This Navratri I decided to trek up to the Neemuch Mata Mandir which is considered as the Vaishno Devi of Udaipur, after more than 12-13 years. The Temple is situated atop a hill at a height of approximately 900 meters close to Fatehsagar, Udaipur. Besides the belief in the Devi, the temple offers a mesmerizing view of the lakes. At one point during the journey the devotees arrange bricks/stones in the belief that the goddess will fulfill their wish of having their own/desired home.
Considering it was the Festive season the way up to the temple was chock-a-block with devotees making their way up /down. Here was this group of married women who I think were around 50+ and I am sure in their heads they were not an year more than 25, some of them were arranging stones and praying to have Mata’s blessings to soon have an abode of their own.
One of them proudly and loudly proclaimed “ज़िन्दगी की सबसे अच्छा दिन वह था जब खुद के घर में शिफ्ट हुए, शादी हुई तब भी इतनी ख़ुशी नहीं हुई थी. २१-२१ साल में माँ-बाप ने शादी करा दी हमारी (I have a strong feeling she meant 16), कुछ मालूम ही नहीं पड़ा !!”
The moment she uttered these words and much to her surprise the entire section of the passage burst out laughing with her and this song from the television series ‘Balika Vadhu’ started playing in my head:
छोटी सी उम्र परनाई रे बाबोसा, कर्यू थारो कई मैं कसूर,
हो इतना दिन्ना तो म्हाने लाड लड़ाया, अब क्या करो महने हिवडे सो दूर …..
Just hope this lady’s husband since their marriage has managed to pacify her because there is hardly anything that he can now do that will make her ever get over the regret.
The festive season has kicked in with the advent of Navratri and will to continue till Diwali. Don’t know why but over the years this festive season instead of brightening up the spirits have tended to have just the opposite effect on me.
I open the newspaper in the morning and see the first 3 pages filled with advertisement from companies selling their merchandise. I am sure these work for most of the people but sadly not for me. When would these companies realize that I will buy what I have to buy irrespective of the offers and terms they sell at? The festive season neither pushes up my buying capacity nor its intent.
Just the other day I was in a departmental store and it was all done up keeping the festive season in mind. I felt like telling the store manager that Dude I am here to buy but with these overkill of decoration of dandia and diya’s u r making me want to break in a Garba Jig instead of shopping. And no I don’t intend to look at the new collections and will wear my old Fancy Kurta this year again on these auspicious occasions. Spare me the unnecessary Silk Kurta that will be taken out only once a year.
The overkill of religion, rituals and the pleasantries is something that I grapple each season. Not that I am not religious or that I don’t like praying it’s just that I pray regularly and believe in the Doha of Kabir wherein he says :
Dukh Mein Simran Sab Kare, Sukh Mein Kare Na Koye,
Jo Sukh Mein Simran Kare, Tau Dukh Kahe Ko Hoye !!
The meeting up people who I have no intention of meeting the rest of the year has to be accommodated in already action packed days. The inane weather talks and the guilt of stuffing oneself with the delicious mithais, some of which I m so sure are recycled God alone knows how many times, is too much to handle.
The simple pleasures of going around for a drive becomes cumbersome with already narrow roads encroached upon by the shopkeepers merchandise along with the decoration that each market does in their competitive spirit of being more garish than one another and the seemingly the whole of the city is out on the roads.
I am anyways perennially sleep deprived and the late night sessions for miscellaneous activities in the festive season further aggravates my Zombieness. The AIB’s video: Honest Diwali completely resonates with me!! Can’t wait for these days to get over and so that I can get back into the everyday drudgeries of life.
PS: Sorry if this post hurts the sentiments of anyone considering everyone is so touchy these days. So help me God in these tiring and depressing times !!