We Indians are emotional people, but at times we can be very practical too. One proof of how sensible we are as a people lies in the number of deities we like keeping happy. By doing so, we bubble wrap ourselves against all kinds of calamities. Along with being practical, we are also innovative people. Therefore, we build temples to shield us from even new-age misfortunes.
The people of Hyderabad, one of the largest infotech hubs in the country, flock in droves to worship at a ‘visa temple’. The Chilkur Balaji Temple is dedicated to Lord Balaji and is one of the oldest temples in the Telangana region. It’s frequented by many whose life’s sole aim is an entry permit to land and prosper in the land of the dollar. So as the news of the rupee freefall started making headlines, the worshippers of the visa temple held special prayers to keep it from sliding further. This, the head priest felt will ease the country’s dollar crunch and help in the recovery of money from defaulters. The visa temple of Hyderabad is not the only odd temple in India or the world. We also have one that worships rats; in Malaysia there is a snake temple; in Thailand there is the Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple that is built with more than a million glass bottles — and the hippiest of all is in Bangkok: the Chao Mae Tuptim Shrine, a phallic shrine.
However, we are curious to know why a local economy that enjoys the benefits of remittances does not feel happy with the battering the rupee is getting for the last few days. After doing a quick bit of research and analysis, we have come to this conclusion: as a race, along with being practical and innovative, we can be selfless (on very special occasions) too. The worshippers at the visa temple in Hyderabad were not thinking only about themselves but the country as well. How splendid. Forget Pranab-babu’s comforting words and policy wand, it’s over to the gods now.