“All of us are going around with an entire story of our lives, completely different from the story of our lives that anybody else would tell. So much of our lives never breaks the surface. ~ Claire Messud in The Guardian.
In my earlier story on Addiction, I had mentioned my stay in Tirupur when my own problems with addiction was a significant part of my life. Apart from all the other tools that I used during that difficult period, I also sought divine intervention. I used to visit a Ganesha temple near my home on my way to my office in the mornings. I had no doubts that the Remover Of Obstacles will come to my help and He took his time but come He did.
This story is about someone else and not how Ganesha helped me. That story has already been told.
I was living in a small developing suburb and there were very few occupied houses there then. I suppose that I must have been some kind of a novelty for living alone and working for a very well known company in the town. There is little that can be kept secret in small towns and I was not surprised when this story unfolded the way it did.
While at the temple, I used to see a middle aged couple come about the same time that I would be there and after a few occasions of seeing each other, we started to greet each other with a Namaste. Some times the lady would come alone and then too she would inevitably smile and do the Namaste to me and I would reciprocate.
On one such occasion when she was alone she was distracted somewhat and also very nervous. For the first time ever, I spoke to her and asked her if everything was alright with her and she said that she would appreciate it if she would be allowed to meet me at my home. I told her that it would be perfectly alright to do so when my daily help, a lady would be at home in the mornings before I left for the temple and the next day she landed up at my home.
She informed me that her husband had lost his job and that they were in dire straits. She requested me to employ him in my organisation. I said that I would need details before I could commit and asked her to send her husband to me with a resume.
The husband landed up the next morning and on seeing his resume I could see that he was a habitual job jumper and on being queried on that aspect, he came up with bizarre reasons for his not being able to stay in one job for any reasonable length of time. I offered to take him on on a trial basis for a month and if he came up to scratch would offer him a secure position. He agreed to this and he was to start from the following Monday.
He never turned up and I did not see either him or his wife for the next week or so at the temple either. Then one morning I saw the lady alone at the temple and it was obvious that she had been bashed up. When she saw me looking at her, she broke down and started to weep which was very embarrassing. I requested her to compose herself and meet me next morning at home, which she duly did.
The story that I finally pieced together was that her husband was drinking heavily and that was why he was losing his jobs. He would also get drunk and beat her up while under the influence and she was at her wits end.
At that time I was still not involved with AA and I really did not know how to handle this situation. I asked her if she had tried to defend herself when her husband was beating her up and she said that it was impossible as he was very violent and would use any object near at hand to grab and use it as a weapon to bash her with. On an impulse I suggested that she might try assaulting him first, if necessary with a rolling pin or something like that and she recoiled like as though she had been hit by me. She went off on a tirade about how ridiculous that I suggest that she could lift a hand at her husband etc and I allowed her to let off some steam and explained to her that bullies would normally back off when they were confronted and she simply and quietly, said Namaste and went away.
About a week later I saw the pair together at the temple and both were looking grand and quite cheerful. No words were exchanged but smiles and Namastes were and this continued till I left Tirupur to handle my own problems.
I have always wondered if that lady took my advise and walloped her husband to bring about the change.
“God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest.”
~ J. G. Holland