Scapegoating has become a culture in this country. Blame others and that absolves you of all responsibilities. When Sat Maharaj was Secretary General of the Maha Sabha, he was the scapegoat. Now that he is no more, others are blamed but never oneself.
Sham is busy with his life. Now retired he is busy constructing a commercial building but though he does not have the time to work in the mandir, he is critical of Hindu leaders ‘who are not doing anything but sitting on their butts.” His remarks remind me of the saying that the lamp sees all around but its own bottom.
Politically, we can start from blaming the councilor, the mayor, then the MP and the political leader. It is ‘they’ who are not doing anything. “We vote them into power, and they forget us” is the common refrain. If a meeting is called these complainants find reasons to justify their absence – ‘them is a waste of time.’
Hedonism or having a nice time is the new culture. Sham has won a few contracts with the government and invested in a few buildings from which he receives rent. “It is easy money,” he boasts among friends and relatives. Partying has become the new culture – at home with the family, in the local bars, up the islands, Tobago or Miami where he has a mansion.
Kissoondaye, Sham’s mother, would visit the mandir. She and a few ladies attend the Sunday morning devotion that starts at 8 am. “Why don’t you bring the grand children?” the pandit asked. “Panditji, the children went to a birthday party last night and came home late. I leave them sleeping,” Kissoondaye replied.
Sham was a cricketer in his more youthful days but has no interest in the game today. His two sons liked the game, but their father would not help the club to hire a coach. The school that he attended does not receive any financial help from Sham. At one time a donation sheet was shown to him, and he put ten dollars and asked that his name not be written against the donation. It is common to hear him saying: “My accountant has warned me to stop being too generous. It is not good for the business.”
Sham loves to go on cruises. He has been on all the exotic cruises across the world. He also owns luxury vehicles- an Audi and a Porsche. His wife and daughters also have luxury vehicles.
Sham is hailed as a success story. His grand father is one among 144,000 Indians that arrived in Trinidad as indenture laborers. Working in the plantations and living in squalor, many Indians escaped this harsh life through toil and sacrifice. Sham’s grandfather was notorious for his miserly ways. Never spending a bad cent, Thakoor built his way up. He bought a truck for his son Govind to deliver materials like sand and gravel. Soon Govind had a contract with the local government body and the number of trucks increased.
Sham continues in his father’s wisdom to always get the approval of the pandit before he makes a business decision. Pandit Kishore is revered by Sham who believes that Pandit has guided his business successfully. For this, Sham purchased a Prado and gifted it to Pandit Kishore who is happy with Sham and his family whom he sees as a model Hindu family. Once Sham asked Pandit Kishore if it is good to make donations to the cricket club and the pandit responded: “Beta, once you giving Baba that is enough.” Sham strongly believes that he is a good Hindu and that he is protected by Bhagwan.