My weekly visit to the Temple

                                                  My weekly visit to the Temple

 I am getting ready to leave for the Shiva temple; the one I have been visiting every Monday, for the last four years! Padmavathi, my daughter has just left, rather grumpily, on an hour long commute to her college. Padmanabhan, my son, is warning me not to repeat my last minute instructions to my husband. M, my driver, is thankfully and as always, on time and we leave. It has rained last night and it is still drizzling. Sharanya my neighbour has brought her son Ikshwa to see the new red hibiscus flower in the garden. Ikshwa is wearing his cute bunny eared raincoat and is very angry that Sharanya is not allowing him to pluck the hibiscus!
My son and I troop into the car and M takes off. He stops at the gate of our apartment block, because a blue Honda City sedan is hurtling down the road. I nod my head in despair and Padmanabhan shuffles impatiently. M is unruffled and he turns right on to Langford Road after the sedan has vanished from his sight. Shiv Sagar, a restaurant on Langford Road and the lifeline of many an office goer in that area, is already active. We draw up at the gate of the Bishop Cotton Boys High School, in the midst of parents struck by Monday morning blues, scowling and glaring at each other and despatching their children off with distracted goodbyes. I, too, get a generous helping of scowls because I am being driven and do not have to drive!
M goes forward and turns right into Convent Road and then right again on to Richmond Road, after a brief skirmish with the garbage truck, which makes the already narrow street seem even narrower. We get on to the Richmond Road flyover and down on to Mission Road and go past Bangalore’s famous landmark, the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens. People are ambling out of the park after their constitutional morning walk and making a beeline for the carts selling fresh greens, fresh fruits and vegetables. There are no ‘Monday morning blues’ here! A group of elderly men are sharing a joke and several glasses of a mint-spinach health juice. I stop at my regular fruit cart, pick up my stock of apples, bananas, pears and greens for the week and scramble back.
We get on to KR Road. Ten minutes and two signals later I am at the Gavi Gangadheeshwara Temple. The temple, dating back to almost three hundred years, looks clean and washed. There are two carts that sell incense, flowers and garlands. The owner of the blue cart brings his pet rabbit to the temple and every week I join the little children who crowd around it joyfully. Today, the children seem more excited! However, rabbits and children must wait till I have finished my prayers. I leave my footwear at the counter, which has been set up outside the temple especially for this purpose, wash my feet and enter. I go around the huge monolithic stone drum, called ‘damaru’, which Shiva is said to use, in order to mark the beat and rhythm, when he performs the ‘Tandava’ or the Cosmic Dance. There is a small queue at the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum. Every person is lost in his own prayer and trying to get a glimpse of the idol. It always amazes me as to how each of us establish our own connection with the Lord, despite the jostling crowds and the subdued babble around us and come away feeling stronger, more positive, more enriched and ready for whatever the week has in store!
I come out of the temple, collect my footwear and go towards the rabbits. The children are very excited! I peer over them and see that today there are three small baby rabbits in the enclosure! What a heart warming sight! I leave after a few minutes, feeling strong and happy, just as I do every Monday, for the past four years.


No comments

Post a Comment

© Of Places and People | All rights reserved.