Even after 70 years of independence many of the villages in the subcontinent are bound by the shackles of godmen, false sages and tantriks.
There was something bothering Shanti, a young girl from Kodising village of tribal Orissa. Her parents were unaware.
School going Shanti like any other teenager loved talking with friends, spending time with them and helping her mother in house hold chores. It is customary in villages to consult the sage once a while. Shanti was no different and she would consult the village guru whenever she was inquisite about something. Some of these sages are truely holy but some are wolves in the garb of a deer. Shanti was unfortunate to find one such deer.
It was a school holiday and early morning after having a bath, without even consuming a drop of water, Shanti left for the village temple. After offering her prayers while returning she decided to pay the Guru a visit. The Guru was having a sumptuous breakfast so Shanti had to wait a while. The Guru returned to his small chamber which was just adjacent to his lavish double storey house. He was in no mood to leave his prey.
The Guru made out from Shanti’s facial expressions that she was inquisitive about her future. So he started to speak in a concerned tone. The Guru, an amateur astrologer himself briefed her about the position of her stars which according to him were not satisfactorily placed. He continued that if the stars remained as they were, she would have to die by the end of the year. According to him this could be averted and special prayers would have to be offered which would cost a hefty amount.
Young Shanti was taken aback when she heard all that. She left the Guru’s chamber in a huff. After returning home she spent the remaining day in her bed. She did not eat anything that day.
She kept the secret about her future in her heart, sealed. She was unable to confide in her parents or friends. Her happy personality had changed to a gloomy one. Her friends at school were suspicious about the recent change in her behaviour.
The fear of being misuderstood seldom make it difficult for teenagers and adolescents to confide in someone. Fortunately this girl confided in her school teacher. The teacher prayed for Shanti and convinced her that she should not believe what the Guru had said. The teacher took care to sow the seeds of scientific temperament in her.
Shanti was back to her happy self and vowed never again to visit the Guru.