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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: The Innocence of Childhood

'The Innocence of childhood' is a much used and cliched phrase, which barely seems to apply these days when kids seem to grow up faster than we can think... in every way. And then, to see a child, completely immersed in herself, enjoying herself to the hilt, totally unaware of those around her... is a sight that warms the heart! 

A few days back, I attended a dance programme at the temple in our complex. The performance was one among many, held as part of the temple's Shivaratri celebrations, spread over 10 days. My sister was one of the performers, which is why I was there, and as usual, I clicked away, having no eyes for anyone but her. You can see her photos on my Facebook page. I was waiting for her, later, when I noticed this kid in the first row, happily dancing by herself, trying to imitate the movements of the dancers on stage. 

Her mother and grandmother tried their best to get her to sit down. She did listen to them, but she was up again, dancing away, while the others in the audience looked on, indulgently. 

I have tried to capture the scene as it struck me.... the silhouette of the girl against the colorful background of the dancers. I don't know how well I have managed, but I hope these photos have brought a smile to your faces!


  1. I loved it! Beautiful captures.

  2. Interesting clicks!

  3. Kids know no boundaries. They just do what they feel like :-)

    1. Absolutely, Kalpesh.... but they are growing up so fast, its scary!

  4. oh wonderful!!! and that u were perhaps, the only admiring witness to it really is nothing short of bliss!! :)

    1. Thanks so much Akila! It was bliss indeed! I couldnt help click the girl and ignore the dancers!

  5. This is an awesome post Anu ! So beautiful candid shots. :)

    I think we can see a dancer in her.

  6. What beautiful captures, Anu.

    This child must have "dance" in her blood. And for such children, nothing can stop them. How lovely to be at this age and dance without abandon, a care and only let the sound, rhythm and music speak to you. Alas, a day will come when the indulgence will turn to irritation and she will be shushed and forced to feel conscious. I know it sounds horrible, but I hope that child never grows up.

    1. Thanks Sudha! you are so right!!! this is why i sometimes wish kids would remain kids and never grow up! even though it does sound horrible :D


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