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Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Short Journey....

Dawn came with a dull and overcast sky. It seemed so appropriate for our trip to Mathura, the land of Krishna  . We dressed at super speed and by six in the morning had piled into the car, along with 'aloo paranthas 'and mango pickle. Within five minutes of leaving home the husband declared that his chest was paining. First time up we ignored him. Second time, we collectively gave him a 'look' which was supposed to convey our collective feelings .The husband, being made of sterner stuff, ignored our look/s and repeated the pain thingy. We were NOT turning back and this was now verbally spoken to him. Being full of kindness and not immune to his pain we offered to drop him at the nearest cab stand so that he could go home/hospital. The husband declined the offer , gave us an injured  look and then got into an intense ( and often heated ) discussion on the reasons for India not being a part of the  FIFA World Cup.

Two hours into the journey , with a quick stop at a roadside dhaba ( where we drank milky ,elaichi tea and had the aforementioned paranthas ) we were just about an hour away from the Lord's janambhoomi. Looking at the green, rain washed fields, herds of cows, dancing peacocks - combined with the dark ,swirling clouds - all the stories of Krishna cavorting in the fields with his gopis, eating butter , lifting mountains, etc seemed so entirely plausible and also so near .We were well on our way to adding to the burgeoning  Iskonite populace ,when we were rudely brought back to the land of mortals by a posse of highway traffic policemen flagging us down. They wanted to see everything. We showed them every thing . Looking visibly disgruntled with our meticulous paperwork they asked for a thousand. So attuned are we to the 'system' we robotically bargained for five hundred before asking them ," why the fine"? They gestured to an elder sitting in front and mumbled something about seat-belts.  The elder had just opened his mouth to argue when someone in the group took the name of the reigning babu of that area. The next minute we were on our way !! I thought of  all the shenanigans over the  the passage of the lokpal bill – now I knew  that even if we win the battle of the bill we can never win the war against corruption.

Half past one  in the afternoon. We had finished the work for which we had journeyed. This is when somebody spotted the hamlet. Ten minutes later we were in paradise. A few mud huts on one side, a cowshed on the other. A very tiny temple nestled between them. Everything was spick and span. The weak sun peeped through banyan , mango and peepal trees.  There was no fan- and none was needed. 'Charpoys' had been put out for us. The husband remembered his chest pain and promptly lay down on one. Five minutes later he was giving gentle snores. The women were cooking food . The smell was so divine , it almost made me feel faint with hunger. The men were all in white dhotis and 'janau' .Speak of sartorial elegance. We left a good couple of hours later- rested ,replete and impressed .I looked back through the rear mirror ,promising  myself a longer visit but also knowing how one path leads onto another ,reconciled to just this one chance of seeing how some of us are still living a life of truth ,beauty and simplicity.

Hare Krishna