Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Food for the Goddess

They often left food for her near the lamp. It would miraculously vanish and they thought Goddess Imoinu ima was pleased by them and appeased by their offering.

 Deb was an eight year old domestic help in their household. He could not play like Ajoy because he was not born with the silver spoon in his mouth. He had no access to the mouth-watering delicacies that Ajoy was forcefully fed by his mother. He had to satisfy himself with the left-overs.

One day, Deb could not clean the house as he was sick. The master of the household got very angry. He had invited the head of an NGO running in his area. The NGO worked for poor kids and saved them from child labor, malnutrition and abuse. Ajoy's father had a given some substantial amount of donation and secured his position as a good samaritan in a hopeless world. The unclean house enraged him and he beat Deb and threw him out of his house.

A crying Deb, jobless and starving, had nowhere to go. He waited for someone to come from the house and take him back. But nobody came. He decided to spend the night under the tree he had often watered.

That night, surprisingly. the morsels of food left near the lamp, for Goddess Imoinu Ima, remained untouched.

Ajoy's mother was panicky in the morning.
Ajoy's father was called.
Their was a long pause.

Then suddenly Ajoy's mother realized her folly.

"The Goddess is angry because you threw out Deb. Bring him back', she pleaded to her husband.

The husband was god-fearing man too. He rushed outside.

Deb was still sleeping. He touched his hand. Deb got up and apologized. The master of the household made him promise that Deb would do his duty well. Deb promised.

Deb was back in the house.

Ajoy's mom was feeding Ajoy. She did not ask Deb to eat anything. Deb started mopping the floor. The day went just as always for Deb.

Night came. Food was left near the lamp.
It was gone in the morning. The Goddess was appeased.

Everyone was happy in the household.



Picture Prompt provided by blogger Parul Kashyap Thakur




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20 comments:

  1. An interesting tale sounding rather like an Indian fable or the like. ;) <3

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  2. Hey Elly...it is always a pleasure to see you here. Imoinu Ima is a goddess worshipped in Assam. One of my friend told me that she daily offers a little bit of food to her and is teaching the same ritual to her son. I built upon that bit. There are people dying of hunger while food is offered to idols. There are some in my own family who do this too.I don't want to offend anyone's religious beliefs but still there are things that I cannot digest.

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  3. Sunaina your story nicely brings out the double standards and the dichotomy of beliefs that people have - fearing the wrath of god yet failing to see the god in others, feeding own child while another child goes hungry in front of their eyes, donating to the NGO that works against child labour and making a child from the NGO toil.

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    1. Thanks for your valuable feedback Somali. Just one question - What do you think happened to the food that disappeared?

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  4. Aha! All's well that ends well!! :)

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    1. Wish it was that simple Shilpa.....:).....

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  5. Nice story.Deb takes the food every night.So it disappeared Is that right Sunaina ji?
    http://www.srikri.com/

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  6. Nice story. Goddess appeased and Deb appeased too. How ironical that the donation was to save children from child labour, yet he had an 8 yr old working for him.

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    1. Thanks Suzy. That is the irony of life I tried to highlight through this story.

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  7. its a bit like magical realism with the goddess being appeased. Like it.

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    1. I don't think it will fall in the category of magic realism....it is hungry Deb who steals the food and eats it, Ls....

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  8. Donating to an NGO who works for poor kids and keeping a child labour in the house...this is essentially Indian hypocrisy.
    No extra word...no howling for the beaten kid...and still you've brought out the double standard of such so-called God fearing people. Great job done! (y)

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    1. Thanks Maniparna....I am glad you liked it....

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  9. hypocrisy rules.... I thought at the end of your story somehow they would treat Deb well and child labor would end...may be its just me :(

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    1. wouldn't that be too simple an ending......? That would have done away with the irony of things.....

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  10. Incredible job, Sunaina. I'm speechless. It has a lot to ponder: Benefit of some superstition, child as a reflection of god, hypocrisy of society, fear as a great motivational force.

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    1. Oh thanks for your encouraging words Ravish.....I am so happy you found all these elements in the story....short stories are always difficult to write.....

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  11. Wonderful story! Blind faith is a big problem. Add lack of enlightenment to that mix, and you get a bad combination.

    While hypocrisy is one way of describing the household, I would say its more a lack of culture and enlightenment. As an example of what I am trying to say - 2 people may be equally educated - one thinks corruption is immoral whereas one has no opinion on that. The household couple will NEVER learn - I have seen unenlightened folks like them everywhere in the world. Unless they get a great teacher, they will stay the same.

    Deb was doing the right thing. On a separate note, most NGO's on India are useless or have some nefarious agenda.

    Once again, a great story.

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    1. Thanks Subhodeep.....you correctly pointed out the fake way NGOs are functioning....and yes, the couple who has no opinion on the matter as well as those who think it is immoral and yet don't act to do away with it, are both complicitous with the state of things......

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