Durga puja is a special occasion for us. We get nearly 10 days of holiday from school, get new clothes, roam around and visit as many puja pandals as possible. It was one such occasion on the 8th day i.e. ashtami, as we call it. My friend and I decided to visit the puja pandals that evening, along with her younger cousin brother who was new to our town. Normally on ashtami, the pandals remain pretty crowded, but that day, we don't know why, the roads and the pandals were overcrowded. After visiting 3-4 pandals, we reached a pandal which is supposed to be the most famous in our town due to the beautiful idols and pandals that they make. When we reached that place, we realized that we had made the biggest mistake of our life, as we could not even find space to put our feet forward. After about 5 minutes, my friend realized that her younger brother is missing. In those days cell phones were not so common and we too didn't have any. We went out to an open space and called out his name, but to no avail. Then we went to the announcement section to announce his name, so that he could hear us and come to us. We called out his name and waited for him there, but there was no sign of him. It was already 10 pm by that time.
In the meantime we noticed a man standing there and looking at us continuously. He too was busy looking for someone. Suddenly he came near us and asked "are u lost?" my friend replied "no, we are looking for my brother. He is new here; he may not know the way back to home. It's already late and we don't know where he is?" The man said "he is a guy. Somehow he will reach home. But you both should leave". Then after sometime, seeing our confused faces, he asked our address. Then he said "Ohh!! I live nearby your house. It may not be safe for you to take an auto. If you want I can drop you at your home". But we were not very pleased at his invitation, since we had been told not to believe any unknown person.
After sometime he looked at us and said "don't worry, have full faith on me. I have my wife and kids with me here" as if he understood our fear. Then he took us to his wife sitting at a table there and offered us some cold drinks. We first looked at the drinks suspiciously wondering if anything is mixed in that, then called out Devi maa's name and drank it. After some time he asked his wife and children to wait there, took us in his scooter and dropped us at our home. To our relief my friend's younger brother had reached home, looking for us. The man dropped us home and left quietly. We were so happy to reach home that, we forgot to say a simple thanks to him.
Every time I think of this incident, it makes me believe, that sometimes, even God comes down to earth to help us. In simple words, he was God in disguise for us.
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