End of Reliving the Tradition
September 7, 2014 Sunday
Despite a weekend, the temple suddenly lost its charm. The crowd thinned out. Puja dominated the weak trances. Energy levels of the people who went into trances in the beginning of the pilgrimage fell drastically. Enthusiasm dried up and sadness creeped in subtly. The number of pilgrims was small. Local people who could not join the pilgrimage were more in number. The number of security personnel was also smaller. The number of camera clicks was fewer.
The temples and the sanctums were more accessible. Special samagri, the offerings to the holy fire, was prepared for the last havan. The samagri consisted of rich foods, including fried sweet bread and desi ghee. In all this, most of the women were just silent observers. Both puja and havans were mainly a privilege of men. Unlike the beginning, falling in the trances became an exclusive domain of men. But women brought small pitchers filled with special offerings.
Young girls had a privilege too. Priests washed the feet of a selected few as a part of a ritual. Tilak was done. Petty gifts, cash and kind, were given to them. Even some boys had this privilege of participating in kanjak. They were blessed.
The last free meal of the pilgrimage, dal and chawal, was served in the temple. The sky did not shed any tears. The ram and many of the caretakers were conspicuous by their absence.
The loud colors, gold, red, saffron, and silver, marigold flowers, and dark green leaves created a uniform harsh look. Bright colors coupled with bright sky could not hide sadness attributed to departure of the pampered ram.
Now take a short visual walk and soak up the atmosphere of the 22nd day of Nanda Raj Jat 2014.