Text by: Bilakshan Santosh Harsh
It is gloomy and everything seems a bit hazy and different in this place, which is old and rusted. I am sitting in my car watching a small pond, whose water looks murky and close to it, I see a small building with a big Peepal tree that appears to be coming out from the walls making the place look quite unusual.
I can see people entering the building through the gate and a cow standing next to it. People are touching the cow’s head and touching their forehead while entering out of the building. I can listen to the sound of big bells with some chants coming from that building.
Outside the building, I can see three ladies dressed in sarees in the shade of red and orange and kneeling on the ground with their hands folded and eyes closed. These women seem married and in their thirties.
I can see red sindoor on their forehead and bangles in their hand. I can see one of their lips moving silently with her eyes closed and the one next to her singing some folk song with mention of Kali in it. I can also see, in front of them, some earthen pots with something white on top coming out which is placed underneath a series of cow dung cakes. All of a sudden, one of the ladies started to pat on the cow’s back to make it move to the other direction, as it had blocked the entrance gate and created chaos by forcing people to offer some sweets. Some children have gathered around the scene and it looks like some offerings will be made to them.
I have come out of my car and have started slowly walking towards the small building. I take my phone and see the pond side which has a small machan like a house in the middle, of it giving a different appeal.
I started walking towards the pond and could see these ladies with some pieces of bananas, apple and ladoos in their hands giving to these kids. These children looked very happy and playful. They didn’t appear to be school-going children but seemed to have come for the offerings made by people to them. I see them asking for money from people who came for daily prayers and offerings.
The ladies have also finished with their pujas and have started to enter the building. The lady in the red saree started to put sindoor on the one in the orange saree and the woman in the orange saree is making the one in the deep red saree eat a piece of orange. They are now offering the thing that is white in colour to these kids. The kids have started to push each other to get it first. I can see hibiscus flowers in one of the ladies’ hands with the prasad and now they are distributing to these kids and some older women have also gathered around to collect it. These three women now enter the gate with some burnt incense whose smell is very strong.
About our writing program student:
Bilakshan Santosh Harsh
Harsh holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work and TV Broadcast Journalism. After a successful stint as a TV producer with NDTV, he’s on a sabbatical to study law in Delhi. His interests include photography, film making, fine art and music and culture.
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