It was a cold December evening. Ajit and I were relishing the cups of warm Darjeeling tea that Arjuna had made for us. “Meenu, I am going to retire next December”, blurted out Ajit. “Yes, I know that. I am excited to shift to our own house. I’m tired of living in boring government quarters”, I replied. Ajit laughed and started describing his plan to have his ancestral house renovated for us. A modular kitchen would be installed, and the Puja room’s old tiles would be changed to new, beautiful ones. The garage would be replaced with a two-roomed house for Arjuna. Arjuna and I listened to his plans with great interest.
I feel lucky to have Ajit as my husband. He is very meticulous with planning and execution. He does things with great attention to details.
The day of Ajit’s retirement arrived. He received a grand farewell from his office colleagues. We moved to our renovated house a week after that. The house looked beautiful with fresh paint and new flooring. A grihapravesh puja was done.
Arjuna would also move with us. He used to cook for us and run small errands. He was a kind and responsible man and a very good cook. Arjuna had been orphaned at a very young age. The priest of the Krishna temple in the village took the child in. The temple was his new home and he lived with Lord Krishna. Over time, he became devoted to Lord Krishna. But, when the temple was demolished, twenty years ago, to make way for a highway, Arjuna had moved to the city and sought employment with us. The devoted Arjuna was devastated to have left Lord Krishna.
A month after we shifted to our new house, Ajit got work started on the garage. First the flooring would be taken out and then the roof and the walls before Arjuna’s house could be built on. Four workers were working on the project. They began work on the floor.
It was around 11 am when Ajit came running inside the house, panting in excitement. He said, “Meenu come and look. There is a surprise for you in the garage“. I wasn’t sure what he wanted to show me. Was it ancient treasure? Was it a skeleton? All these thoughts crossed my mind while I was walking towards the garage.
When I got there, I saw the surprise. Lo and behold, what a surprise it was! The workers had extracted a stone slab with an engraving of Lord Krishna. In the engraving, Krishna was holding a flute and had an enchanting smile. Arjuna washed the slab clean. Now the engraving appeared even more lively, as if Krishna was looking at us and smiling.
My joy knew no bounds, but it was Arjuna who was the happiest. He would once again live where his Lord Krishna resided.