The Telegraph
Thursday , March 6 , 2014

Fine for Chhath, not for greatest show

- Ahead of the big fight, RJD chief orders lid on swimming pool over Vastu concerns

Patna, March 5: If it is election time, leave nothing to chance, not even the location of a swimming pool.

For the uninitiated, a pool to the south of one’s house is inauspicious, say Vastu experts. That’s the reason RJD supremo Lalu Prasad is filling up the existing swimming pool at his house.

The pool was built at their 10 Circular Road house in 2005 when Rabri Devi shifted there from 1 Aney Marg. It is the one in which she offers arghya (obeisance) to the Sun god during Chhath Puja, Bihar’s holiest festival.

But on Wednesday half-a-dozen labourers were busy filling up the 20ft by 50ft swimming pool on Lalu’s instructions.

The RJD chief was hurrying them on. “Jaldi jaldi kaam karo aur bhar do isko (do the work fast and fill it up),” Lalu was telling them, pointing at the pool.

The pool comes alive only during Chhath. Rest of the time it is left empty. During the festival it is decorated with flowers and properly lit up. Several paintings of lord Krishna and the Sun god adorn the pool.

But now a new swimming pool will come up, a few metres away from the cowshed inhabited by five cows and two calves. The upcoming pool will be in the northeast corner of the house.

This is not the first time Lalu has turned superstitious. After getting relief from the Supreme Court in a fodder scam case in July 2013, he had visited the ashram of Pagla Baba alias Bibhuti Narayan, a tantric guru, and performed rituals in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh.

Recently, after his release from Birsa Munda Central Jail in Hotwar on December 16, Lalu went to Deori temple and performed rituals.

The RJD supremo accepted the existing pool was being filled up, as its Vastu was wrong. “The direction of the swimming pool is not right, so I have decided to fill it up and build a new one,” Lalu told The Telegraph.

He did not say who influenced his decision. But a senior RJD leader close to Lalu’s family said on condition of anonymity: “As you know, Laluji believes in Vastu and astrology and some baba has advised him to shut down the swimming pool as it was not at the right place and, thus, inauspicious for the family.”

He added“Rabriji does not interrupt or have any say when Laluji takes a decision.”

There was a time when Lalu wore rings on every finger — after his name surfaced in the fodder scam case — in the belief it would safeguard his chief minister’s post. During difficult times, he has always sought suggestions from astrologers or met babas.

City-based Vastu expert Achalesh Nandan agreed it was inauspicious to keep a swimming pool to the south. “It leads to financial losses, health losses and family problems. It is always good to have a pool or keep water in the north-east. It brings happiness and property to family,” said Achalesh.

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