Priest Pundit Moulvi

Much before the rooster crowed at the crack of daylight and sometimes even before the sun peeped from the horizon to say good morning, three very distinctive loudspeakers blared to wake up the sleepy resident of the green and pristine village of Dhormosthol in the southern fringes of India’s most cosmopolitan and diverse Kolkata city.

Dhormosthol was not that different from any other Indian village in this part of the country. Large agricultural tracts dotted with mud or unplastered bare brick houses of thatched or corrugated sheet roofs, along with little groves and glimmering water bodies scattered here and there, crisscrossed with mostly dirt trails, redbrick paths, and some asphalt roads painted this topography.

The village was, however, unique in one very special way. Its three hundred families were equally divided in numbers as Christians, Hindus, and Muslims. For many years, this was however never a point of conflict till the arrival of certain three individuals in the village.

In the past, the residents of Dhormosthol lived happily celebrating each other’s cultural festivals and religious diversities, however, in recent years things were not so cordial between the three communities.

The three megaphones were mounted on top of the three most structurally sound stone and concrete buildings in the vicinity, the ‘Church of Joseph Jesus and Mary’, the nameless Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and the mosque – ‘Umar Al Saifuddin.’ The three adobes of God were right in the centre of the village at the highest point on top of a little hill. They faced each other forming a small triangular patch of green in between.

Though the three houses of worships were always there in the village, the loudspeakers had been installed a year back by the respective priest, the pundit, and the moulvi.

Now, these bullhorns blared mercilessly at the crack of dawn every morning. A mixture of pre-recorded Christian hymns sung by the priest in his most horrible and melodramatic voice, a tape of superfast Hindu mantras recited by the frenzied pundit in an incomprehensible Sanskrit, and a gruff and live Muslim Azan chanted by the husky moulvi, simultaneously filled the morning air of this once peaceful and tranquil village far away from the hustle-bustle of the metropolitan city.

Historically Dhormosthol never had any religious leader or men of God to man its places of worship. The church was without a priest, there was no pundit for the Temple, and the mosque was without an imam or a moulvi. The people of the village took turns managing these holy adobes and conducting sacred ceremonies. They lived happily in perfect religious harmony.

Until a few years back, a wandering evangelist, Father Jude, drove into the hamlet in his tinted glass all-black travelling caravan bus and over time gained much reverence among the Christians in the village. Parking his bus permanently behind the church, saying goodbye to his travelling days started running the house of God as its full-time priest.

His presence was welcomed by the followers of Christ, who for generations had never had a priest and were relieved for a man of the cloth to have finally taken over the eucharistic duties. Father Jude used the caravan as his residence and whenever he stepped out of the bus, he would securely lock it with a set of multiple locks and keys.

A few months after this a Hindu Pundit, Ojha’ji came to the village and started meditating under the sacred banyan tree. Gradually the Hindus of the village came to rely on him for spiritual guidance and in time gave him complete charge of the temple of Lord Shiv’ji. Like the Christians, the Hindus too were happy to finally have a priest.

Following this, a Moulvi by the name of Majid Pir happen to pass by the village and stopped for a few days to rest his travelling legs. During his stay, the Muslims in the village came to meet him and found much inspiration in his religious teachings.

They now saw that the Christians had their priest and the Hindus their Pundit and thought that why should they remain without an imam and a dedicated muezzin. They begged Majid Pir and he agreed to let go of his travels and serve his Muslim brothers and sisters in Dhormosthol as the village moulvi.

Initially, the three religious leaders seemed to be like a blessing to the village as they shared their words of wisdom and divine knowledge. Slowly over time things however started to change. The priest, the pundit, and the moulvi started becoming intolerant of each other. Each of them proclaimed their religion as superior and this gave birth to much religious tension in a society that had always lived in perfect harmony.

With time, cracks started to appear in the peaceful relationships between the members of the three communities. Father Jude’s Sunday sermons gradually escalated towards blind bigotry. Ojha’jis pravachans or religious teachings became more and more fanatic and Majid Pir’s Khutbah’s or public preachings started sounding very agitative.

The wider grew the bridge between the communities, somehow the people became more religious than they were previously. Suddenly every little thing in their religion became very important, above and beyond the call of humanity. They would perform more ceremonies, be extra cautious of what they ate, got everything blessed, and consulted the religious leaders in every little thing that happened.

The priest, pundit, and the moulvi were always happy to provide a solution to every problem as long as the devotee made a handsome offering. Money started flowing into the religious houses like never previously and soon the three outsiders became the wealthiest people in the vicinity. Though at loggerheads with each other the priest, pundit, and moulvi would meet at times in Father Jude’s caravan, only to always leave much agitated after the meetings.

Within no time there was total religious chaos in Dhormosthol. The Christians started calling the others heathens, while the Hindus began referring to their Christian and Muslim neighbours as Mlecchas or the untouchables and the Muslims were calling everyone else Kaafirs or infidels. Nothing the priest, pundit, or maulvi did, could bring any calmness to the unrest but only further agitated the tensions between the communities.

Then on one summer day in the month of May at about noon, the weather suddenly changed and soon within no time a severe tropical cyclone lashed upon the village. The villagers ran up the hill to take shelter in the church, temple, and mosque, whichever was closest to them. They did not care about their religion and dashed into any of the three holy houses.

Hindus, Muslims, and Christians huddled up against each other inside the three worship places awaiting the passing of the devastating tempest. Ironically though they were fighting to nearly kill each other a day back, it only took a larger calamity to reunite them.

For the first time in many years, the villagers had once again come together, they seemed to have forgotten their recent fits of religious intolerance. For the first time in many years, they prayed together holding hands in each other’s places of worship, while the raging typhoon blew over their head.

The storm lasted through the night till it subsided at the break of dawn the next day and the three buildings had ensured the survival of the people.

At that time, the villagers realised that there were no valuables left in the church, mosque, or temple. The golden cross, costly chalices and other invaluable paraphernalia from the Church, priceless jewels from the temple and mosque along with loads of cash from the three safes in the respective houses were all gone. Father Jude’s all-black tinted glass travelling caravan bus was also missing along with the priest, pundit Ojha’ji, and moulvi Majid Pir.

As the villagers further inspected, they saw that the entire hamlet was completely devastated, the cyclone had levelled every home in the place. It was as if the Gods had punished the villagers for letting themselves be misled by the false religious teachings of devious men.

Far at the end of the hamlet in a ditch, they found Father Jude’s all-black tinted glass travelling caravan crashed and crumpled with the three lifeless bodies of the priest, pundit, and the moulvi lying in and around it.

Many windows of the bus had shattered and from it had fallen out heaps of riches in cash, coins, gold, silver, jewellery, and gems. Not only from their religious houses, but it seemed like from many other places accumulated over many years of well planned and executed scamming rackets.

It was obvious that the priest, pundit, and moulvi knew each other, they were of course partners-in-scam maybe brothers or blood relatives even. It was now clear that the three visited different places and incited religious unrest to gain wealth and finally leave after a few months or years when they felt satisfied with what they had accumulated.

Unfortunately, on the day on which they had planned to escape Dhormosthol, the village was struck by the unforgiving tempest. At the very moment of their escape, their bus was crashed by the tornado, like through some supreme interference. It seemed that the Gods had finally lost their tolerance against the injustice done in their holy name and unleashed their divine vengeance on the three who claimed to be their spokesperson.

The villagers gave respectable last rights to the three and used the wealth from the bus to rebuild their village in the most beautiful way. From that day the people of Dhormosthol would always remain suspicious of religious men and never again allowed any priest, pundit, or moulvi to mislead them.

If you happen to visit Dhormosthol today you would still hear the loudspeakers atop the church, temple, and mosque play. Only all of the three do not play simultaneously to prove supremacy over the other. They play on separate dedicated timeslots for all to enjoy and appreciate.

The Muslim Azan is heard earliest at the break of dawn and then four times a day. In turns, it is recited by the villagers themselves. A new version of the Sanskrit mantras along with its Bengali translation is played twice a day after the morning and evening prayers. Melodious Christian hymns sung by the village choir is heard during the morning mass once every day.

Today once again Dhormosthol has become a beautiful place of religious brotherhood and peace. Do visit if you ever get a chance and witness how people of different religions co-exist in perfect harmony without the presence of so-called ‘God Men.’

Though do not be discourages with religious leaders and holy men, as there are many who have genuinely devoted their lives to serving the houses of God honestly answering to their religious convictions. A handful of profiteers, scammers, and dishonest men is not the yardstick for all of them.

Priest Pundit Moulvi


Copyright © 2021 TRISHIKH DASGUPTA

This work of fiction, written by Trishikh Dasgupta is the author’s sole intellectual property. All rights are reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, send an email to the author at trishikh@gmail.com or get in touch with Trishikh on the CONTACT page of this website.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Trishikh

Trishikh Dasgupta

Adventurer, philosopher, writer, painter, photographer, craftsman, innovator, or just a momentary speck in the universe flickering to leave behind a footprint on the sands of time..READ MORE

74 Comments Add yours

  1. nedhamson says:

    Reblogged this on Ned Hamson’s Second Line View of the News and commented:
    Delightful tale – thanks to the author!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thanks Ned, always look for to you reblogging my stories. It really helps to spread it to a larger group of admirers and friends.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Maria says:

      I wish the peace will prevail.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Trishikh says:

        Yes, I wish for that too. I think so much can be achieved if just think about it for a while, but in most of the cames people are not willing to think, leave aside act to change certain things.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Wayan says:

    This is very good story, i like it people with different belief live in harmony. In Bali there is a place called Puja Mandala, where five religion buildings stand in one area. They are Temple for Hindu, Catholic Church, Protentant Church, Mosque, and Wihara for Buddhist. It is located by famous tourist resort in Nusa Dua.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Wow! Sounds like a place that one should visit. Different religions can live in perfect peace and harmony. There are many examples of this throughout history. It is when people place self-interest above the wellbeing of others, that is where all the problem arises. Thank you so much Wayan for liking my story and taking the time to give such a lovely comment. You have encouraged me very much today. Have a good day my friend.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Wayan says:

        Yes this place is worthy to visit. I read your stories everyday and absorbed by them. You have great storytelling. Thank you Trishikh, you like my posts. I was thinking that i am the only one who read my own writing 😆

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Trishikh says:

        If we write honestly with our heart there will be someone or the other to read it. Words once written can only be read and never die. Your posts are great and authentic. Keep up the good work.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wayan says:

        Thank you Trishikh

        Liked by 1 person

    2. maayaronweg says:

      It very interesting thing how it can be! Thank you for new information!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Trishikh says:

        You are most welcome.

        Like

  3. Very good story👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thank you Elsa. So happy that you liked my story.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wayan says:

    Thank you, Have a great weekend Trishikh

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Anamika says:

    A story with a good moral and a strong message.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thanks for thinking so and liking my story Anamika. Thus was the intention.

      Like

  6. I thank you very much for this story, which tells us, according to me, a general truth, that we shouldn’t always to try to be superiour to others and dominate them, but we should try to live together peacefully with people of different opinion. To me, these other ideas or fantasies just enrich us with new expeiences!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      You are absolutely right Martina. To add on to your thought I think our victory lies in the acceptance of others. Our happiness lies in the value we give to others. Our life becomes meaningful when we start living for others.

      Like

      1. Your words are provoking goose pimples with me!:)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Trishikh says:

        Much honoured to hear that Martina. It is true and I strongly believe in the words that I have penned.

        Like

  7. Arpita Banerjee says:

    You make lockdown days so much better with your stories!! ✨ This is just wao!! ✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thank you so much Arpita for always liking my stories. Yes it gives me equal pleasure to write as you guys enjoy reading them. If I only had started writing these stories during the previous lockdown, I could have written more stories by now. The, better late than never. I have completed 32 stories till now from 2nd August 2020.

      Like

  8. Halim says:

    A wonderful story I enjoyed reading, Trishikh! Sad and funny at the same time. I’ve always felt we shouldn’t be ‘too religious’ (that’s subjective to each person!) and focus more on how we treat others regardless of religion, race, nationality, etc, because at the end of the day, my opinion is that we are all children of the same God, and so the best way for me to be a Muslim (or for others to be Hindu, Christian, Jewish, etc) is for all of us to treat each other with mutual kindness and respect. Also because that’s the right thing to do regardless if one believes in religion or not in the first place.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Dear Halim, it’s so nice to hear from you once again. I really look forward to your comments. They are so analytical and deeply delve into the hidden messages in my stories. I completely agree to your view on religion. For me the greatest religion is to serve other. By faith I am Christian but by action I am a human, and my humanity is my God’s greatest gift to me. The more we learn to live with others the better we become and our life finds its true purpose and ultimate meaning.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy Panda says:

    Beautiful message! I wish more Indians would read this story. 👏

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thanks Moksha you are right. I wish that too. India or for that matter many parts of the world with religious turmoil would be a much better place if people could just get the underlying message in this story.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. A good story, I would love to visit this village, perhaps I already have. My children went to school with children of every faith.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Well similar villages do exist in India in many places, however, this one is made up by me based on a very real place. Who knows maybe someday you may get to visit it. I too went to school with children of many many faiths, that’s very common in India, even missionary and convent schools have children of all faiths, growing up in a healthy environment. Schooling never teaches us hate, in most of the cases as we grow up, we tend to gather such feelings on our own, due to innumerable factors in our existence.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Indira says:

    Beautifully presented story! There may be a few black sheep in every section of the society!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Very true, very often a few rotten apples are enough to spoil the entire basket.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. vaniheart says:

    Wow such a great story with a beautiful message ❤❤❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thank you so much Shivani. Really appreciate your appreciation. So glad that you liked the story and the message.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. A truly wonderful read!! Thank you for this which brought back so many memories of villages such as Dhormosthol that I have visited in Bengal. Well, I am sure they had their holy men but all three religions could be found there is apparent happy coexistence!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trishikh says:

      I am so glad that this story brought back precious memories to you. Yes Bengal does have many villages where many religions coexist, and there are many dedicated men of God too, however, there are evil doers also who try to constantly stir up the pot for personal benefits.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It did and I thank you for that. Sadly, in every part of the world there are those who would exploit popular feelings for their own nefarious ends 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Trishikh says:

        That is the sad reality and curse of humanity.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sad but true 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  14. It is so true; as long we leave people to their own, to attend to their natural inclinations, do not disturb their original characters, they will understand themselves as one.
    It happened in all levels of society the so-called “wise man” spreading their fallacious messages, raising peoples’ desires and discontent in the process.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      This is so true, the way you put it. One of the greatest human flaws is to be influenced by the inhumane.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thanking so much for liking. Much appreciate it.

      Like

  15. Interesting story with a valuable moral lesson.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thank you. So glad that you like it.

      Like

  16. annieasksyou says:

    This is a fine allegory—and especially valuable as a reminder of how far religious extremism and exploitation of people’s fears can remove people from behaving in accordance with our shared humanity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Yes Annie you are right. The story is Indeed intended to be a reminder that how frail our humanity can be, and how vicious we can become driven by false belief. Thank you so much for liking the story. It really makes my day when so many of my friends like you react to my story.

      Like

  17. mcurry09 says:

    Always love your stories. THANKS.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thank you Marthe. Always look forward to your appreciation. You are a constant encouragement to my writing. Really treasure it.

      Like

  18. KK says:

    Religion is the opium of the people, said Karl Marx, but your story gives a beautiful message how we can coexist with all the religions with mutual respect for each other. Very beautifully written story, as always 🙏💐

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thank you so much KK. Really look forward to your comment and appreciation. Actually in places in religions do coexist, humans can do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Sohail Azim says:

    It was really worth reading…i hope peace to prevail throughout Life ✌

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thank you so much Sohail for appreciating. I too wish for peace everywhere amongst all faiths.

      Like

  20. what a beautiful story you shared Trishikh❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thank you so much Cindy for liking my story. So glad that it appealed to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s always my pleasure Trishikh. Not sure how I got so far behind❣️❣️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Trishikh says:

        Oh! I am sure you will get to finish reading the remaining few in time. They are going nowhere. My stories are always there to bring a little bit of joy.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Joy is what you spread❣️🙏❣️🙏❣️

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Trishikh says:

        I could not agree more. Making someone happy is the greatest form of happiness for me too.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Lovely❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️

        Liked by 1 person

  21. This is a unique and wonderful story!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thank you so much. Really glad that you liked the story. It really makes my day when someone appreciates.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Amazing story, with a drop or two of truth!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thank you so much Time Traveler. So glad that you liked my story. Do visit again, I write and release one story every weekend. There are many here in my blog, some of which I am sure you will certainly like.

      Like

  23. Good story. And thank you for that last reminder. I hate to see all religious leaders thrown under the bus because of a few hucksters. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trishikh says:

      Very true, a few rotten apple is not representative of the entire orchard.

      Like

      1. And as is often the case, they aren’t apples at all, just very good actors, rotten to the core. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Trishikh says:

        You are right. They are in disguise. Wolves in sheep’s clothing.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Beautifully described India!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trishikh says:

      Thank you so much Abdul for liking my descriptions.

      Like

  25. solar panel says:

    Nice bro thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trishikh says:

      You are most welcome.

      Like

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