“He decides, we just follow his direction,” said Rajesh, the cab driver who picked me in the evening from Le Méridien, Delhi to drop me at the airport for my return flight to Pune. “The event was a setup, he (god) had called you to say hello!”
Those words layered in to my head like the Vibe X2- world’s first layered phone for which I was in Delhi recently to attend the launch along with the stalwarts from the Indian tech world.
With a flight booked at 7:30 in the morning I left home around 5 A.M. Within two hours I was right at the exit of the Indira Gandhi Domestic Airport, I was told to look for a guy who would be waiting for me to drop me at the hotel where the event was to start from 2 PM.
I found a well dressed middle aged man in white holding a board with my name spelled right, I acknowledged him and we were on our way to the hotel.
Passing by the Rashtrapati Bhavan, I asked Sunil how far would be Parathe Wali Gali – heaven for food lovers. “Sir very close. Take a metro and you would reach in 15 mins. But the place has lost its charm, only two known resturants are left rest of them have closed. If you like Biryani then go to Karims or you can eat at the famous Amritsari Naan outlet,” informed Sunil while cruising through the empty streets. Sunil was ‘Ma Man!’ “Today is Guru Nanak’s birthday so the streets are empty and we will reach the hotel in max 20 minutes.”
We spoke more and in a while we were hitting the right chords of food and music. After a while very politely he suggested a great place to me. “If you don’t mind can I suggest you a good place. Today is Nanak’s birthday and we have Bangla Sahib the famous Gurudwara close to the hotel, go at lunch time you will find lot of stalls with home made food being distributed by locals for free. Very good quality food and they distribute out of love while keeping the teachings of Nanak alive.”
I have always been attached to Gurudwara, have visited before at different places and I love the way Sikh people believe in ‘Seva’ or doing some work when they visit the Gurudwara – like cleaning shoes of visitors, offering water and food to name a few. Gestures like these make you belief stronger in humanity.
Infact I have always believed that you will find god if you be polite to other humans, no matter whatever their religion and belief is.
After having breakfast, I took an auto towards the Gurudwara. I was dropped at the outer lane as the place was really crowded. As I inched closer towards the holy place, the crowd went on growing. Every where there were long queues to convince me that visiting the place was really not a good idea on such a big day.
I told myself lets forget the food and decided to wish the birthday boy. I had 30 minutes and every where there were endless devotees coming from all directions. I just followed them to find the main entry to the Gurudwara.
Finally I was next to the entry and before I continue my story take a look at the crowd:
I was told to just join the queue and you will reach to the place where you can say hello to the birthday boy. It was a mad rush, the more I went in people were becoming mad and crushing each other. While some were busy reciting their thoughts, trying to catch one glimpse and rest of them were busy taking pictures.
After bit of effort and surviving the madness of the crowd for the next 10-15 minutes, I was standing next to the holy place, I could just bow my head and wish him for a second. Before I could realise I was hushed away since the crowd was just growing with every passing minute.
With still some time I explored the entire Gurudwara, saw thousands of people along with me joining hands and wishing Nanak ji. Without wasting time and quickly taking a few pictures away from the crowd I left the place.
While leaving again I had to force my self out but as I was stepping out I saw a small crowd in one corner. To kill my curiosity I peeped in only to return with a handful of prasad – a couple was distributing prasad (food as a religious offering). I had a hand full of delicious food to make me happy. May be it was my return gift.
I collected my shoes, made some friends who posed for me without much fuss and took a rickshaw back to the hotel.
As I was boarding my flight in the evening, words of Rajesh circulated in my head – “I have passed by the Gurudwara more than five times today but couldn’t find time. And you had no clue of the day but you landed up at the holy place and now going back to Pune. It was all decided by him.”
On asking if he wishes to go now since his work hours are ending, he said he will obviously but I am no one to decide. “But you have met him and I have met you so in other words I have already met him.”
Sometimes things just happen and you have no control on it. Visiting Bangla Saheb was one such small travel story which made me bit more wiser.