The land of diversity is never short of twists and turns. The worship of the ‘reincarnation’ of the Indian patron saint of eunuchs, Bahucharaji Mata, (yes, she exists!) has all the elements to spice up the smorgasbord that is Incredible India. The idol of Bahucharaji Mata can be found in a village temple about 100 km from Ahmedabad. Her avatar has been living in the temple for three months and “feels at home”. The ‘goddess’ is 32-year-old ‘unemployed’ Steven Cooper, who calls himself (herself?) Pamela and has been blessing devotees.
Traditional India will probably have less to say about Pamela than the New Age genNext. It is no surprise that a ‘goddess’, immortalised by eunuchs, should exist in the first place. In the Hindu pantheon, there is room for all, even if there’s as much discrimination doing the rounds. Locals are uncertain how old the temple is — it seems to get older with every media report — but the lore is rich. The story has it that Bahucharaji was a princess who took umbrage at her husband’s lack of interest in life’s finer pleasures and ended up castrating him. An unkind cut that, but it certainly deified the princess.
What is interesting is that the avatar is British, asserts he is both male and female and is in India on a six-month visa. Steven Cooper selling India what India has sold the world for centuries? A trifle bizarre even for this post-post-colonial times? But here, too, Indians offer a twist in the tale. Devotees of Steven, Pamela, Bahucharaji, whatever, seek his/her blessings to enhance fertility. Hmm, now that makes this even more interesting.