We were visiting a temple in South India during our family trip. A common sight at the entrance of any temple is a row of poor people expecting money or food from the devotees.
While standing in the queue awaiting Darshan, I saw a man in front of me sarcastically pointing out to a woman who was extraordinarily obese. All the people in the queue turned towards her. She was sitting on the pavement with tattered clothes and a broken bowl in her hands. Her head was bent down. I felt sad for her. I wondered why the goddess would let anyone live like that. That too, someone so near her!
After the Darshan, I went straight to that woman. I put some money and few fruits in her bowl. She did not bother to look at me. I asked her whether she had eaten. She gave me a glance, nodded and again bent down. I could not infer anything. I returned back to the hotel room – baffled! That night I could not sleep. My kids suggested that we go back to the temple the next day.
When we went there the next morning, we couldn’t locate her. I enquired about the woman with the other poor people sitting there. Apparently, no one had seen such a woman there! My mind was grappling with the mystery when we left the temple. Suddenly, some of the stories my grandma used to tell flashed across my mind. Maybe Grandma was right; the Goddess walks amongst us incognito!
The image of Goddess I had in my mind was replaced by this woman. The belief ‘God is everywhere’ strengthened in me. Now, whenever I interact with anyone I see God in him/her. I started seeing people beyond their looks and accepting them as they are!
Originally published at 300and1.com