Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Temple Priest and the Beggars Group Outside

Walked into a temple at an early hour. Everything was just waking up. I walked up to the young priest. He was busy on the phone. Not for a moment could he take his eyes away from his phone. He completed his tasks with phone in one hand, scowl on face. He was obviously angry about something. Everything he did was hurried, half-done and with a complete sense of detachment. I am doing my job here and I owe you guys nothing was the attitude. My big idea of walking in to spend a few peaceful moments in  among the temple environs was shot. I sat awhile and then moved out. Not a good idea to meet priests I thought.

Outside the temple I saw four beggars. All old people. All of them sitting in an orderly fashion and waiting for alms. Nothing in their behavior, posture, attitude was jarring - they looked so perfect. They chatted among themselves quietly, a wary eye out for the prospect. The more I saw them the more I realised it was a delightful bunch of old people, cheery, at peace with themselves and the world. And in good humour that showed in their eyes and demeanour.

I looked in my purse and found a tenner. If I had four tenners I'd have given them all one but since I had one I decided to ask them to share. They stiffened when I stopped near them. I asked them how they would share the tenner, who to give it to. They spoke as one - 'We are all together. Give it to anyone.' Something about them was really peaceful and loving. They were all together, sharing, having fun.

It was such a pleasure giving them them the tenner. I was glad I had found these four to give what I could, glad that they gave me an opportunity to give. As I left them, I could not forget the joy in their faces, the babble they descended into. A distance away from them I thought I should have asked them to bless me. For all I know they already did. But next time perhaps I will. Just to see the love in their eyes for some more time.

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