Today, after many years I watched a local crowd during the “Idol Immersion” procession, normally called as “Visarjan” which happens on the last day of a festival. Those enthusiastic, high on adrenaline bunch of idiots (oops I mean super dancers of India) were all dancing to the melodious tunes of ‘Naagin‘, ‘Sheila‘ and ‘Munni‘ songs. I find those DJs, loudspeakers blaring the sweetest (read cheapest) of songs and the crowd dancing with the most suggestive steps – certainly not palatable to my idea of “devotion”, “prayers” or “worship”. However, as I kept staring at the Lord’s idol, which was leading the entourage on an open truck, it seemed like the Lord made a few discreet b-buoying steps on one of those hip songs.
Realized in just few seconds that it was all thanks to the superbly uneven roads. Wandering and wondering it felt how interesting it would be if the Lord could himself start enjoying like the mortals. Let Him jump down from the open truck on to the streets for once, with a swagger let Him also drool to the hip thumping and pumping dance steps. When the DJ changes to the “Naagin” beat let HIM also fall down on His knees, put his hands into a snake style and roll over the dusty, dirty, pan stained roads, slithering with more vigor at every passing moment. Let Him also make those “cool” movements on the air and impress the passer-byes. Throw Him a sunglass further and make His look for the evening complete. And later how about a swig from an ‘Old Monk‘ and few puffs of the finest hand made cigars? This would take the entire festival mood to a different level. Let the Lord become one of the mortals if He failed the other way round!!
I am sure the crowd will just gape with utter disbelief, if ever such a scenario erupts. And am also sure few ladies would immediately regain their composure to comment – ‘Eeeww is He a God, how cheap? Do they behave like this? These days the God’s have no sense of responsibility, what will others learn from them?‘ But never, never the devotees will think so about themselves nor the mass of supporters surrounding and cheering them.
Since childhood, I have always seen these various festivities that come throughout the year and have relished its sweetness when they have been served right. The colorful idols, the various ideas thrown at designing the ‘pandals’ and the whole lot of merry-go-round activities that happen in feverish pattern. But over the years, one thing that has always stuck in my mind and had always alienated me from giving my wholehearted support to such activities are the real purpose of those organizers which seems diluted in the midst of such distasteful devotion. And few have even admitted that on this last day of the festival and after idol immersion it ends high on liquor, while those idols – which just few hours back was being worshiped, lie at some river banks or in ponds, near smelly vegetation and decaying waste, sometimes half broken, half twisted and certainly with no mystical powers left.
All of these never made sense to my idea of worshiping. It actually feels so “cheap” and dissolves the entire thought process behind such festivities. Won’t it be better to not have a festival that spreads such a disease?
I probably would still give a pass if all the above mentioned “atrocious” activities were done without the garb of Festivals. But gone are the days of innocent exuberance as a child and so has gone are the days of undiluted and divine celebration of devotion.
Let me be a devotee with no signs of devotion.
Let my love speak for you; not the emotions.
Let me be a ‘Brahman’ without the ‘thread’ of distinction
Let me be a ‘human being’ and follow my ‘own’ path to salvation.