Friday, March 6, 2009

Mystery of the ochre robed man

Ravi stared at the pink slip that was handed over to him. He was not a technical professional and was in the administrative department. He was dispensable. It was as if the whole world had conspired against him. This job was the only source of income. This was the last straw on his back. He was completely devastated and had no clue about his next step. His wife had become sick with a suspected breast cancer. A mammogram revealed positive and further tests were slated for next week. He had defaulted in making payment for the loan taken from a private bank that had set behind him thugs under the garb of recovery agents.They were always standing outside his building waiting to catch him.His family had been abused and noisy scenes created in the presence of neighbours.He had two young kids and the school had given notice that they would be struck of the rolls if their fees were not paid within three weeks, The rent for his apartment was in arrears and the landlord had given eviction notice. The local grocery stores refused to extend credit any more. He had already taken small loans from all known people. There was nothing in the house to cook. He was at the end of the tether and the future looked bleak.
His wife said ” We can do little. Things are beyond us. Only a miracle can save us. Let us pray to God. He alone could help us out this mess Meanwhile pledge this ring and get some provisions .Children have not eaten properly for two days.” He took the ring and looked at her sadly as this was the last trace of gold on her. He knew this would not last for more than two days. He needed big money. A sense of failure enveloped him. But sadly Ravi had no faith in God. He never went to temple nor did he ever pray. When there was no thread of hope to cling to, he fell in line with his wife and started praying. It lacked the fervour and devotion. Seeing his sick wife and the two young kids praying with their eyes closed, he felt like crying at his helplessness. A thought crossed in his mind to end his life. But the faces of the wife and the children deterred him.
To keep himself unavailable to the recovery agents he came away early in the morning and sat in the portico of the local temple. He did not go inside. He was lost in thoughts about his sad state of affairs, the suffering family members that tears trickled from his eyes. He could not control his sobbing when someone patted him on his shoulders. It was that of an ochre robed old man with a beard who was sitting at the other corner and watching him.” Thambi (younger brother) why are you crying? There is no problem in the earth that cannot be solved. Did you approach the right person? I know you have not.Go to Him and cry your heart out instead of doing it here. He will show you a way. Have faith in my words and trust Him totally.Go at once inside before they close the temple. I will wait for you.” He saw the kindly eyes with a twinkle and the smile at the corner of his eyes and felt some peace had descended on him. “Swami, please do not go away. I wish to tell you my story. Please wait. I will be back soon.” Ravi said.“Tell your story to the Lord inside.Fall at His feet and cry. Mark my word. He will surely find a way. Hurry up. I am always there.” the old man said.
When he came out of the temple after half an hour, Ravi could not find the bearded old man. When he enquired with the man selling flowers and coconuts about his whereabouts he said” I don’t know. This is the first time I have seen him here. He must have left.” Ravi looked hither and thither but there was no trace of the old man. It was very hot and Ravi felt very thirsty. He saw a pan shop selling cold drinks and sherbets. He put his hand in the pocket in search of money. There was none except a small folded paper. He opened it to see it was a state lottery ticket he bought for one rupee a month back. He used to try his luck once in three months. He was about to crumple it and throw when he saw the shop keeper telling him ”Hey, do not tear. Tell me the name of the lottery and the date of results.Some results have come today.” When Ravi read the name and the number, the shopkeeper ran his eyes through the sheets of paper and asked him to repeat the number again.Suddenly he jumped out of the small cubicle and hugged Ravi”You have won ten lakhs, ten lakhs.You are a lakhpathi.” Ravi could not believe his ears. They cross checked the number again and again and made sure of his winning. Ravi promptly put his signature behind the ticket.
As he ran his way home, the face of the ochre robed old man haunted him. He could not forget his kindly eyes. How he could be so sure that the Lord would find him a way out and what did he man by saying that he will always be there, thought Ravi as he rang the bell of his flat


  1. Yes, God listens to us; but how and when is upto Him. At times, He tests our patience and we go through heart-breakingly difficult times.

    A well-written story, Parthasarathi. Have a happy, peaceful day.

  2. Good one. Its the almighty who is always there no matter what.

  3. Very nice. Gave me goosebumps. When things get unbearable , God always helps us. He never gives us more(troubles) than we can take. Unfortunately we humans go to Him only when we have problems and usually take Him for granted. Beautifully written.

  4. and thats an 8 on 10 ! liked the story..

  5. Sir Amazing article.

    God is omni present and he can solve everything.

    We need to believe in Him and surrender to him and he shall take care of the Rest.

    Wonderful article.


  6. God there and he stands next to us through our thick and thin, its we who are unable to realise his presence. Thanks for the beaytiful story:)

  7. Aw...

    Wonderful story sir...Excellently written...God looks upon us, when we look upon Him. Great message sent across.

    And I loved your narration...the emotions were so well portrayed!

    Keep writing sir...

    Have a peaceful day!