You Said ,'8:00 PM, but it's 11:30'. The Oldman pointed out a shiny clock, tick tock-ing on top of the bus stand tower. 'Maybe I should have walked with other pilgrims to reach here faster than this old bus'.
'Then we were not blessed to hear the same dialogue in different verses'. The conductor whispered nearer to the driver's ears. They checked out each other and laughed inside their teeth and taken a silent oath not to agitate their angry customer more than his current state, but Oldman's cuss on the grand bus expired their promise sooner than they anticipated. 'It's because of traffic Gran, look around us', driver pointed out the moving crowd. 'Everyone wants to be here tomorrow to visit our great Lord, nothing to do with our bus'.
Driver's plead made Oldman's temple nerves to twitch more than before, but the brisk of a tiny hand and heavy cough caused by his Grandson wiped out Oldman's agitation and made his legs to walk away from his agitators.
'Tomorrow, don't forget to pray for us, Gran'.
While slinging Grandson over his shoulders, Oldman threw a playful smile to ensure that Conductor's wish granted, caressed Grandson on the back, Little boy answered again with a huge cough.
Not knowing about which direction to go, Oldman decided to follow the crowd. He believed all came here for the same reason, saw the temple's High towers from a long distance, without thanking his helpers, outrun them, and reached the Temple first. His happiness for the mission accomplishment started to fade away as he looked over the vast crowd formed on many queues by encircling the outer perimeter of the temple. Oldman counted three circles of the queue, and if he wasted any more seconds then he may end up in the fourth queue, so he looked around and claimed a spot by throwing his towel on the ground. He laid his Grandson over the fainted towel and turned him gently to provide a comfortable position inside his towel area.
Oldman called out Front-sitter and asked a favor to keep a guard on his Grandson and claimed spot so he can go away for a few minutes. Front-Sitter protected the little boy from hungry mosquitoes here and there. Once Oldman returned with the packed food and sat quietly. Without expecting any gratitude, Front-sitter singed-off his Guard post, advised to brisk his Grandson, and eat the food before it gets spoiled. Oldman ignored the mumblings of Front-Sitter and delved into silence for hours. Front-Sitter confirmed his earlier doubts that Oldman must be one of the nutcrackers who usually indulge their mind into emptiness and be a cabbage for hours. Front-Sitter preferred to stay away from these kinds of nutcrackers, so he showed his back and fell into sleep. But a Heavy cough fell like a thunder, waked him up, and to investigate the origin of the cougher, Front-Sitter turned back.
The little boy gulped all the tablets and gave another heavy cough, Oldman poured some kind of syrup to the little boy and asked him to go on sleeping. The little boy knows whatever argument of his can't convince his grandpa's idea that in sleep, no cough comes in, So the Little boy accepted the challenge to get sleep and laid down.
Witnessing all of it, Front-sitter now decide to drop his idea of avoiding nutcrackers, threw a friendly smile of his, i.e. Showing all his teeth wide as possible, and created a warm approach to ask his question, 'is the little boy got some health issues?'
'I don't remember the name of the disease. They said it's a rare one. He is the 5th one who got this disease so far in the world. Can't be treated in Govt hospital, and I don't have money for private hospitals after many of my pleads, the Govt doctor arranged to get tablets from a distant country to ease his pain'.
'They passed away before he recognized them as parents. My wife and I took care of him then heard about his disease. My wife lost her heart first, then her mind later. One day I locked her inside my home and went to the hospital with my Grandson. On our return, we saw the broken doors, and I can't find her anywhere. The thoughts of suicide came and gone in my head many times, but am a coward who never got enough strength to murder a little boy and end up my own-life, whom I to take the life given by our Lord. If someone can save him, it might be only our Lord. So Visting our Lord, Temple by Temple, pleading with my prayers, trying to save him'.
Front-Sitter wetted his eyes on seeing Oldman's smile. Front-sitter tried to throw his charming-friendly smile but failed on his attempt , 'No worries Gran, you came to the right Temple in your pilgrimage tour, it got the power to cure the un-curable diseases. A king who lived around 1000+ years back got some disease. Many healers attempted, and none can cure him. They say that our Lord went to the ancient King's dream and gave the exact location of his statue and asked him to build a big temple around it. King did as Lord told then came here with his convoy and worshipped the Lord when the Sun was in peak, within months he recovered and conquered the more frontiers. From that day on, they will open the gates of the temple only when the Sun in its peak. Some say that a sorcerer created Lord's statue and it got many hidden powers. A group of people went and claimed to the ancient King that they were the lineage of the sorcerer, they requested their family members alone to be rightful priests to maintain the Lord's temple and King approved it. In return, they promised to do some amazing stuff to get the lord blessings to the King's lineage, so every time the King and his family passed by this town, they visit this temple. Even tomorrow, they will come here. That's why it's crowded than usual'.
Oldman's eyes twinkled on hearing the origin stories of the temple, and he shouted 'Hail the Lord!!!... Hail the Lord!!!... others also Hail the Lord!!!'
When first light shone After made sure the retained places were secured, the crowd from the queue started to move out. Oldman offered Front-Sitter to have his turn first. Oldman returned from his morning bath, not brisked his Grandson, and waited till he was woken by himself.
The Sun at its peak, when Oldman returned with his Grandson and found his belongings were gone. Now Front-Sitter becomes Front Stander, and the queue moved a bit. Carrying the belongings of Oldman, Front-Stander beckoned Oldman to join with him. They all fought with Sun's heat rays, and they all rewarded thoroughly once entered inside the temple. The cold air embraced them. When they first felt the brushing of coldness in their skin, some Hailed the Lord and thanked him for his eternal kindness. More than anyone kept accounted, they Hail the Lord for various reasons, and his Grandson coughed heavily.
At-last Oldman saw the Lord's glowing statue, and his view gets blocked here and there by others. Eventually, for every step forward, he got a better view of the Lord's statue. The sun rays reflected inside Sanctum were very different, Oldman never saw that kind of rays in his whole life, felt very distinct light rays only infilled in here. His mind not known any rational concepts to co-relate the peace he felt in his mind. Oldman thought no one could describe the pain to others without co-relating to other things. The only way is to be felt by themself, and the same goes to feel the Lord's presence. His eyes wept not for sadness but for the greatness he felt. So far, he saw only Lord's statue, and light present inside Sanctum, and other things started to emerge in front of his eyes as move forward.
In front of Sanctum, lots of barricades smiled triumphantly for achieving the commoners away from Lord's statue. On another side of the barricade, the priests shouting on the people to move forward as fast as possible. Few of the priests throw holy mix-vegetable droplets in the hands of the commoner. They made sure that not even by mistake they touch any Commoners if it happened then they will relieve the Priest from the duty and advised to take bath for seven times and go through certain chanting rituals. For the collected money from the Commoners, went a simple chanting ritual, then it will be split among the Priests as the Head-Priest instructed. Sometimes Priests charge money and do chanting for the commoners. If there is a visit from the Royal Family, they are allowed inside the Sanctum. In front of the Lord's statue, Priests do special chanting for them. Even the Royal family can't understand the meaning of the chanting words. Priests guarded the meaning of the chanted words in high secrecy. They claimed it's the language of their Lords, only they can understand it. Shouldn't be questioned by anyone, it's been the way for so long. But for Atheists, the Priest's chanting is always a gibberish-boobity-boobaty-boo.
Oldman saw the Prince sat on the lap of Lord's statue, who was the same age as his Grandson. Inside the Sanctum, Priests enjoyed the view and appraised him ,'as the blessings of our Lord He will be a fine king as his father'. The Royal family thrilled to hear it, and they all hailed the Lord.
if my Grandson sat on the Lord's statue, The Aura surrounded its figure will save him from his disease or else why I would reach this temple without knowing it's omnipotence, Not an accident … It's our Lord's call … I can feel it … HAIL THE LORD!!! HAIL THE LORD!!! The Oldman assured himself and went nearer to the Priest, asked his request.
Priest's eyes reddened, without saying anything to Oldman, he went and conveyed Oldman's request to Head-Priest. Firmly holding the barricade, Oldman saw everything from a certain distance. Head-Priest instructed the stick guys. They came nearer to Oldman and Said: 'Expect Priests and Royal Family, No one allowed inside the Sanctum'.
They did not listen to any of the Oldman's pleadings, Oldman's temple tightened, he decided to go inside Sanctum by jumping the barricade. His legs were the only thing heed Oldman's command. The instructions were clear to them on how to act when it happened like that. Their sticks acted swiftly, Oldman fought against their pushing and beatings, His Grandson tried to keep the stick guys away from his grandpa, but stick guys won at last by throwing Oldman and skinny-Kid out of the main temple. For their attempt, Oldman and Kid were rewarded with various wounds. As Oldman guarded his Grandson most of the time, His injuries were more generous than his little warrior. Most people were busy getting a glimpse of the Lord's statue and Royal Family, failed to notice the injured Oldman and his Grandson. For the few who saw, thought the Oldman is a fool and got proper punishment. Justice served by Priests and punishment handled by stick guys.
One hand keeping on his head to slow the rushing blood and other on his coughing Grandson, Oldman trudged and sat nearer to the pillar. Someone appeared, tore his clothes, and aided Oldman's head wound. Oldman astoundingly saw his savior. A saggy beard man wore torn-clothes, and now it got torn more because of Oldman's aid.
'Don't you Idiots know that the Lord's statues are Untouchables for commoners like us, when will you learn it. YOU IGNORANT BRATS' , Shaggy-beard men thundered on Oldman and others who walks nearer to him. He laughed hysterically, jumped here and there, and scolded with more curse words on their beloved Lord until a young man shushed him away and sat nearer to Oldman. The Youngman's face is a well-known one, and we know him as Front-Sitter and sometimes Front-Stander and Now Side-Sitter. He handover the food packets to him. Those were free ones provided by Priests which he brought it from the other side of the temple.
Oldman started eating with his Grandson without talking and thinking anything. Yes, there were hunger pangs firsts needs to be calmed before they start their journey to the next city to visit another Lord's Statue in another temple.