GADAG: A mobile shop owner in Gadag performed Lakshmi pooja on the occasion of Diwali with ATM cards instead of cash and gold. Megharaj Mudaraddy, the owner of Shrinivas Mobile Shop, kept 15 ATM cards of his family members in a plate at his shop near the old bus stand in Gadag and performed the Lakshmi pooja. People who visited his shop were amused to see ATM cards placed in a plate, in which one usually sees bundles of cash offered to Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth).
Megharaj Mudaraddy, the shop owner, claimed: “As it is a clashless world, I wanted to do something different. The cash that is kept in front of the Goddess is taken out once the rituals are over. But now, our entire wealth is in our bank cards. Hence, it is up to the Goddess to decide how much money and prosperity we should get.”
“As the digital transaction is catching up, several big cities are now dependent on cashless money transfers. Then why not change the way we worship. Many friends, who were present during the rituals, suggested that I transfer money to the priest in the digital form. However, we gave the priest his fees in cash itself,” he said.
A relative of Mudaraddy said: “Debit and credit cards are the new form of wealth. We gave our cards to Megharaj to keep for rituals. The idea attracted a number of people, who we did not even invite. Many took photos of arraignments, and selfies.”
“Usually cash, coins, silver and gold items are kept during Lakshmi pooja. Keeping plastic money is a new trend. The rituals are witnessing several changes and this is one among them. And, this will not cause any harm to the tradition of the festival,” pointed out a senior priest from Gadag.