“What is your job title?” asked Dan.
“Ritual Specialist, or RS in short,” said Paramesar, a man in mid fifties; short black curly hair spread over his head in a fashion as if it followed invisible fault lines.
“Are you a Hindu priest?”
“No, I am not a priest, I don’t work at temples.”
“So, what a Ritual Specialist or RS does?”
“Well, I conduct rituals for a fee.”
“You mean Hindu rituals?”
“Yes, all kind of Hindu rituals such as pooja or special prayer for any event or occasion, chanting Hindu hymns, singing Bhajans, celebrating various auspicious days according to Hindu calendar, all in the name of God for the good of people,” Paramesar was polite.
“That’s good to hear; what kind of training you received to become an RS?”
“Sanskrit is the Gods language and the original Hindu scriptures such as Upanishads, Vedic mantras, epic stories, poems, hymns, psalms etc., were written in Sanskrit, therefore understanding Sanskrit is very crucial; correct pronunciation of words, its meaning and interpretation is equally important; I learned all the mantras to conduct all kinds of rituals through several years of apprenticeship as a disciple under an eminent Hindu priest.” “The Hindu Bhajans or devotional songs were written in praise of God; the purpose of singing Bhajans is to attract and attain the focus of the devotees during the worship; therefore soft and soothing voice is necessary in maintaining the melody and rhythm in singing Bhajans,” Paramesar started singing a Bhajan in his sweet voice.
“So, it was more like home study for several years under the guidance of a Hindu priest.”
“Yes, something like that.”
“What else is important for a ritual?”
“In every ritual, participation of devotees under the guidance of RS is a must to reap the benefits of a ritual; the devotee shall participate with full belief whole-heartedly, after all the ritual is paid by the devotees for their own benefit.”
“Are you related to Juggernaut?”
“I am his brother.”
“Really, I don’t see that much similarity”
“It is all in beholder’s eyes.”
“True, what you both have in common?”
“We both love food.”
“Don’t we all love food?”
“Our love towards food is sacred.”
“We live to eat, that’s the purpose of our living; some of our RS brethren died young from overeating.”
“Forgive me for asking, can anybody can be trained as an RS or it is a family trade hand over from generation to generation?”
“Having a family member practicing as an RS is helpful but not a requirement or necessary to be an RS. Any person irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity or nationality can be trained as an RS; it is a lifelong profession that requires conformity, austerity and compliance to learn and practice the profession, shall I schedule for a ritual for your success?”
“Let’s do it on coming Saturday then.”
“I am afraid, I am booked for Saturday but Tuesday is equally a holy day to do pooja.”
“Sounds good to me, how shall I address you RS or Pundit?”
“I prefer RS to go with current Job titles.”
“Jai Sita Ram.”
“Jai Sita Ram.”