His name, as I later found out, was Kanshi. He bends down to touch my feet. Following him, other students bend low and touch my feet and rise, in quick succession.
As soon as the students at the Navajeevan Hostel at Khariar Road saw me, they touched my feet and I was supposed to bless them. I’m at the hostel on field work from my Theological College and have Me? Bless someone? Wait – I need to get straight first.I could do with some blessings myself even beforedaring to bless anyone.
I stand there knowing not what to do. A dagger cuts through my chest. I have been stabbed by the same dagger before and and te familiar feeling tells me it is guilt ( an old time foe), this time again.
Actually, it is their sign of respect. They say Namaste and touch my feet because I am elder to them and implies that I am someone who deserves respect. Hang on there a minute! I felt terrible when they touched my feet. The reasons is that I am quite ashamed of myself. They respect me and consider me someone to be respected. But do my thoughts and deeds deserve that respect? I ran through that thought over and over again.
Actually I don’t. They respect me , thought I am not all that worthy of respect.
I know how I think and what I think. And I am not proud of all that I think, do and say, either. This is despite being a theology student, studying in a seminary preparing for pastoral ministry in the church.
You see, all of that weighs me down and causes that strange feeling in my stomach. I’m not hungry now. May be I won’t be until this disturbing thought goes away.
Who am I to bless? No one.
But I must.
I must say “God bless you,” or “jeete raho,” or something good, so that my blessing will become a reality in their life.
Our words will take them a long way. Children live up to the expectations you give them. good or bad. So whether you are worthy of blessing someone or not, your blessing will be lived up to, and so will your curse.
No, I don’t deserve to bless you. But I have been asked to bless. You have touched my feet, expectantly. And bless I must. All the good in the world should come to you and through you, to others.
I don’t deserve to bless you, but I have been bestowed with the privilege of blessing you. Isn’t that what we call the grace of God? We didn’t deserve it, but yet God put us in a position to determine the good or bad in another person’s life! The dagger pierces deeper. Oh God! Who am i?
A boy is still at my feet. I place both my hands on his oiled hair and whisper, loud enough just for him to hear, ” Prabhu aashish kare!” ( May God bless you!)