This was a small trip to Narayanpur Balaji Temple near Pune. Its 40km ride from Pune. Management of the temple is SUPERB, in every department: Queue for Balaji darshan, food, hygiene/cleanliness. And one more (good) thing, they offer you a meal pass. We started by 6.30 AM, & reached the temple by 7.45AM. But as the darshan starts by 8.30 so we had to wait for a while in the queue.
This waiting time was killing in beginning as I was sitting alone and getting bored. After sometime, I got involved in observing my surroundings: chattering of people, their behavior and their kids. No soul can be as pure and free as of a child. I see one little girl roaming around, she is blowing kisses to her family members. Then midst of her act of flying kiss, she looks at me and feels shy and smiles. I smile back at her. She has big beautiful eyes and long eyelashes. She is too small to be called beautiful but one day she will be, I think.
Now the queue starts moving, I suppose its 8.30 probably as I am not wearing a watch and mobile is not allowed inside the temple. Suddenly I felt someone is pushing me from behind, typical Indian behavior. They have waited about an hour for darshan but now being patient even for 5 minutes seem torturous to them. Given a chance or not, every woman was trying to get ahead in the queue. They just want to get there quickly and then stand for hours in front of Balaji. I do not understand the significance of this so called religious act. For me mere glimpse was enough. Again, I observe my surrounding while waiting for my husband to join for further exploration of the temple. There are several carvings on the interior, I hardly understand the message which should be conveyed by this paintings.
A group of south Indian woman caught my attention now, not just mine in fact everybody’s. They are singing some religious songs. Even though they are not professional singers but the chorus felt better than any of the Bollywood or rock song. It gave me peace. I can still hear the sound of “Govinda Har Govinda” echoing in my ears. And I close my eyes to feel it more.
This day made an observer, explorer and a Traveler again. I grew into myself. This is one thing that I seek for in my lifetime. This is what makes me feel alive. Learned one thing, One does not have to go into solitude to write. I wrote this small piece there in the premises of temple itself, just penned it down now. It was all there stored in my memory since yesterday.