These gods are hard to please

These gods are hard to please: As a former Director of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration who had settled down in Dehradun, ‘RP’ used to be often invited to the Academy to talk to trainees on good governance...

The Hindu, Open Page, June 14, 2016
"But the truth of RP’s quandary dawned on me when some 20 years later I settled down in a house of my own, for the first time in my life, after retirement.
An experience re-lived
When I look at my predicament these days, I think he used to make a gross understatement. The day begins with a prayer to our daily maid (Oh Lord, give us this day our daily maid!). If she comes, we are eternally grateful to her. If she doesn’t, there is hang all we can do about it. We do not expect her to tell us in advance about her inability to come .

In the meanwhile as the usual time of her daily arrival goes by, our tension increases by leaps and bounds because the dilemma is huge: whether to wait any longer or to start doing the work ourselves, particularly if we have an engagement elsewhere, including an appointment with a doctor.
That brings me to the second set of gods and goddesses in our pantheon. Getting the electrician, plumber and carpenter is next only to getting a maid to work, in terms of degree of impossibility.
Keeping time
First, any good workman worth his salt is generally too busy with large projects and has little time for small householders. If he agrees to come, you have to be hugely lucky if he comes at the time he has promise to come. For example, if your plumber says he would be there in half an hour, you can rest assured that it will stretch to nearly two hours, that is if it does not spill over to the next day or the next.
Meanwhile, you have no option but to wait and pray. Your appointments get postponed or cancelled; but you can do nothing but pray.
Thus we pray by rotation and by rote to about half-a-dozen gods and goddesses of our household pantheon."


Popular posts from this blog


The King of Ragas: Sankarabharanam