Some things are best not said and done.
Last week was a marathon sort of – I had to attend prayers for 4 consequent days starting from Thursday to Sunday. A prayer in the temple once in a week is fine with me but having to go to the temple for 4 straight days for a bit off the barometer for me. But since it was attended by the ladies in the house (my mom, wife and my younger sister), nothing much I can do nothing to stop it either. Besides, they informed me that it is different prayers for each day and it is only done once in a year. Most of the time, I am left taking care of my son in the temple courtyard whilst the ladies are busy performing the various prayers.
The prayers normally starts at 7.30 pm and finish late at about 10.00 pm. It usually starts with the priest chanting some mantra, followed by some singing of devotional songs and continued with the procession of the deity around the temple with the ladies carrying specially made lamps. The ceremony is then finished off with other prayers after the processions. Light dinner is then served. It was the case for 3 consecutive days.
Even my son was into the “devotional matters” last week!
It was the 4th day.
My wife and I were out for shopping for items for our new house. The prayers start at about 8.00 pm, so we had plenty of time in the morning and afternoon for our shopping. By the time we came back, we were tired so I had second thoughts of forcing myself for another visit to the temple for prayers. My wife had the same notion but unfortunately for us, since it was the last day of the special prayers for the month, my mother requested us to be there no matter how long it takes us to reach the place. She did not want us to miss the final prayers since we have been “faithfully” been coming to the temple for the last 3 days.
With half hearted, we decided to go for the temple for the final prayers. After all, it was the last special prayers for this year and it will not be another until next year. So, why waste the opportunity?
We left the house reasonably early and despite the heavy traffic jam, we know we can make in time. To reach the temple, I need to make a U-turn just before the traffic lights and I know that not only there is a bottleneck there but the traffic jam is also made worse by frequent queue jumpers.
Bearing that in mind, we patiently waited behind a long queue of cars making the U-turn. When I reached the turning area, all the sudden a 4WD who had queue jumped squeezed in my path. Being the guy I am, I decided not to give space for this queue jumper to have his way. Big mistake! In my concentration to cut off the queue jumper, I did not realize that the car in front of me had stopped.
A slight bang! That’s all I heard.
As the car in front of me moved away, I saw a slight scrape on the bumper. Luckily the bumper was still intact although I did not know the extent of damage on my car. We drove off from the jam and stopped along the road side where there was less jam. Each of us inspected the damage on our cars – mine was slightly worse than his. The bumper a bit out on the side but the rest of the car was unscathed and still looked new. Knowing that I was at fault, I approached the driver – an old man who thankfully did not look too menacing.
We talked for a while, he had a look on the damage on my car and saw that we were dressed for a function (my wife was wearing a saree and I was in my jippa), he agreed on a RM50 to settle the damage. Between the cut-throat repair cost in a workshop and the offer of RM50, the RM50 was still cheaper for me, so I quickly paid him off without hesitation, cursed myself for being so careless & egoistic when dealing with queue jumpers and quickly made our way to the temple.
It was pain to see my car with the damage so, I was not in the right mind when I was in the temple. I keep thinking on my mistakes and seriously wanted to repair the bumper within this week – the damage was small and I am sure that the guys at my usual workshop will be able to fix it but it will not be same anymore.
It was not a good weekend for me!
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