Today I am sharing a true incident from many years back as my contribution to “Inspiring tales.”
This is from the time when I was unmarried. I had developed a strong faith in Hanuman Ji over the years and would often remember him in my mind when faced with any problem, big or small.
I would also keep a simple Tuesday fast, though I was often told this was for men, not for girls, and would try to read the Hanuman Chalisa once back from work. Over time I memorized it and would try to say it at least seven times in my mind in the course of the day, every day. My faith has never been very ritualistic. We were brought up by mom with the philosophy, “Do good, and God dwells within you; it is not required to visit a temple to experience God and seek his blessings. You carry God within you where you go.” She always stressed on to be a good human being before any ritualistic adherence to any set pattern of worship, and we children imbibed that from her.
There came a time when my father was very ill. He came home after a prolonged stay in the hospital ward and ICU, which left him very weak and with loss of muscle tone, to the extent he could not swallow his food without it landing up in his lungs, and then the cycle of infection and pneumonia would start again. So he had a food pipe in his stomach in which we had to put liquidized feeds in throughout the day, along with his medicines.
He was very delicately placed and needed lots of monitoring and care. The whole food pipe scenario was new to us, and we usually had a nursing attendant to help us with caring for him during the day. But these would frequently change and, on a Sunday or holiday, would conveniently disappear or fall ill, knowing I would be home and would manage somehow. fgMy sister also used to live close at hand and would often help with the routine.
Cut to one such Sunday when I was managing alone. The morning breakfast feed had been given, and I was in the kitchen crushing the medicines to put into the pipe after breakfast. I heard a noise in the verandah adjacent to the kitchen and saw it was a monkey sitting and eating a tomato it had probably procured from the fridge, which used to be near the kitchen area. I froze in shock and fright, and quickly closed the kitchen door so that I could be protected.
No sooner I did this, I realized the passage door leading to Dad’s room was open and if Dad was to call me, and if this monkey went inside, then potentially he could harm Dad. The worst scenarios were playing out in my mind, of Dad shooing him away, and the monkey attacking him or pulling on his food pipe. I watched in silent desperation and finally the monkey tired of playing with the tomato after 10-15 minutes and left. I heaved a sigh of relief and went to check on Dad, who was sleeping, oblivious of any of this.
As I made my way back to the kitchen, however, I saw a group of 5-6 monkeys now sitting in the verandah, eating not just tomatoes, but breaking open eggs, and one had even got the frozen chicken out from the freezer and was repeatedly hitting it on the ground, trying to understand what it was! It seems the earlier monkey had only gone to call his friends !! Now I and dad were protected behind the passage door but the door to the kitchen was open and the soup I had been preparing for the next feed was there. This was to be administered to him with utmost sanitization and I was dreading what if these naughty monkeys got into the kitchen. I would have to throw everything and start all over again, and it was a lengthy 3-4 hour-long process, and it was already time for the next feed and round of medicines.
In utter despair, I sent up a silent prayer to Hanuman Ji, to please call his little army of monkeys back, I really needed to get on with Dad’s routine, and cannot delay further. No sooner had I finished this prayer that the monkeys looked up from the havoc they were creating, dropped everything then and there, and silently turned and left, never to return as if they had received some direct instructions from a higher source.
It all happened so suddenly I was trembling in awe to be at the receiving end of this divine intervention and amazed at how instantly the situation had turned around. To this day, the incident gives me goosebumps and my heart thumps out a “Jai Bajrang Bali Ji ki”! Yes, God, a higher power, whatever you may choose to call it, does exist and does respond to his devotees too.
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