Yesterday, I was sitting and talking to a friend outside a McDonald's when this incident took place. There came along a woman in a shining red albeit a well-worn sari, with a plate in her hand. I knew what this was before I even looked into the plate. It was, as expected, a picture of one of the many Goddesses from the Hindu mythology. I don’t know which one and I didn't bother to ask, for I had met many a person trying to sell blessings like this in my comparatively short time in this world. This woman was no different. She first tried coming dangerously close to crossing the line into my personal space but I like to think that I scared her into stopping short of doing the same. Then she made her bid.
“Paisa de do mata ke naam pe” (Gimme money in the name of the mother goddess)
“Maa dua degi aapko” (The mother Goddess will bless you)
When I outright refused to part with my father’s hard –earned money, she tried another tactic.
“Beti saath me baithi hai, de do beta” (The girl is sitting with you my son, come on give some money)
Yeah, she actually tried using my friend to shame me into giving her some money. But she didn't yet know how shameless I could be! So naïve, the devotee of the mother Goddess! Look what she tried next.
“Beti ko achha pati milegaa” (The girl will get a good husband)
“Bachho ko dua milegi” (Her kids will get blessings)
Oh, the look on my friend’s face, Priceless! You might not believe me, but the woman actually talked about my friend getting a good husband and her future kids getting the blessings if I paid her. Heights of Divinity, I say!
“Chalo beta, kuch nahi toh tere naam pe ice cream kha leti hun” (Alright son, if you’re not paying me, I’ll just eat an ice cream at your expense)
I went, “Huh? Naa!” Since we were sitting next to a Havmor dealership, she actually tried to buy herself an ice cream on my behalf.
I was royally pissed by now. I was just trying to spend some quality time with a friend who I hadn't seen in over 4 months and this woman was trying to sell God to me! Well, she finally got the hint and moved on, muttering what I only assume to be a curse or something (not that I care) and trying to get hold of someone who actually gave a damn.