On a fresh Saturday morning in July 2007, I paid a visit to TTD Balaji temple at T.Nagar - Venkat Narayana Road, Chennai. I simply love the ambience and serenity of that place and the peace of mind and mental tranquil that I derive out of it every time I go there. With the impending load of work looming large in front of me in the coming days, that place was the only pressure-free-zone where in I could exercise my transcendental patience practice which was dancing on the edge of getting obsolete in me. Although I wasn’t a super-observer of patience and its assorted comrades like tolerance, persistence, lenience, forbearance and staying restraint, I wasn’t way too out of control with my anger too. Well I at least never used to shout at people with lack of discipline and manners - as often as I did these days.
It makes me feel like these people are strict followers of profanity and I am the one against this loathsome sacrilege. Displeased with my mental disability of temper-watch, unable to put-up with my disintegrating graciousness (although, its so only with the wrong-doers) and in a bit of soul searching with in and inside me alone, with the hope of trudging on with even a small fragment of the desolated equanimity that would lead me to be a bit poised, if not for anything miraculous.
Thwarted was I when I went this time to the shrines' rafting away all those alms-mongers, cursing-under-the-breath-tulsi-garland vendors, repeatedly yelling archana basket vendors, ear-jarring horns of the traffic, unbearably loud clamor of a bunch of fellas who are fighting over each other to take care of your shoes while you are inside the holy place. More maniacal hue & cry of the junta that has come to see the god and in desperate measure to make it as quicker and in a shorter way as they can by cutting across the Q-lines and being yelled by the throng that’s been tending to move so very lazily and haphazardly giving no room for movement in the Q-line that had formed literally two streets away from where the almighty stood all graceful and charming at his devotees. The congregation that had assembled in that early hours of a Saturday morning made me ponder how many others apart from me, were probably in a much worse state, perhaps possessing the most uncommon turmoil in their life, was there to seek consecration from the deity.
Something suddenly changed in my whole being. I felt a rush of fresh blood flowing through all my veins starting from the brains. I decided not to seek for anything this time around from God except this sanity that he has gifted me with. Determined, I kept my cool and moved forward slowly with the crowd, missing out totally, but with full-heartedness of my usual set of prayers, seeking for happiness, seeking for promotion, seeking for wealth and health, seeking for peace of mind at home and work. I wasn’t feeling guilty for my act. I was rather happy and contended, for the first time in my life, for I had asked the god for nothing, absolutely N.O.T.H.I.N.G at all.
After taking the holy prasadh, I prostrated in front of the powerful omnipotent lord seeking for not anything for I was a nonentity in the vast plate of petitioners that God had to attend to and get busy with.
With a revolting surge of new found happiness and fulfillment slowly overruling my rather inordinate demands of a naïve mind I unlocked my legs from the prostrated from in front of the God and landed myself to a sitting position.
There was girl in green salwar sitting next to me. She looked too disturbed and was persistently uttering Stotras with her eyes closed. I watched her as my heart voluntarily sought god’s help to resolve whatever that lady’s problem was. As I unfolded my palms in front of me and opened my eyes after praying for this unknown lady who was sitting next me, I craned my neck to see that she was no more there. But in her place was a Titan watch that belonged to her. Instantly I picked it up, pushed away the crowd that were standing in front of me to leave the temple, yelling out “excuse me” as loud as I can and leaving a bit of the crowd flummoxed in the process.
Finally, I found her near one of those shoe-guarding guys and tapped her on her shoulder as I was breathing hard with the fresh-sprinting I had done and extending her the watch with a euphoric smile on my face.
“Thanks a lot; it’s my lucky watch and my only priced-possession presented by my dad, who’s no more” said she.
Tears trickled down her cheeks leaving me completely bolted to the ground for few seconds and then I gathered myself consoled her and wished her good luck in all her endeavors and left my card with her incase she needed any help.
I stood there watching her gait and her mouth continuing to mumble:
“Vina Venkatesam na natho na nathah Sada Venkatesam smarami smarami,
Hare! Venkatesa! prasida prasida Priyam Venkatesa! prayaccha prayaccha.”
When I walked away, I whispered to myself, “Lord, I solicit nothing to be bequeathed!”