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The Saturday rider

chandigarh Updated: Mar 15, 2014 15:10 IST

This incident dates back to the period when scooters were not readily available and had to be booked in advance. One evening, I happily came home from office and told my wife that my scooter booking had matured and I was going to take its delivery the next morning.

My wife exclaiming with joy, added a rider: "That's wonderful but tomorrow is Saturday." "So what?" was my question to which she replied, "Steel should not be purchased on Saturday." I corrected her, "The scooter is not steel. It is made of plastic, brass, copper, glass parts along with steel parts."

Knowing my nature, she concluded, "I have said what I wanted to. Now do whatever you like. I know you are averse to sane advice."

On Saturday morning, at the bus stand, knowing my intention, Mr Rao, my friend, almost ordered me, "Sirji, I know you don't believe in such things but at least heed to my advice. Please go home today. You can purchase the scooter a day after."

I brushed aside his polite advice saying, "Rao sahib, different days are associated with this purchase. The day on which I paid the booking amount, the day on which I received the maturity letter, the day on which the demand draft was made and the day of delivery.

Why should only the day of delivery be targeted? Can any particular day be auspicious or inauspicious?" Speechless, he left the place.

As I entered the scooter showroom, it wore a deserted look. But I carried on with my mission. While preparing my bill, the staff murmured in a low voice, "It is very rare to see a Hindu gentleman buying a scooter on a Saturday."

I retorted in the same tone, "Sardarji, do Sikh gentlemen purchase a scooter on this day?" He was probably not expecting such question but replied, "They are also very few but some do come."

I sought his expert advice, "If nothing happens to Sikh gentlemen buying a scooter on a Saturday, what could happen to a Hindu gentleman?" He concluded, "Oh, jee it's all in the mind. If you believe in such things, only then they affect you."

This last piece of conversation set me thinking. I began wondering if I was really on the wrong path. At that time, a childhood story came to mind in which a poor man carrying a gifted goat was made to believe by several people that he was carrying a dog and foolishly, he abandoned it finally.

I consoled my mind with a thought that all days were God's days and nothing good or bad could happen on the basis of a day. Back home, I went to the temple with my wife on the new scooter to thank God.

Surprisingly, the pujari did not comment on the Saturday purchase of my scooter. I felt relieved.

The scooter served me almost trouble-free till I sold it after five years to buy my first car, the then prestigious Maruti-800. Probably, it was bought on a day other than Saturday as no one interrupted me on its day of delivery.

When I entered home in the new car with my wife, my Prabha aunt, who was holidaying at our place blessed us and advised, "Edde pichhe parandiyan latka le (Hang a parandi behind it)."

She was referring to the common practice in North India to hang a woman's hair accessory to ward off evil. Saturday or no Saturday, the saga goes on!