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The Vaishnodevi Experience 2023

My first trip to Vaishnodevi was unimpressive. Climbing was hard, and it only served to highlight how badly out of shape I was, while my in-laws managed to cope so much better. Further, I hadn’t quite realized that the cave experience wouldn’t be the same as I had imagined, since the original cave was only opened at certain times a year, and that we only entered a newly created tunnel, one far easier to access, and hence more manageable with the crowds that thronged the mountain shrine. The resulting experience at the shrine, for barely a fraction of a second, hardly compared to what I had expected / imagined / heard about. So, for me, Vaishnodevi was like any other temple, nothing to write home about, something that was reflected (though not explicitly mentioned) in the blog post I wrote then.

Faces in the Crowd : Two strangers at Amritsar


For Faces in the crowd today, I have two strangers.... two people I clicked at the Golden temple, Amritsar....



The first is obviously a visitor, a pilgrim. He looks so happy, at peace... His object is fulfilled. He has had darshan of the holy book., he has got the divine blessing - the prasad....


The second is more alert. He is obviously an employee of the Temple. He is at work, doing his duty, spear in hand. It doesn't matter that in these days of modern weaponry, his spear will be of no use in a gun battle. All that matters is that he is carrying the sacred tradition of protecting the sacred space, in the manner it has been done for years. 

There is no fear of what may come. This is the one of the few places where no security check is conducted on visitors. We are free to carry anything inside. Even a camera. As I enter the sanctum, an employee notices my camera, and says, "beta, mandir ke andar photo mat nikalna" (child, please don't take a photo inside the sanctum). He doesn't even wait for my assent before turning away to the next pilgrim. Such is the nature of faith and belief. 

These two photos, of two different people represents that same faith and belief, which shows in the happiness of one and the calmness of the other. 

Comments

  1. Love how they ooze with confidence and pride when they walk... Amritsar- hopefully this year, last year planned in nov and had to cancel :(

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Aarti! Its so nice to simply sit there and watch all the people there... hope you can go this year.. its a beautiful place

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  2. Lovely, will wait to see more in this series!

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  3. Hi Anu... you have clicked interpreted the two pictures beautifully.

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  4. Interpretation is really good!!!! Nice observation...

    MANUPONNAPPA.BLOGSPOT.IN

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  5. I loved your interpretations about these two pictures which we normally don't even bother to look at. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nisha! I actually spent a lot of time just sitting there and looking at people come and go.. i had been there before as a kid, and was trying to remember what it had been like then... and since photography was allowed, went on clicking too :D

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  6. Waoo we are so busy that we don't even notice such things in regular life.. Real good interpretation.

    ReplyDelete

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