The lounge was unusually crowded. There was still one more hour before the flight was to depart so I looked around for a seat and managed to find one in the corner. There was a gentleman bent over his laptop, busy preparing a report. Then there was a very slim girl wearing a skin hugging outfit outlining the contours of her firm figure. She was reading a Sidney Sheldon bestseller and sipping cappuccino. Another couple was engaged in a comfy conversation. I was soon rewarded in my indulgence of observing people rather than following the news playing on the TV. A Saffron robed Swami, very well built and with a flowing black beard, holding a blackberry in one hand, and a ring on every finger, entered. He was accompanied with an entourage of six people-two women very well dressed and three gentlemen in ties and one donning a spotless white kurta and a matching pajama. A man attired in black suit and a purple tie who was clean shaven and had a receding hairline sat on an adjacent sofa suddenly got up from his seat and walked up to the Swami bowed and greeted him. The Swami’s eyes shone in familiarity and waved a hand to bless his disciple. ‘Swamiji, let me introduce you to my wife and daughter’ he said, as he brought the Swami closer to the place where they both were sipping a cold drink. Upon seeing the Swami walk up to them they got up and greeted him with folded hands and head bowed in reverence. ’Jeete raho’(Bless You!) the Swami said, as he blessed them in turns. After brief introductions they all settled down in a semi circle and continued to talk. I moved a little closer to eavesdrop on the on going conversation. ‘Swamiji, this is my daughter, Neetu about whom I had mentioned to you last time and she is a Manglik( Born under unfavorable sun sign) . She will be twenty eight next month and our search for a bridegroom has not yielded any results, the man anxiously explained to the Swami’. The mobile of Swami rang and the conversation was interrupted for a while as he cut short the discussion. Swami opened his brief case which lay on his feet and pulled out a black thread with metallic bead (a Taveej). He handed it over to the girl and said ’Beti (Daughter)you should wear this and do not remove it’. He then looked at the man and his wife and continued ’your daughter will be married within next six months, so have faith in god’. The couple gratefully looked at the swami and thanked him for his blessing. The announcement of my flight interrupted the session. After a brief discussion both the swami and his disciple got up and walked towards a corner. I guess the disciple had gone to make an offering to the god man. As I stepped out of the room, I looked back and found the swami smiling at his disciple.
News was breaking on the TV that Swami Agnivesh would be joining the reality show ‘The Big Boss’ to rub shoulders with a bevy of beauties. Yes, he is the same guy who was hobnobbing with one Kapil Muni(sic!) and caught on the camera to defame the team Anna , crusading against corruption! I wondered how times have changed when Urvashi had come to interrupt the meditation of Swami Vishwamitra to the recent times where the Swami himself would be landing in the den with beauties!
My mind was racing at the thought of how all these Swami, of the modern era, have tarnished the image of yesteryear Swamis! Agnivesh, Nityanand , Chandraswami and the list goes on. Hope we will learn to live without them some day in future!