The Story of the Toffee!
So I happen to have this really old temple near where we live. Unlike one of those really small, crowded, noisy messy places, which most temples land up becoming (no offences to anyone, just some reality about today’s temples) this one is one of the most spacious places in our neighborhood. With a rather large compound and trees it manages to actually house multiple temples. The main temple is that of Lakshmi-Nrarayan and behind it there are three tinier temples, one of Vithhal-Rukmini, another one of Hanumanji and the third of Shankar Bahgwan. And then there is a Tulsi kyaara.
The usual ritual for most people visiting the temple (s) is first you visit the main one then hop over to the three smaller ones and then to the tulsi kyaara. Once that’s done everyone has their usual place to chill at, whether the staircases, the benches or the tree shades.
By now you would be wondering why are we reading so much about a temple in a story which is suppose to be about ‘the toffee’!
Well as a kid I visited this temple a lot, perhaps it was one of the most ideal places to go chill alone (and that time the temple was perhaps the farthest I would be allowed to go alone). Of course over the years partly because I found more places I could go alone and partly because I “moved on” the temple was kind of left behind. And then some months back I rediscovered it. One fine day I felt like going back and I’ve been going there quite often since then.
And now here’s where ‘the toffee’ finally enters our story! One of the evenings I was on my routine visit and in the little Vitthal-Rukmini temple at their feet, where the flowers, tulsi leaves and sometimes solitary coins are put, in the midst of the company of the orange, yellow flowers and the green tulsi leaves I saw a white colored lychee toffee (the one that comes packed in a square transparent packet)
I couldn’t stop smiling at the toffee, the gods and myself! This was definitely the first time that I had found a toffee in a temple! That day as I sat on one of the benches of the temple I couldn’t stop my imagination from playing my ‘guessing game’ of how did that toffee get there?
Somehow the first thing that came to mind, I could almost visualize – one of the many small kids who come to the temple in the evening to play, one of them having found his/her way after climbing the 5 little stairs and made it ‘face to face’ with the gods and decided to share his prized toffee with them! Probably as a special treat to the gods! Or perhaps as his punishment fee cause god might have helped him escape some tricky mess (one of those promises that as kids we always made, only if you get me out of this, this time, I shall do…..) or perhaps (s)he saw all the ‘big’ people put money to the temple when they came and since (s)he was taught money is important had learnt that I should also try n share something that’s ‘important’ with the god, and of course what could be more important for me than my toffees!
I don’t know, it could have been any of this or none of these reasons as to how the toffee landed up there. Probably it might just have been one really old person having put it there cause they did not want to eat it! Ha ha
Don’t know, I just know that it was one of those things, which I rarely thought I would bump into inside a temple. Definitely made me smile through the rest of the evening and let my imagination have a trip of its own! Perhaps the next time even I should think of sharing some of my favorite chocolate cake with god! J
P.S: and perhaps it could be fun if all of us began leaving behind some random things at random places, things people don’t expect to be found in those locations. Probably we could have more people smiling to themselves and imagining stories up!