Radha was irritated. Very Irritated. She wanted to speak to her father but did he have any time for her other than his chanting and his devotional service. Nah, it was only them for him.
‘Why can’t he hurry up?’, she asked her mom.
‘And why didn’t you ask him yesterday, you had the whole evening to ask him?’, said her mom.
‘Then wait’, said her mom
‘I mean, why does he have to do all this?’
‘Radha, is it wrong to give a little time to the maker? The rest of the day he devotes to us, isn’t it? ‘, said her mom
‘Yes, I know, karma, bhakti, service, I know, Please don’t start all that again’, complained Radha.
‘Radhaaa’, he was about to lecture her when Shankar, her husband and Radha’s father stopped her.
‘It is alright Savita, leave her, so what did you want from me?’
‘Dad, I have been selected for the school cricket team but the stupid school people want your signature on the consent form’
‘That is nice, congratulations’, and he took a pen and signed the form.
Radha took the form, took her bag and ran to her school
‘Why do you give her such a long rein. She has to learn discipline. And she always complains about your devotion…’, Savita said
‘It is alright Savita, she will understand, one day. She is young, she does not understand my views. She looks at the world and feels that her Dad does not fit in it. She does not understand the peace that my devotion gives to me, or how it makes me a better person and the bliss I have. We have given her a good foundation, now it depends on her to branch out. She is still a tender sapling Savita, let us not pressurize her. A tender sapling breaks out in strong winds. Let us be her strength not her weakness.’
Radha was the extra person in her cricket team. It just meant that she served water to the others and kept everyone in good humor.
‘Hey Radha you are a much better player than that Ashu, don’t you feel bad to serve her water’, it was her friend Nishi
‘Why should I feel bad? She is playing and she needed water, I just gave her some, so what? And God is in everyone’s heart; so by serving her water, I am serving Him too isn’t it?, she said this and bit her lip. That was what her father said always. And she was surprised how she had echoed his words.
She carried on with her practice and her efforts and good nature were noticed. And it so happened that there was a crucial inter school match and three of their players were hospitalised due to a stomach infection and Radha was called on the field
She was scared. It was her first match and such a crucial one too. Her palms were wet. The heart beat so loudly that she was sure it would pop out any moment. In her anxiety she wanted someone to give her support. At that moment she remembered the prayer that her Father had taught her when she was a child,
Ugram veeram maha vishnum
Jwalantam sarvato mukham
Narasimham bhishanam bhadram
mrityo mrityur namamyaham
And she felt a ray of calmness engulf her. And she went on the field to bat.
The match was a draw. But Radha had been not out and later she had fielded well too.
Radha would always remember that day as it was the first time she had played an inter school match. But most importantly because she had realized that she was her father’s daughter.
The Jagannath Rath Yatra commences today. So the believers can go ahead and pull the Ratha, the rest can look the other way. 🙂