The Road to Peace

by K Jambulingam

The Road to Peace

I was coming down the hillock temple after my morning pooja and prayer, I saw the Rev father in charge of local church searching for something on the road. His motorbike "the triumph", was parked nearby. We exchanged pleasantries. I asked him what was he searching for. He told me that the petrol tank's lid had fallen out. I joined him in the search but in vein. At last I told him, that I could make a temporary lid out of soft wood and he could get the metal one later on. He was happy and thanked me for the timely help.

There after we met in weekly market and other common places of the village. We became friends. Rev. Erhard was a German . He was holding many appointments in church run Educational Institutions and had come to this village to look after the church. He was a kind and generous man and was ready to help people any time.

Father Erhard and I used to meet in a teashop on the main road half a mile away from the village. 0ver a cup of tea we used to talk about the village improvement. Of course our village headman was there to look after the entire village. But by then he was involved so much in the hospital and its improvement we did not want to pressurize him more.

One evening I was waiting for Father Erhard in the Tea Shop. He came with Mullah. Mullah was running a madarasa and he was teaching Muslim girl children Arabic and Koran. Hindus used to take their babies when they were not well to get them cured off the curse of the evil eyes. Mutual enquiries about the welfare of our families were over .Father Erhard said that we had to decide upon an important plan that would improve the economic conditions of the village people. He explained the plan to us. According to the plan we would start an Institute where we wanted to teach the unemployed youths and women. To start with, we wanted to teach tailoring for the women and typewriting for the youths. The responsibilities were fixed. Mullah agreed to give two Typewriters as the contribution from his community. I agreed to give two Tailoring machines from our community . Father Erhard had arranged Mrs Mary to teach tailoring and offered his services to teach type-writing and above all he gave the front portion of his house for running the Institution.

I tried my level best to collect money to buy two tailoring machines. I was in need of one thousand six hundred rupees. I started explaining about the institute and requested for donation from the people who came to the temple. With all my efforts I was able to get enough money for one tailoring machine only. 0ne Sunday noon a young couple came to the temple. From a distance I could make out they were rich. After pooja and prayer I started telling them about the need for donation. I was not able to impress them. I felt so because they did not show any interest in the noble cause and only one hundred rupees they gave as donation. They took leave of me and I could hear the engine sound of the car in which they traveled.

In the evening I went near the water tank to wash my prayer vessels. I saw a black bag lying on the parapet wall of the water tank. Only when I took it in hand I could make out that it was a purse. I could open the zip and found that there were bundles of new currency notes and some travel documents. After finishing my prayer I straight away I went to Rev Erhard's house. I explained everything. He told me that we must hand over the purse to the owner if I knew their house. I was not sure of their house but I was sure that they came in a car. With difficulty Father could figure out their address. We went to their house. Father explained to them how the purse was found by me. They were happy to get their purse with important documents. When we were about to leave, the young man called me aside and gave two thousand rupee notes and told that that was his contribution for 'The Inter Religious Institute'.

I could visualize the road to peace and prosperity.


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