Archive for June, 2011

It wasn’t a trip I planned nor would I have.A trip to holy places is never on my agenda. No its not because of my aversion to stringent religiousness . It is more because of what it does to me.
Every time I visit those pilgrimage spot strangely it happens to be some special day when crowds throng more than usual . And then in those crowds I do not see God. I see the lack of what they call God. Yeah I know its all about perception.
I do start out hoping as people say that in places like haridwar etc you find peace , are touched by divinity of the place and so on. And then you get rushed up in trains pushed as you walk through to the aarti, misguided by locals , of the fake ritualistic talk by pilgrims and the whole milling population around does not arouse any divine feeling. It depresses me no end.
The chilled water does bring some peace if you manage to sit calmly at the ghats but every time you see people you see all that is wrong at least what I feel wrong played on like a exhibit repeatedly.
You see the dirt and plastic in the water and then someone calls it holiest of the holy
– its hard to be blind and its worse to see so many being willfully blind.
I would love to be an atheist & some do brand me one but then unfortunately such certainty never sat well with me . I’ve always been the lost agnostic & have reconciled myself that I will stay the same in this lifetime.

The river had its beauty & held its own as you gazed at it late in the moonlight but whenever I saw people in and around it it lost that mysticism. And if you stray away from the river well that was it – I found nothing much in the air whatever they say.

And then there was this quick drive to Mussoorie with a terrible driver who simply refused to take us anywhere & so all we had was a drive up the hills & a walk on the road & a garden.

All I stared at was the trees . Huge tall trees have a way of holding me breathless and making me recall the quote
“Trees are earth’s ode to heaven”

Then tried recalling all my Ruskin Bond stories & the pine trees and was lost in that.
Then there was our very young lil friend all lost worrying about all & sundry in the world & future – reminding me of my myself a decade ago and this quote
“It is an illusion that youth is happy,
an illusion of those who have lost it.”

Innocence is so rare in people though these days that even a semblance of it brings such joyful laughter .Almost poetic.
But then life is on firmer ground -along with us was a family from a small town & the lady and her actions reminded me why ekta kapoors serials work. Throughout the trip there was her frustration with a “devil may care attitude” cool husband while she tagged along with a really troublesome boy & a calm quiet girl child. And everytime she was teased about her angry demeanor with her husband she justified it with her own deep insights on marriage – of how they were not fighting – love is all about differences & adjustment & fights are not really fights. That there can never be a person with whom all your thoughts gel & would be perfect.
The words seems true taken verbally – so logical but its the vibe that gives it all away . She rambles on all the while acting oblivious to the fact that her every word showed her frustration with life & how it had depressed her to no end . Her talk of how her aspirations were stifled and what a brilliant teacher she was – and how despite being someone who handed out corporal punishment at college she was oh so liked…you despise them when you hear them at times & then you think & feel so much pity & you end up in despair deciding on your own emotion.

Then there was the family we visited – for all our talk about all the baba’s agitation & its politics we saw how people believed in them. Some blindly and some with their own twisted logic but one could see the dedication – the need most people have deep within for order & discipline & faith as else they feel lost – and how its exploited.
Then you feel your own hypocrisy at times …whatever we thought we never argued for we do not offend our hosts by cold logic .
Would want to write more but its all so fuzzy somehow.

p.s: the nuggets you listen in train from villagers
“I dont know why they force kids to go to school – its ok for city kids as schools are nearby
but think of the village kids – they spend 3 to 4 hrs travelling – whats the point ?? ”
Ah the illusions one India has of another are so bewildering


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