for The Times of India on Jan. 24, 2008
NEW DELHI: Buying a new car? What about going to a dealer who, along with freebies, offers a free puja for the car with a priest in attendance?
As priests hop from household to household performing pujas in the capital, they now have a new job opening, performing quick puja for the customers at showrooms before they drive away with the four-wheeler.
Aware of the fact that in a country like India where most of the Hindu acts are followed by a mark of religiosity, many dealers have now started to provide the grand-old service of performing customary rituals and ceremonies right at the car showrooms.
Raman Gupta who is a manager (Operations) in a leading IT company, recently bought a new Maruti from a car dealer in the capital. Like many middle-class Indians, he also believes in starting any new work after performing some rituals.
Just as he was about to leave for a Hanuman mandir in the nearby area, a person from the showroom approached him and introduced himself as Pandit Radhamohan Tyagi, a priest deployed by the outlet manager for carrying out the "customary rituals and ceremony" for the occasion.
"We are here for your convenience sir. Don't worry I will take care of your feelings," remarked the priest. In just 15 minutes, he along with his disciple performed all the rituals from coconut-breaking and 'swastik' smearing to 'aarti' and all.
"I am really delighted at the service being offered by the company at no extra cost", says wife of Raman, Seema Gupta.
Panditji is happy too. "We perform every ritual as per the demand of customer and get paid by the company", he says.