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It was summer. I had finished my degree exams and preparing for the entrance exams for PG courses. There was an entrance exam in Tirupathi .I told my mom, “Amma! I’ll go to Tirupathi with my friends and give the exam and come back”. Then my mother said “why only you girls? Tirupathi is where Lord Venkateswara’s temple is there. We all want to go to Tirupathi and visit the Balaji temple. We’ll escort you. You write the exam and we’ll all have the darshan of Lord Venkateshwara”.
The tickets were booked. My father, mother, brother, sister, niece, myself and my friend Rajya lakshmi all went to Tirupathi. We got into a Hotel room at Tirupathi. The next day morning was the exam. That very afternoon, we went by bus to Tirumala hills, where the Balaji temple is located.
We got into a room of Ram Bageecha lodge. We went for the Lord’s darshan the next day morning. It was a long queue. We had to be in the queue for 3 hours standing. There was great crowd in the entrance. The couples who got Kalyanam performed for the Lord, joined this queue at the entrance.
There were so many people and there was a lot of pushing. The volunteers could not control the crowd for some time. Our family members could not stay together. Finally, I got into the temple. I was folding my hands and noticed my watch then. I had a very good darshan of the Lord. All the pain of waiting vanished after seeing the Lord. Inside the temple when we turn back to go out, we were given the teertham or the holy water. While taking the teertham , I noticed that my wrist watch was missing. I was taken aback.
I just could not take it. Right infront of the lord, how can I ever loose anything?
Immediately I reported this to the security persons. One male security suggested me to search on the floor. As I was searching, one female security oppsed for my longer stay there. I then told her that I lost my watch and started searching on the floor. Then she kept quiet. I continued my search hoping that I’ll find it. I had the firm belief that nothing can be lost in front of the lord. I could not still find it. The crowd was there. My parents were waiting outside. I gave the search.
With red face, I went out. I was feeling bad inside. Tears started rolling down my cheeks. My mother first saw me outside the temple. “What happened my dear?” she lovingly asked. I could not control the sobs. My father and others too joined my mother to hear me. In between the sobs I narrated everything to them.
“Is that all?” My father said. “It’s alright”, he continued “ No theft can happen without the Lord’s permission. This might be only an indication of something “ he concluded. I could not understand his meaning. “If that is so, then why indicate anything by the lost of watches? “ I murmurmed.
I’ll not go to Tirupathi again I thought. That same year, before Dassera, there was a sudden demise of my father. Then I thought perhaps the Lord was indicating this. Still Idid not go to Tirupathi for 5 consecutive years though it’s our family tradition to go there every year.
Then I again thought why I am not going to Tirupathi? I always liked Lord Venkateshwara. Also I was compelled to go soon after my marriage to take blessings of the Lord.
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