“Pujari chacha, why haven’t you begun the aarti as yet?”
To reply Gopal Bhai, pujari chacha said,
“When I came this morning, the lock of the temple door was broken, and…”
Gopal couldn’t wait and interrupted impatiently,
“And what chacha?”
Breathing a ragged sigh, pujari chacha replied,
“Somebody left their new born baby at the doorstep of the temple. The person must be well aware that since this is a small society and this temple is also not very big, he wouldn’t have to face any CCTV camera and that he was safe.”
Gopal took the little baby girl in his arms and asked worriedly,
“Then chacha, what about this little angel? What will happen of her?”
Pujari answered with a very heavy heart,
“What else can I do? I’ll go and leave her in an orphanage.”
Gopal melted in the innocence of the baby and murmured,
“What if I only keep her? I already have Pooja and Archana at home, she’ll be the third one, Aarthi.” So saying, he embraced the girl and brought her to his chest.
Pujari voiced out his fears,
“But son, what about her cast, religion and now in this recession, how will you look after three girls?”
Gopal glanced at the idol of the goddess and said,
“Is there any other religion greater than humanity? And don’t worry, She will bring her own good luck.”
Pujari was wonder struck and kept thinking,
“Lord, I’m truly distressed to see such a vast contrast from one man to the other. Each one of us is made by you, but some are gripped in their struggles and yet others are bound by religion!”
Written by: Jagruti Kaila, Morbi.
Translated by: Shamim Merchant, Mumbai.