Well this post was supposed to come sometime on Monday/Tuesday, but was unfortunately not able to write it, hence the delay. Last week, I had a long weekend because of Thanksgiving. Yes folks, I follow the client’s schedule of holidays. So taking advantage of it, I decided to head to Mumbai early and then take mom to Nathdwara, Rajasthan to Lord Krishna’s temple. So yea, I got in early Thursday morning, unpacked and then packed again and left for Rajasthan. I have been visiting this temple since I was a kid, riding on my dad’s shoulders. We actually try and go there once every year, sometimes even more than once, but then it all depends on whether He wants to come there or no. (Ok that is my mom’s way of thinking). We took the train to the station nearest to our destination, Falna, since there is no direct train to Nathdwara. So we got down at Falna at around 8am, Friday morning and from there we had to share a cab with 7 other people to get there. Now right across me, a really cute girl was sitting along with her mom. She was listening to music on her mobile, when the driver started the radio. She looked pretty annoyed that she could not listen to her songs anymore. I just gave her a smile and then we never spoke a word. In the western world, I would have followed up with something more. But here I decided to apply the rule “In India, behave like Indians”. So I just took the book I was reading and after a while fell asleep. We finally arrived at our destination at around 10:30am.
The great part of Nathdwara is that this place has not changed even after so many years. The last time I was there was like 4 years back when I had come to India for my winter break. We quickly found ourselves a lodge, showered and went for the darshan. The temple is like most other temples in India, except I feel it is the atmosphere which separates the others from this. There are only 8 darshans during the day, most which only last for 20 mins or so. So when the main temple doors are thrown open, a throng of devotees just rush into and fill up the temple hall. It becomes very hard to even stand in just rushing and pushing. But fortunately this time I was able to get all the possible darshans without having to really jostle too much for it.
In between the darshans devotees usually wait in the temple square. I like sitting there, because for some reason a unique calmness comes over me. So while I was sitting there waiting for the next darshan, I read a few boards which said don’t spit, which were rather surprising. I mean who will spit in a temple.. but they were there. So while I was sitting, a group of monkeys descended on the top of the temple square and decided to hang out with us. There were people sitting below a couple of monkeys, when all of sudden they decided to pee on them. It was very funny. I could help but laugh. But then a sad irony stuck me. Indian males and monkeys are no different. Even they pee in any open street. Atleast monkeys have an excuse of being animals. I wonder what excuse do we have?
We wrapped all our darshans by Saturday noon and then headed our way back to Mumbai. The other thing I have observed is Indian Railways is very unfriendly to women customers. I have seen their toilets and I mean.. they are just pathetic. I don’t like to go there myself, but then when you got to go, you got to go.
The remaining part of the weekend was spent watching Dhoom 2, football match between Chelsea and Manchester United and packing. Overall it was a very busy weekend, but I enjoyed every bit of it.