There was, in the ruins, a temple in the corner of the village. Amongst the trees of neem, mango and pumpkin. Near a pond, full of algae and hyacinth. Decades ago, they worshipped Radha in the temple. Krsna of course, was there. But the temple was Radha's. They said they felt Radha's dance stir up the still air at night and the rustling sound of the leaves mixed with the ringing of her anklets. Only what was borne in her enormous garden was fed to Radha. Be it a banana or a pile of jackfruit, or coconuts or date palm.
With time though, the temple was forgotten, worshippers had other temples to go to. Then an old man from the city, disillusioned with life, abandoned everything and came to Radha's temple. People turned up at the temple with curiosity, just to check what the man was upto. He was dressed like a sadhu, his beard hadn't grown that long though. He spent days cleaning the garden and the temple. Years and years of cobwebs with his own hands, scrubbing mud and silt off the floor.
Like a miracle he brought the place back to life. The kadam tree in courtyard of the temple flowered like it had gone insane. Rows and rows of marigold and jasmine made the air so fragrant, men and women forgot their chores and came to visit. Children skipped school to see what it was all about. Old women begged to be carried to the temple. At the end of a week or two, the man, who the villagers had named Radhe Baba, bathed the idol of Radha and Krsna in milk and honey and coconut water and dressed them in new clothes and jewellry. It was Radha's birthday. An elaborate swing had been tied in the kadam tree for Radha.
Radhe Baba sang and danced like no one was watching. Devotees poured in from a dozen nearby villages, owing to the word of mouth. They brought rice and dals, brinjal, papaya and pumpkin. The rich ones donated oil and ghee. Radhe Baba cooked for hundreds, with a little assistance from the village women. Scores were made to sit in neat lines in the courtyard, and fed on banana leaves. Radhe Baba served with his own two hands, bucket after bucket of rice and dalma, a broth made of dals and vegetables. Hundreds relished their meals with hot green chillies, the assisting women were awed as they had expected to run out of food way back.
Radhe Baba oversaw everything, and smiled. Radha stood beside him and smiled too. The temple became a phenomenon. Devotees fell at the Baba's feet as if he was Radha herself. TV channels had found out that he had left behind an arthritic wife, but all his sons were doctors and engineers, his only daughter settled abroad, and he had a bevy of grandchildren. Some saw him as a runaway shirker, some as a self made godman, some as god herself.
Amidst all the chaos, one morning, Radhe Baba was nowhere to be seen. The TV channels said, he definitely hadn't gone back home. But he was nowhere to be seen. Devotees got worried and pushed open the door of the sanctum sanctorum to find Krsna standing alone and sulking. Radha was gone too.