a little while ago, as i was sitting on my patio enjoying the garden and the sun, i realized someone at the gate was trying to get my attention. i recognized her as the elderly woman i passed by on our lane on occasion. more often than not, she would be picking flowers from where they hung over walls. without a clue of what she could want from me, i opened the gate but did not ask her inside.
“what are you doing?” she asked me. i wondered about the relevance before telling her i was heading out in a bit.
Then ensued the following dialogue:
Her: it doesn’t matter if it’s just one or two, but please give me some of those flowers
Me: but they’re not mine
Her: whose ever they are, it’s for the god Pashupati
Me: they belong to my landlords, and they tend to them so well
Her: but it’s for Pashupati!
Me: i don’t believe in Pashupati.
Her: how can you not believe in god?
Me: i didn’t say i didn’t believe in God.
Her: Pashupati is the main god especially for Kathmandu.
Me: you have your beliefs, i have mine, if they were my flowers i would give them to you, but they’re not. i’m sorry.
she mumbled as she walked away, i wondered if she was cursing me under her breath. i also wondered what her god must think about offerings nicked from other people’s property.