Meena's Story - A Thirsty Fish (Urdu/Hindi)
Meena's Story - A Thirsty Fish (English Translated)
We go to the Shu Shankar Bolanath Hindu temple in Karachi on a , the special day of the week to worship god Bolanath. This god is the caretaker of children and home life. "There is one god. He's just in different, multiple forms but all forms are him," says Daya.
The Hindus believe this temple to be over 5000 years old if not there from the beginning of time. The temple itself is actually a large underground cave with construction in front of it and on top of it. Standing outside the entrance of the temple, one can see the rock of the cave in the right corner with a large picture of Bolanath on the left. The inside looks like an ordinary temple with statues of gods all over till one looks up at the roof; concaved rock.
Daya comes to this temple to ask Bolanath to give her children health and happiness and to bless her married life. "They are the most important things in life to me, so I pray for them."
Since Bolanath is the god of marital bliss, a lot of young couples, married, or those wishing to be married, come to this temple to pray as well.
Today's worship involves a short black stone with a rounded top. "The stone is a memory of the place Bolanath used to worship at," says Daya. "The rituals performed at the stone were first performed by his wife after he died. First, you touch the place of the stone and run that hand over your head to get the gods blessings, and you prostrate. Then you can pour the milk, break the coconut, spread flowers and light the incense in whichever sequence you please."
Daya works at a hair and beauty salon. She was married into a poor Hindu family and when the time came to put the first child in school, her husband told her there wasn't enough income. "I told him, 'then let me work. It's important our son goes to school.'"
Daya then decided to sell her wedding jewelry and learn the skills of a beautician which would get her a job at a salon.
Daya is happy at her current workplace where even though she's the only Hindu, she's not the only minority. Half the girls working at the salon are Christians.