‘Mom…..’ cried the boy loudly, ‘elder sister is not willing to go to prayer. Why don’t you ask her to go with us? I want to attend this holy prayer with all of us. Why can’t she go there with us?’
‘She is not feeling well’ said the mother comforting her angry little son. ‘She will go with us next time. We will again attend another prayer together.’
‘I did check on her. She is perfectly alright. I checked her forehead. She is not having fever. Look at her. She seems to be perfectly alright. How come she is not feeling well? You can check on her as well. She must be lying. Why don’t you have a look?’
‘I already told you that she was not feeling good. I do not want to check on her. She is a grown up girl and can take care of her alone in this house while we are off to prayer. Let’s go now, otherwise, we will be late.’
The boy went up on the bed where her mother was combing her hair and getting ready to go. He hugged her mother from the back and said ‘Please mom. Ask her to go with us. I want to go with all of us. This prayer comes only once a year. Why can’t we all go together?’
‘Stop asking the same question. Your sister is not feeling well today and she cannot attend the annual prayer. Your father is waiting outside. Go and stay with him. I shall be coming in a moment’ said mother angrily.
This time the boy obeyed his mother and followed the door half-heartedly. The prayer got over and he returned home with his parents. He went to the room where her elder sister was reading book lying on the bed. He jumped on the bed and asked her ‘Why did you not go? Did you like it here reading the book alone where we all went out for the prayer?’
‘You are too young to understand all this. You will know all when you grow up’ said his elder sister smiling at him.
Many years have passed. The boy has grown up to be a man. Now he knows why her sister did not attend the prayer that day. He thanked God that this holy prayer comes once in a year so that his elder sister could attend next year prayer. Had it been occurring every month on that specific week, her sister would have missed every one of them.
What he does not understand till date is why the disciple of God cannot attend prayers because of the way God has created them. Women do not have a choice to change this. Why cannot they be a part of prayer in every single day of their life if they wanted and be part of every holy gathering?
May be someday the man will get an answer.