[For God Sake – Short Story with Moral Lesson]
It was a beautiful Sunday morning as the sunrise with the beautiful view it looked as if the golden rays are spreading allover slowly. And all residents in the colony even though they are painted in different shades it looked like they were colored in gold. And the tree’s looked wet due to moist and leaves looked fresh and green and dewdrops on the leaves shined like pearls. Rooster’s noise ‘Cock-a-doodle-doo’ well it is said that in the past people would wake up listening to its voice. But, now it’s either ignored or unheard .Because people are very much dependent on electronic gadgets like cell phone which is one among. They set alarm and keep it either next to there pillow on underneath while sleeping. Once it rings they wake up if it’s extremely important or snooze it for some more time and go back to sleep.
Lights started turning off one after the other as people woke up in Nandanvan Colony. Old lady Ratnamma comes out of the front yard to sit under a tree to brush her few left out teeth’s and watch her grand daughter sweep and decorate rangoli in front of the house. And Neighbor Praveen babu is busy reading yesterday’s paper holding it in one hand and in the other hand a hot mug of coffee and little further is Durgesh, the resident of same colony who is shaving while his son is cleaning his father’s old scooter. As most of the residents in the colony are waiting for the milkman who also gets the News paper along.
And on the other side of the colony is Keshav’s house he is the vegetable seller for the whole colony. His routine job is to go get the vegetables from the market at 4am every morning and starts from home at 7am.Keshav usually starts his day by carrying all vegetables in his heavy four wheeled long wooden cart. He is extremely devoted to God Vinayaka. He lethargically and very sluggishly starts his daily routine from home to the temple pushing his wooden cart. And this Vinayaka temple it’s within the Nandanvan Colony.He parks his vehicle in front of the temple and entered into the temple to worship.
Keshav’s prayer: God Vinyaka as I am starting my day as usual .Please bless me so that all my vegetables are sold and gain profit for the day and I promise I will give good offering when I am back.
Keshav comes out of the temple with the pinch of kumkum red in colour compressed between the fingers and applied it to one to two coconuts which lay along with other vegetables in the cart. As he starts moving towards the colony by pushing his cart shouting loudly and vigorously. So that people in the colony know that he is coming. And on the way meets Raghu he woke up from sleep listening to sudden loud outburst.
Raaghu is an orphan boy who lives in the same colony .His daily occupation is mowing the lawn, cleaning the vehicle and if required getting the groceries from shop for an agreed price or in return gets the intemperate food which is left out. And at times when nobody in the colony requires Raaghu then he goes implore piteously from door to door.He slept the previous night without food and woke up with compelling desire of crave. He asked earnestly to Keshav.
Raaghu: Keshav bhaiya I am very hungry can you please give me something to eat.
Keshav: I definitely would have done.But, I have just started my day and I can’t be starting my business ascribing it would ruin my business.
Raaghu: That’s alright keshav Anna, You please carry on and promise me if you’ve gained at the end of the day and still left with anything even decayed please give it to me.
Keshav: Sure! Raaghu I promise I will do that.
And keshav continues to shout Vegetable! Vegetable! and moved slowly towards the residents .Roads in the colony are narrow stretched and with unpaved surface he deviates at the 7th cross .And the first residence is where Vignesh resides.Vignesh he works in private bank as Manager and he is single lives along with his widow mother. Whose is away from the town to see her elder daughter .But his mother who always persuades him to do pooja early in the morning even when she is away reminds him over the phone. And Vignesh has strong faith in God and believes in practicing to be benevolence. His inclination to God keeps him dedicatedly involved in pooja for close to half an hour after bath everyday.
And the opposite neighbor is Mrs.Nandini Fernandez, she is house wife and mother of three children. Both the sons studying in college and youngest daughter is in school. And husband stays far away from home due to work but keeps coming once in a while. Though her fore father’s were Hindu later converted to Christianity ,she is protestant Christian and reads Bible everyday to take good things from it. Not for implementing but for advising people around in the colony to convince and make them believe there only one God.
As Keshav passed through their lane shouts loudly promoting to buy vegetables. As Vignesh was busy doing pooja and Mrs.Nandini Fernandez was busy talking to her husband over the phone both ignored and for not acknowledging keshav moves slowly and abruptly one corner of the cart wheel gets stuck into the pit which was excavated for drainage work. He tried hard to pull it out and he did managed to move ahead but due to sharp pull and vibratory movement the coconuts to which Keshav applied Kumkum dislodged and roll towards the mid of Vignesh and Mrs.nandini’s house .And with no time intervening a voice came from the Nazeer house it was Nazeer’s wife.Keshav responded to her and in hurry pushing his cart he moved unnoticed.
And after a while Vignesh opened the door facing towards the Sun did surya namaskar and as his head bow down and turned slowly to get inside but instantly his head moved with sudden stroke or jerk to see coconuts with kumkum applied lying in front of his house. It rebuked him with a sudden commotion he rushed inside to make telephone call to Pujari Dwarkesh Swamy and informed about the incident happened. And within few minutes the pujari with long hair tied tightly against back of the head and cinched so as to hang loosely and fore head with three bars of sandalwood powder adhered with the bag hanging on his right shoulder came on his motorized bicycle which has pedal’s.Pujari stood in front of Vignesh house got down from the vehicle and took a fist full of Kumkum powder and few rice grains from his bag closed his eyes he mutter’s mantra and threw it on the coconuts while vignesh was watching him do that.
Dwarkesh Swamy: “Alright Vignesh I have done by job now there is nothing to worry about.but, make sure you don’t touch that or try to throwing it away.”
Vignesh: “Thank you! Swamy please accept this money as token of thanks from my side.”
Dwarkesh Swamy took the money and left from that place.
And after few minutes on the other side Mrs.Nandini came out to pick up the milk and newspaper .She gave heed to the Coconut which was scattered with kumkum allover in front of her house. She immediately rushed inside and made a telephone call to ‘Father Luke’ who is the preacher from the same church where she attends the congregation.
Mrs.Nandini: “Hello! Father Luke I have a problem here” and she explained about the occurrence.” If you could please come home for few minutes.”
Father Luke: “There is nothing to worry about Mrs.Nandini.Well ,I was busy arranging for the Sunday assembly in the church.Dont worry ,I will be there in a while so please wait and in the meanwhile don’t do anything till I come.”
And the neighbor Vignesh was hiding behind the window curtains and peeping through with gaiety and laughter looking at the other neighbor while Mrs.nandini stood at the gate waiting for Father Luke. And Mrs.Nandini face instantly looked amused as soon as she heard the sound of father Luke’s vehicle coming towards her house. And Father Luke got down from his vehicle and beholds the picture of a scene.He stood bow down his head earnestly to say prayers.
Father Luke: Prayer: Heavenly Father Forgive our sins and the one who has done this mistake. And protect Mrs.Nandini and her family from all the troubles. Amen…
Father Luke: “Please don’t touch this leave it as it is .Somebody might come and pick it up or throw it aside.”
And Mrs.Nandini gave money as offering covered in an envelope and thanked Father Luke. He accepted and proceeded from there.
It was quarter to 8 am where Vignesh maintained looking through the window without any interruption hiding behind the curtains and the neighbor on the other side Mrs.nandini was corresponding and both with eagerness waiting for someone to pass through there way and take them out from this trouble. And they heard the footsteps of somebody walking by with light talk. As they saw it was there other neighbor Nazeer and his daughter coming back after there morning walk.Nazeer’s daughter with naïve asked.
Daughter: “Father there is a coconut lying can we take that?”
Nazeer stringently replied:” No, it’s not good to touch. Let’s maintain distance from it ” and they passed by.
As they passed by ,again they heard somebody humming loudly with dirty clothing and coming towards there house, it was Raaghu this time. He stood there for a moment looked around and immediately picked up the coconuts. The emotion of great happiness could be seen on his face as it could be seen on Vignesh and Mrs.Nandini face as they were watching him.Raaghu started walking towards the temple side and Nazeer’s wife called him and asked to clean the water tank on the terrace. He kept his things aside in a corner and went on the terrace to clean the water tank.
Sriram is extremely rich man and domiciles in the same colony.He owns three houses in the colony and is the owner of Glass factory with facilities for manufacturing. He organized a Maha Pooja held at Vinayaka temple at 9am in Nandanvan colony with arrangements of providing breakfast with small endowment kept over the table and bunch of coconuts at the entrance of the gate for distributing. He invited all the occupants from the colony. People started gathering tardily at the temple which includes Vignesh, Nazeer and many others while Pujari Dwarkesh swamy was doing the pooja chore and the pooja started ,it went on for close to an hour and Mrs.Nandini who believes that attending pooja is transgress it is like violating a law of God according to her religion therefore she is late. She hesitantly entered into the temple for a mere formality and by then pooja got over. And people cumulated for breakfast.
And Raaghu at nazeer’s house finished cleaning the water tank and got down the stairway and called nazeer’s wife to inform that the task is done.Nazeer’s wife came out from the living room carrying food and a fiddling sum of money.Raaghu was glad to see and cerebrate for the whole day. He received willingly and thanked Mrs.Nazeer and stepped ahead to collect his things and started walking towards the temple. As he saw the crowd at the temple from a distant with no attention went in front of the temple gate kept his things aside on bended knee and by joining his hands together for saying heartfelt thanks to God for easing his day. And as he finished his prayer he got up to take his coconuts and his food.
From the crowd Durgesh screamed in high volume stealer!stealer! Arousing the attention of all the people towards Raaghu .People guessed Raaghu stole the coconuts and Raaghu looked at them in a naively innocent manner and smiled.Sriram got violently angry and asked people to catch hold of him and with fearfulness and clueless Raaghu started running from there and people chasing behind.Raaghu lost his balance and collapsed which shattered his food and coconuts on the ground by shedding tears with wounded hands he gathered the coconuts. People caught him thrashed him and snatched the coconuts from him left him on the edge of the way. People took the coconuts and combined them along with other coconuts laid in front of the temple gate.
Sriram and his wife stepped forward towards the temple gate to thank all by distributing the gifts along with coconut conformingly. Everybody received there gifts with happy faces whereas Vignesh and Mrs.Nandini pretended being happy as they discovered the coconuts which they received where the same which were snatched by Raaghu the trouble which they avoided and could not handle is back in there hands.Pujari Dwarkesh swamy dissembled as if he is not aware of the fact.
Keshav was the last person to come to that place pushing his empty wooden cart.Sriram called him and insisted to have breakfast but Keshav in an affectionate manner refused and thanked. But he accepted the gift and coconut and he found that the coconuts which Vignesh and Mrs.Nandini are holding were his coconuts which he lost in the morning by looking at the kumkum applied to them and he communicated the same with them. As everybody heard there heads bend down shamefaced and all the people particularly Vignesh, Mrs.Nandini, Dwarkesh swamy with deep remorse looked at the poor boy Raaghu who was continuously weeping on the roadside.
Keshav was the first person who went to him wiped his tears and scavenged his mudded clothes and said “Raaghu I’m really sorry for whatsoever happened”. I know God is watching me what I do every moment. But, I dont know why do I pretend of being a good and religious man? Is it to impress God or the society or for my personal satisfaction! And I also know that He won’t be impressed nor will He be happy seeing us like this because all He expects from us is being a human with a little humanism which is worthy of making at least one person happy and I also understand that giving is such a wonderful happiness which you can feel and see in others. Im blindly practicing what my elder’s taught me and I can’t blame them being wrong even they must have followed just the way I did. Thank you Raaghu you taught us a wonderful lesson ,loving thy neighbor.
Raaghu guiltlessly said -” I really don’t know keshav anna why were they angry on me and punished me? Was that because I went and thanked God for giving me food and making me feel happy today.”
Mrs.Nandini could not stop herself nor did her tears. She went to Raaghu distressingly and said “I’m sorry ,please forgive me in the course of fearing God I did not realize that I am doing wrong”. And than Vignesh and Dwarkesh Swamy came close to Raaghu with a feeling of shame for doing something immoral and said “We are sorry”. And slowly brought all others together standing near to Raaghu and everybody said “We are really sorry please forgive us”.
Raaghu grinningly said- “It’s alright now my wounds stopped paining”
Sriram’s wife came with food to give it to Raaghu to eat and Sriram gave him money to buy new clothes. And Mrs.Nandini promised to give her son’s old bicycle to him and Vignesh promised to buy him an Iron box and wooden table so that he can start a small laundry in our colony.Dwarkesh swamy said will sincerely pray and with strong feeling for your prosperity. And keshav could not afford much to give he went towards his wooden cart and got sweet potatoes and carrots kept aside for Raaghu and gave it to him. And all went back to there houses to spend there Sunday weekend.
The whole incidence begins and concludes at the temple. This story is not just about Nandanvan colony it’s about you, me and everybody. God does not exist in holy books or holy places but he exists within us. He exists in our hearts in the form of conscience which says about moral sense. “Be Good and do Good” and you will experience God being next to you. He who brings happiness to all and which makes him happy to see us the way He expected.It is our society which makes a social group having distinctive cultures, communities, and different practices for there own convenience. Let us stop misleading life in the name of the God. For God sake…