“Mummy Aunty, Mummy Aunty,” called the kids from below. Right then Salma (name changed) was there with Mom. This girl is the first child that Mom brought up before we were even born. Salma’s maternal grandfather, who lived with her and her mother, was admitted since the last 15 days at a far away hospital. The mother and daughter would not even get tea, while they were in the hospital with the old man. Salma came to Mom for flasks. Nobody from the building gave her any flasks. Mom gave her one flask. Then Salma requested her if she could give one more flask. Mom obliged. On that day, Mom gave her prepared coffee in the flasks. Mom’s coffee has a lot of fans. Then Salma left.
Right at that time the kids called, “Mummy Aunty, Mummy Aunty.” Mom told them, “I will come after some time. I am cooking. You play.” After hearing Mom’s voice, all the kids came out and began looking up. Dolly got angry and said, “Mummy Aunty is mine!” The others argued, “Mummy Aunty is for everybody.” Dolly was furious and went to hit the kid. One of the kids actually hit Dolly. Now Ronak got furious and began to hit everybody saying, “You hit my sister!” This brought all the ladies outside. One or 2 men were also at home and came out. They all tried to explain to Dolly that Mummy Aunty is common to everyone. She began fighting with elders.
Dolly’s mother came out and said, “They are kids.”
The others said, “Ours are also kids.”
Dolly said, “Mummy Aunty lives above our house, so she is ours.”
Ronak said, “You take any other Mummy aunty living above your house.”
All the ladies told Dolly’s mother, “Your kids are Gundas. (Gunde bachche hain tere.)”
Without knowing anything about the entire hullabaloo happening in her name, Mom was cooking for us. Some outsider came and reconciled everybody and all dispersed.
When I returned home, Ronak and Dolly came stealthily into the house. Ronak told me, “Mara mari ho gaya. Dolly ko mara. Aap log humare ho na?”
We had to reply in a yes.
Dolly’s mother immediately came running to our home trying to find her kids. She told in front of us to them, “Mera Gunda bachcha.” And she embraced them. Then she told us in short what had happened. For 2 days, she was very careful, when the kids came out because she was worried someone would beat them up!
Right then my sister got a chance to interview the head priest of Thirupati. When she came home to tell that to my parents, Dad arranged for a trip at a short notice of 2 days. When we told Dolly’s mother, she said not to tell the kids. So we slipped out without them knowing. The kids would regularly go to our home to check on Mom. The others would make fun of these kids that they could not meet their Mummy Aunty.
Many people in the place we live now call Lord Balaji as Bhoot. But in reality, several North Indians come to visit the temple. The photo here is the proof for it. When the topic of Thirupati has come up, we have to speak about Kapila Theertha, on the foothills of Thirupati. The auspicious waterfalls give out light fragrance of medicinal herbs. There are many small waterfalls as well as one large one, where the visitors take bath. People with a lot of spirituality only get the fragrance of the medicinal herbs and the pious gifts of the bath.
All 4 of us – Dad, Mom, my sister and me were invited inside the house of the head priest. First he showed us his idols and gave us prasad from his own hands – laddoo, kadi shakhar with red auspicious rice. Then he gave my sister the interview. When he heard the information about him one by one, we were aghast! He was doing Ph.D in Biochemistry at that time. He wanted to go to USA, but was not allowed because once someone goes to a foreign country they become impure or a mlechcha! He was the one who told us that Aliens had kick started evolution on earth. Thus according to him Aliens are our Gods!
He even said that he felt God coming to the sanctum sanctorium, during Suprabhatam. He got to touch the main idol to perform pooja. He said, “I did not get to visit USA for higher studies. But God gave me the opportunity to touch Him and perform service to Him. I owe this life to Him.”
Mom had several times climbed these mountains. After we were born and we were small, my maternal grandmother stubbornly insisted that they should climb the mountains. I went up by bus with grandpa. But my sister insisted that she would go with Mom. We had hired a man to carry my sister to the top of the mountain. But she did not go to him. Ultimately he carried only the luggage. Mom took my sister on her back and went ahead of everybody. She was chanting “Govinda,” all the while. She reached the top much ahead of the others in our family. Mom recollected this and told it to the head priest.
He told my Mom to chant “Govinda” always. Even if a demon (devil) comes to take your life, this chanting will take care of it. Right now we remember this. After meeting this priest, my Mom became very spiritual.
After we returned home…
To be continued…