As I inspect Pavan's clothes this morning before he left for school, I notice a scratch mark on his nose, near his forehead.
'What happened? You scratched a mosquito bite?' I ask.
'No.' The look on his face says he wants to say something.
'A boy in the school said that if you scratch the forehead, you will see Hanuman.'
'What non-sense! Papa, did you hear that? He scratched his forehead to see Hanuman!'
As I make his paranthas, I hear papa patiently explaining him why he should never hurt his body for any reasons, with mixed feelings.
I remember an image of Hanuman stuck on the mirror, in the house we have just moved from. Suddenly, I feel regret for having left it there.
'And we are Arya samajis. We dont worship gods.' Prayas is saying.
'Arya samajis who never do havan are only so in name.' I retort.
'He can chose to give a face to God if he wants to.' I say.
'Of-course he can. But without hurting his body.'
'Yes. Without hurting his body.'
Much after he has left for school, I look at this image, where Hanuman proves his love for Ram by tearing apart his chest to reveal the Lord literally residing within. I am horrified at the implications it can have on a kid.
But when I see he expression in his eyes, I am stunned by the simplicity and directness of the devotee.
I remember many years ago, in the days I used to frequent temples, a friend and I were staring at an image of hanuman in red. It was very beautiful.
'It is made of ram naam.' she said.
'this hanuman. the red line. look clearly. it is not a red line. it is written, not drawn. ram ram ram ram. everywhere. hanuman is made of ram, from ram. look at the micro.'
And i wonder where can we escape? If we are made of him, by him, in him, where can we escape?