His Dad owned a cellular network company. He set his first voice mailbox message at the age of 4. In 2024, at the tender age of 23, he had to see his Dad’s company go bankrupt. Whatever his Dad lost, he blamed it on telepathy. And whatever else was bad in the world, he blamed it on the consequences of telepathy. And today, Siddhart was waiting for his turn to do the Manpatanti Puja.
If you are quite informed about the various Pujas in Hindu mythology, and is still quite unaware of Manpatanti Puja, it’s because you haven’t been past 2022. In 2022, as the legend has it now, mankind finally learned the secrets of telepathy through a procedure. Though the procedure to attain telepathy was remarkably similar everywhere, almost to the extent of being absolutely identical in every corner of the world, the popular religions decided they should have different ceremonies for attaining telepathic prowess.
Christianity quickly added an 8th sin to their ever-growing list of sins. In actuality, it was the 17th sin from Christianity. There were 7 actual sins, 7 modern sins (that included, “Thou shalt not browse for paid porn when it’s available for free) and 3 telepathic sins. The telepathic sins were:
Thou shalt not hurt thy neighbour’s moose with the cunning use of telepathic death metal
Thou shalt not cheat at scrabble which really doth not hath anything to do with telepathy, and
Thou shalt not ask for stronger wine in the Church of thy Holiness through a telepathic or non-telepathic medium
Soon after the addition of extra sins, Dan Brown released his 14th novel on the same, named ‘The Sins of Tele Phona’ with an italicised ‘phona’. It suggested that Jesus Christ ordered 1000 fishes through a then-unknown telepathic medium. It also stated that Alexander Graham Bell was the first to coin the term ‘ring a Bell?’ when he was proposed by his girlfriend. And in true Dan Brown style there was this centuries-old secret association of telepathic artistes called ‘Teletubbies’ that, needless to say, included Michelangelo in mime.
Hinduism, not to be left far behind, proposed this new god with 13 eyes, 2 brains, 3 ¼ hands and 5 completely non-identical legs. He was not the most physically endowed of Hindu gods (Ravan leads the pack there, though his cause to being considered a god is widely disputed), but he had the unique ability of telepathy. This god somehow ended up in scriptures, his skeletons were excavated from Andaman and Nicobar Islands and proof was received from Nasa that this new god was the reason for the existence of White House. He was thus aptly, but vaguely named, Manpatanta.
The Manpatanti Puja was derived from a favourite pastime of Lord Manpatanta; grinding stones together. The reason why all these information were not available before 2022 was simply because it wasn’t the time yet. The Kalyug passed before we could say, ‘Cheers to the end of the world.’ And Kalki, apparently, just acted in an off-beat movie and a Coca Cola ad.
“Name?” asked the Manpatanti Puja specialist Pujari Narayana Manpatante.
“Siddhart,” replied Siddhart as he shifted his weight in the gravelly temple ground.
“Full name?” squeaked the Pujari.
At this, the Pujari closed his eyes, took two stones marked ‘A’ and ‘AAA’ from the golden plate in front of him and started chanting a mantra. ‘A’ and ‘AAA’ are pronounced ‘Ah’ and ‘Aaaaah’ and not like how you would buy batteries from the local store.
The priest then proceeded to close his eyes and muttered some chants under his breath. Siddhart looked on uninterested. The priest then opened his eyes and handed the stones to Siddharth – who wasn’t there any longer.
By that time, Siddharth was way outside the temple ground. Actually, he reached the end of the road where one could find a board with directions to the temple. Simply put, he was quite, quite far away from Pujari Narayana Manpatante to actually receive the telepathic stones. And this wasn’t the first time this happened.
It happened in 2023 when the Manpatanti Puja was first performed in Palace Ground. That time Siddharth ran all the way till Hebbal flyover where he got dizzy with all the roads and fell unconscious. It then happened in 2024, 2025 and now in 2026 with similar results, that curiously varied in intensity. Siddhart blamed it on the by-then-defunct theory of Global Warming.
“Why do people want to be telepathic anyway?” asked Siddhart to his friend Jamaican Pashan, as he sat on the faded red carpet floor of Pashan’s house.
Pashan, was born Pasha Nooruddin. ‘Bad company’ as his parents put it, led him to a different world — a world in which grass definitely showed you the greener side. That side eventually ended up being a little purplish. This was considered a harmless side-effect and nothing to really ‘stub your joint’ about.
Pashan thought deeply at Siddhart’s question. He thought deeply the last time someone asked him the time as well. Pashan then looked at Siddhart for a few seconds. Then he stared at him intently for another minute. Then, he went into a convulsion.
“Pashan!” Siddhart shook Pashan out of his trance. “Pashan! I can’t get telepathy, remember?”
“Oh…” Pashan quickly snapped out of his tantrum. “I am sorry. I tend to forget it.”
“If this is how people usually talk through telepathy, then boy I’m glad I’m not doing it.”
“Hmmmmmm…” Pashan closed his eyes and took another deep breath. He made some cracking sound by stretching himself off his perennial hunch. “I would’ve nailed it at the first try. In the second and third attempts of telepathic transfer, I was trying to push my way into your brain’s telepathic channel and see if I can plant my thought there rather than convey it to you.”
“Yeah,” scoffed Siddhart. “Meanwhile, you forgot to use your frickin’ common sense!”
“I need to pee,” said Pashan, verbally this time.
“Just… just go ahead, Pashan. You are the biggest moron in this planet. Piss yourself dry.”
Pashan stood up and balanced himself against a dead parrot perched on his teak study-table. Though he tried not to cause much of a ruckus, he couldn’t help it. There were stainless steel utensils strewn all over the floor. This was not very unusual. Pashan had this very ill-tempered , neurotic, always-on-periods, but great-in-bed-too girlfriend, Tahi. If a bored travel-planner was to make an itinerary for a Pashan-Tahi day, it would go like,
Sex every night
Share a joint
Another fight-and-sex session
Realize it’s too late to sleep
Realize you are late for work
Brush teeth quickly
Realize you don’t have any work
And the cycle continued. But not today; when Pashan had a guest and Tahi needed to stock up on more pads.