Oh My God!
by Sourav Ghosh
(Barrackpore, Kolkata, India)
Well, the story begins with a theft. Rahul was the first one to wake up that morning to find the bed room - where the whole family slept as that was the only room with air conditioner - locked from outside. Soon the family, which comprised of Rahul, an eighteen year old, his soft spoken father Mr Rathindra Sengupta and a super hyperactive mother Sonali, realized Sonali’s gold bangle was stolen from the wooden closet in God’s room. The whole day was chaotic.
Next day some strange things happened. When Rathindra goes to the God’s room, he saw that the idol of Lord Shiva was under God’s bed which fuelled more suspicions that the thieves probably attempted again. That day it went on like that with things missing or moved from their respective places. At night when Rahul’s aunt, Mitali who stays in Bangalore called for the regular sisterly chat, Sonali told her about the strange things that happened throughout the day. Mitali, highly suspicious by nature, started investigating the mystery.
The following day, the family decides to please God with a Puja. A priest was called to perform the rituals. The previous night, a God’s idol, usually placed over the refrigerator was found on the dining table. So God’s movement began outside God’s room as well. Mitali’s suspicions gradually were directed back home now –Rahul!
It was Holi, a festival of colors, when the Puja started. The Puja ended with a Havan. After the Puja, neighbours had lunch and chatted in Rahul’s house. In the evening when Rahul and his father went to God’s room to check if everything is in order, it was found that the idol of Goddess Kali is again under the bed and few fruits offered to God were missing. The neighbours witnessed the scenario and advised the family to go to a fortune teller for remedy. The age old remedy was given to sprinkle Gangajal in all rooms.
The same night Mitali called and started interrogating Rahul -“Where were you during this time? Tell me in detail what actually happened? Who first found out the idols were moved?” Etc. Sonali was upset with her sister as she knew for sure Rahul is innocent and there is some super natural power behind this episode. Even Rahul’s grandmother, who stays with Mitali, was annoyed with her as she believed her little boy can do no such thing. Sonali actually felt nice and elated as she believed, God had a special reason to do all these changes in her house. She and Rathindra almost believed God was watching their acts and so they better behave.
The burglary episode was still fresh in every one’s mind and Sonali remained disturbed. So she did not rest after lodging an FIR and conducting the Puja. She installed a Burglary Alarm for family security. However, the same evening, Rahul found things missing again. Ideally any movement in house should get the alarm roaring loud enough to alert even the neighbours. How can things go missing then?
Now the family was really
tensed and discussed the situation with their neighbours, colleagues, friends and relatives. Some said black magic, others comforted stating God is roaming in their house, the family is likely to have visuals and dreams from God soon – they better be on the good side in whatever they do, was the advice from all.
Rahul’s aunt Mitali however stuck to her point – the miscreant was none other than Rahul. When Sonali started reporting that the gas pipe was found removed a couple of times, it was a matter of serious concern as it is not easy to take that out and Mitali feared the worse – Rahul is probably not doing all these consciously – and the Google search began for Pyromania. Rahul was pyrophobic and now this sudden urge to light fires, removing gas pipes and all began to worry her.
Another week day, Sonali decided to skip office to stay in the house and observe. Same things continued – the gas pipe was open, Lord Ganesh’s idol was under the bed. Sonali reminded the police to initiate investigation. The same night, the maid who cooks came to prepare dinner and found the flour smelled of Eucalyptus oil, few vegetables missing. Sonali decided to go to Kali Ghat to worship Goddess Kali the very next day.
Before the family left for Kalighat, Mitali dialled Rahul’s cell number and spoke casually “I do not want to embarrass you Rahul, somehow today after you all come back from Kalighat, if nothing is missing or moved, we do not need the cops or Gods to tell us –what is happening in the house and who is responsible – Right?”
Rahul realized, the cheap thrills of having the whole world dance to this tunes, make them superstitious by playing God, merely by moving things, being in control of affairs, enjoying every moment watching how hysteric adults can get, in the name of God – has to end today. No more fun at other’s expense. Back to normal mundane life – study for forth coming exams and so on!!
Mitali’s mother was reluctant to believe and continued to defend her grandson. While she was consoling him over phone, Mitali picked up a Mango from the kitchen and kept it under the pillow. Few minutes later when her mother started looking for the Mango frantically – on the table, in the fridge, in the fruit bowl, in the kitchen, Mitali kept smiling! ‘That is what your baby boy used to do – Move stuff when others were busy and tried to play God!’
‘The burglary alarm should work when he was moving around’, the insistent grandmother continued. ‘You forget - the remote is with him always. He switched that off each time, he wanted to act God!’ Mitali explained.
‘His otherwise quarrelling parents will now sober down as they will probably continue to believe God is still watching them’ Mitali’s mother said ‘Thanks to Rahul, sometimes you lead people by misleading them’
One can imagine Mitali’s reaction to that logic. OH MY GOD... Grandmothers!!********