Nanda Raj Jat 2014 witnessed its share of paradoxes. The guards of khadu, the four-horn ram, fasted for entire twenty days and walked barefoot. They ate once a day but the meal was lavish. Religion is about discipline and sacrifices for them. On the other hand many devotees relished hookah, cigar, beedi, and / or cigarette out of habit, for warmth, and / or for instant calories to kill hunger pangs. Age and gender were not deterrents.
Religion probably does not object to blowing addictive fatal puffs of smoke during pilgrimage. The devotees love to mix religious activities with pleasures of the materialistic world. Many of these devotees will not let you touch the palanquins and parasols (chantolis) if you are wearing chappals, sandals, or shoes. You cannot even stand under the parasol if you are wearing shoes. You cannot enter even the temple complex with shoes for the sake of hygiene and sanctity. But enjoying smoke in religious events like Nanda Raj Jat is accepted.
I also observed that one of the men from the priest community deliberately walked away from me because I am a woman. And another man in trance from the community embraced me from behind and then apologized.
Click any image to watch the slideshow Paradoxes of Nanda Raj Jat.
Disclaimer:Hookah, cigar, beedi, and / or cigarette are injurious to health. Do not smoke either of these.