A Date with Omega – Part 2
In continuation of Part 1 – http://wp.me/p1JgXj-2f
“…. But you must! This is about faith, my child. This is about hopes and dreams of all the poor souls. We must set it right. You must get me to sit with them.”
Rev. Tony was in the office leaning over the secretary’s desk. He was dressed in robes making the office staff wonder if he had come in straight after sermon. Or whether the sermon was moved to their office! Rev. Tony, when not in church, was known around town for his love of wearing kurta and jeans with Kolhapuri chappals.
“Priscilla, I know about your father. Your mother had a difficult life and yet she raised you and your brothers so well. God rest her soul…. I ask a small favour, my child. I need to speak to them. Don’t you think someone like me should be on that interview?”
“Father, once again, I’m sorry. But, I can’t help you. I have strict orders. This is simply not what the channel wants to discuss. The decision from management is final.”
The Reverend was about to speak again; Priscilla hastily added, “And.. Arjun had the same conversation with Swami Vaswani and Maa-ji this morning. He won’t make any exceptions.” Priscilla was almost tired of repeating herself. “And Father even the Pope hasn’t asked for this. Not even The Dalai Lama!! How do you expect them to allow you or anybody else?”
“Well…. I… its…” The Reverend was struggling for words with his face turning red. He was gritting his teeth and clenching the chain around his neck tighter. Priscilla was afraid he might curse. With his forehead now having beads of sweat, she thought he might even pass out, the old man.
Earlier that week, Swami Vaswani’s followers had virtually raided the office. A lady in the group had fainted after the Swami was refused an audience with the management. She did eventually fall and faint, which was a good end to the drama, but not before she had nearly brought the roof down with her loud wailing and rolling on the floor. This was live news happening in the Channel’s Office! …. The TRPs were off the charts that day!
To Priscilla’s relief she could see the Reverend coming to terms with her stance. His breathing was slowing down. He would be calmer soon.
“Ok”, he said softly, “as long as I have your assurance that no other holy men are allowed either.”
“No one else, Father. Only Arjun as interviewer.”
He nodded and turned around to leave. There was not much to discuss anymore, he had wasted enough time.
As he walked away, Priscilla had that same thought she had all day. “God sent an email, not a sign!” As funny as that would be on The Comedy show, it was the worse feeling for the “holy men” brigade. Their donations were instantaneously dipping like a bad day on Dalal Street. This was their way of trying to salvage the situation. The God-peddlers were without a product to sell, as the “real deal” had made his contact through a common man! God’s middle-men just got bypassed!
At the door, The Reverend half-turned to look at Priscilla. She could see he was frowning. She knew where this was going. She had hoped he would forget to ask.
“My child, what faith does Arjun follow?”
Almost surprised he hadn’t asked earlier, unlike everyone else, she braced herself and said, “From what I’ve known him all these years, Father… he’s an atheist.”
“Oh… My Lord!”
“Yeah, I know”, she said with a wry smile.
Priscilla sat down and looked at the small red dots blinking on the EPABX. She put on her headset and got to work.