Monday, 22 February 2010

The pink slippers lady

It was almost 10pm and I had had a long day since 8.30am. After more than 6 hours of puja, I was a little exhausted. So at about 4pm I wanted to go somewhere to chill out and have some quiet time. Not in the mood to talk to anyone. Didn't want to go home to entertain some visiting guests too. Anyway, by the time I was done with grocery shopping, had a drink and reading a book, I was really physically tired, and was at the taxi stand. The queue was soooo long, at least 30 people in the line and hardly any cabs came by. Usually I would not have waited, but I guess I was too tired.

Right in front of me in the queue, I noticed a thin lady with short hair wearing a casual sleeveless T-shirt and bermudas and a pair of pink slippers. She was very fidgetty and she was telling 2 little girls (presumably her daughters) and maid something, after which the maid took the girls away somewhere. Then as she was standing there in the queue alone, her many actions convinced me she was 'not normal'. She could not stand still and was always moving, stamping her feet, turning her head left and right non-stop, sighing, kept shifting her shoulder bag, very exaggerated movements for a normal adult. She kept muttering "why (taxi) so long?" and she pouted. Because of her fidgetty behaviour, people around her noticed her. A lady with 2 children in front of this Pink Slippers Lady was looking at her in disdain and within a minute, she shoved her kids away from this lady and they were gone.

So many questions filled my mind, wondering about this lady, and with her condition, she still has 2 kids to take care of? I wondered what her illness was. Then she took out her mobile phone and was staring at the screen real close almost touching the screen, and kept punching numbers and staring at the screen, putting it back in her bag and then taking it out again, a few times. I think by now, many people would think she was mad or something. But when she finally made the call, she was speaking in normal mandarin but in a slightly squeaky tone. I thought, hey she is alright, apart from her exaggerated movements.

Then her 2 kids and maid came back, beautiful sweet girls who were bubbly, chatty and active. The Pink Slippers Lady hugged them and talked to her girls in English, but she has the habit of speaking very close to their cheeks, and staring at them almost touching their faces. Even to the maid, she was the same. She probably could not control her movements or something to do with the nerves. But she was friendly and obviously doted on her girls, she kept asking "did you gargle your mouth, sweetie, let mommy smell your breath" or "here drink more water, sweetie" etc... but she was not able to handle her active kids. It was only towards the last 5 minutes before her taxi came, I talked to her, complimenting her on her beautiful kids. She said "thanks.... I didn't know girls also so active, I regret....." I said it is normal because they are still small and it was getting late, probably they were tired. Then she said "yes they are sleepy.... the cab so long.... I just called up their grandfather..... he so worried for them..... so I must bring them back...... so late already.... I just came back from Texas....... living there for 14 years....." I asked her why then she came back to Singapore. She said "My sister wanted me to come back.... because I was sick..... tomorrow I need to go see the doctor....." Just then, her cab arrived. She said "Thanks, and see you around..." and she was gone.

I don't know why but from the start when I got into the queue and noticed her, I felt so sorry for her (I know I should not but I guess that was my normal human reaction too). I had immediately taken out the Namgyalma amulet I had received from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and was pondering how I could give the amulet to her (for protection). Then I muttered a silent prayer, and started chanting the Medicine Buddha's mantra under my breath silently "tayatha om bekanze bekanze maha bekanze bekanze, radza samudgate soha" as well as Guan Yin's mantra "om mani padme hum" many many many times and blew them towards her direction, many many times (This was just the same way as we bless the fishes in the water by saying prayers and mantras and blowing into the water. It is said that the water becomes blessed. Whoever that water touches fish, tiny or big animals, or tiny insects, the negative karma of all those sentient beings is purified). Likewise if we blow it into the air, whoever gets touched by it, will get the blessings. I probably recited both mantras to her at least a 1000 times and dedicated to her, as she was fidgetting in front of me throughout that entire 45 minutes. This was the least I could do for her.

Waiting in the queue with the Pink Slippers Lady, witnessing this 'abnormal' stranger was a touching experience for me. I was touched by her motherly love for her kids and her innocent childlike behaviour. Usually we would have avoided people like her as we are afraid they are not sane and may become violent, but this time I was actually trying to stay very close to her as possible, in order to say the prayers and bless mantras on her (without her realising it, of course). I did not pluck up enough courage to give her the amulet in the end. I did not want to appear pushy and to scare her off. Well, at least I hope she benefited from those mantras. (This is especially beneficial because now is the Tibetan New Year (Losar) and also merit-multiplying month and any merits you do increases by 100,000 times!). Likewise, the mantras she received were equivalent to billions. May she recover and be well soon.

In a way, I was glad the taxi queue was so long that night.

Benefits of chanting Medicine Buddha's mantra

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