This post is inspired by the Write Over the Weekend theme given by BlogAdda. The prompt is:
You realize you’re on a date with God, which goes both good and bad. What happens? Write.
Hope you like it.
The scene was a Durga Puja mandap, in the late evening hours, when people thronged the premises. I was also present there. I was excited to visit this particular mandap as a particular group of documentary film-makers were filming the festivities in my town for an upcoming film that they’re making on Indian culture, and tonight, they happened to be present at this venue. How I wished to be in front of their camera!
I entered the beautifully decorated hall and was walking towards the altar where the idols of Goddess Durga and Her children were kept. A horde of devotees were filling up the space. I could see a camera crew filming the ambience. Yes! They were here already. As I walked towards them, my eyes caught the sight of a beautiful woman, with waist length hair and dressed in a casual tee and long skirt. She was holding a microphone and getting ready for the camera roll. There was something divine in her appearance.
I don’t know how long I had stared at her, because a man nudged me and told me to move ahead instead. I was so embarrassed! After offering my prayers, I sat on a nearby chair and like a hypnotized person, I fixed my gaze on the enigmatic woman, who was now speaking to the camera, as if it was a live person. There was some enchanting aura surrounding her, for I could see that a few more people had gathered around her. She wrapped up soon, and strangely, I got up from my chair and walked, drawn towards her.
“Hi! You spoke wonderfully. May I have the honour of knowing your name?” Words flowed out involuntarily from my mouth, as I approached her.
She gave a slight chuckle. “Excuse me. Do I know you?” After a brief pause, she continued, “By the way, why are you being such a gentleman to me? I think most men in India do not know their basic courtesies while talking to a girl for the first time.”
I was slightly taken aback. I was actually stunned by her reply. Did I give her some wrong impression of myself?
“No Miss, please don’t misunderstand me. I was very eager to meet your crew as I am a big fan of your shows. So I thought why not earn the chance to talk to you? I am really sorry for the abrupt introduction. I am Kunal. Nice to meet you.” I gave a weak smile.
The lady broke into laughter. It was loud and a bit terrifying. I wondered who she was. I looked at her again and my instincts told me she was definitely not any ordinary woman.
“Hi Kunal, my name is Durga Vasisht. I am the host of this new documentary which we are filming. And please don’t apologize. Chill dude, did I scare you?” She gave out that boisterous laugh again.
We talked for hardly ten minutes and I almost had a gut feeling she is some divine lady. Her name was Durga. What if she was an incarnation of the Goddess that stood a few metres away from me in the form of a clay idol? Her appearance, her words and her laughter had a strange resonance that was mesmerizing as well as slightly terrifying, just like the Goddess. We built up a good rapport and I seemed to rejoice my date with this Goddess-like lady.
And suddenly. I noticed her expression change from a docile one to a worried and angered one. “Kunal, someone is in trouble. I need to go. Please excuse me.”
“I’ll go with you too. Please take me along.” I wondered what she was talking about, and how she sensed something was wrong in the first place. Questions filled my already puzzled mind.
We ran out of the puja mandap. I was running behind Durga, who was moving at a blinding speed, but mysteriously, I was moving at her pace too. I couldn’t run so fast, I thought. I could hear screams now, they were a young girl’s cries for help. Oh God! Please help.
The sight before us was blood-curdling! Two men were manhandling a young girl. One of them even held a knife and the other wrapped his arms around her, lest she escapes. Before I could scream, Durga rushed towards them.
Bright light emanated from her as she screamed at the two perpetrators, who were stunned by her presence. Their mouths opened in terror as Durga grew in size. Ten arms appeared behind her and her hair grew longer and ferociously waved in the air, like a lion’s mane. Her eyes were flaming red and yet, she was beautiful. I had guessed correctly. She was the Goddess herself. In one stroke of anger, she caught hold of the two men, and produced her divine trident. Before I could blink the next second, She vanished along with the two men. Punishment has been served to the demons.
There was no trace of Her as I looked around, feeling a bit shaken by the divine encounter. I approached the girl and asked her if she was okay. She said she has been saved by the Goddess herself and she feels blessed. I agreed and comforted her with a smile. We slowly walked back to the puja mandap. I was quite disappointed with the turn of events. I had a rendezvous with the Goddess and the evening was spoiled with this disturbing incident. Surely, Durga was angered by how low some men can fall even on auspicious occasions and being a woman, she could sense the pain of the girl. Damn! I wanted to knock two heavy blows on those two rascals.
I reached the mandap. And noticed that the camera crew was missing! I asked one of the organizers if he had seen the lady or her crew. The man gave me a puzzled look and said that no film crew had come to this venue. I was dumbfounded! I inquired from a few more people who also denied ever seeing any lady or camera holding people.
The girl looked at me. “Something wrong?”
“You know I met a lady here, and..and she in fact was Goddess Durga herself. The one who saved you. She was filming with her crew here, and now everyone in her team is missing. People here are denying ever seeing them. Am I being paranoid ?” I was really confused.
The girl patted my back. “Idiot. Don’t you realize you had a divine date with the Goddess tonight? It was all pre-planned and what you saw was Her divine play. Thank your stars. You got what you wished for.”
I had prayed to Goddess Durga once that I would be very glad to meet her, if not on Earth, at least in heaven.
The girl turned, let out the same terrifying laughter I heard an hour ago and walked away. I couldn’t stop smiling.