons best known to her. This is a real life story of a jobless housewife, who does the rounds of Matas to save her failing knees and marriage, and meddle in the lives of others. I love telling this story! As for Mrs B, like a friend said, "It's a pity the Mata cannot see her future as well as we can, she is on the way to the psychiatric ward of the nearest hospital near her house."


Unknown said...

Stay at least 100 km away from such people!! Photos ko maro goli, you have the real one!

Laurie B said...

ha ha that story is to good to be true,,

Anonymous said...

Its a pity 'Mata' can;t see Mrs.B's future as well as we can...she's on her way to the psychiatric ward of the hospital nearest to her house

Alokita said...

The entire episode is all together hilarious. Pathetic for Mrs B of course...but I am choosing to ignore that! I hope the Matas and company keep smiling down upon her coz they are her only hope in life...You kindly treat this incident as a one time wonder and do not revisit the place or its agent EVER AGAIN!!

P:S I like the idea of Mata's operating within a specific geographical location (as in Gurgaon)Wonder if there is a sisterhood that is spread all over Delhi??

Shanti Thokchom said...

jai matadi!!! real crack pot story...for those who believe in such ones,they would not like it! Stay sane and away from such crooks!! our prayers wor for you always! your real guy awaits you patiently so be focussed more towards your D-DAY than G'gaon antics of such matashris....!

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