Mulling over Folded Hands

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Born in a tamBram family, vacations and tours would mostly include a healthy dosage of temples. Barging into the crowd, to get the glimpse of the ‘most wanted’ deity, then hands extended to get the Prasad, (holy ashes aka vibudhi and kumkum) were all part of the regime. It is the case in most of the famous Tamilnadu temples that I have visited. But then there is always a lot more happening than just the visiting the temple.

Even as a toddler, my mom used to tell me that temples are places to be and to pray, to feel calm and peace. She taught me what it is to pray, what prayers meant and subtlety-creating faith as a companion for life. As days went by, I started having my own thoughts towards prayers, temples and their importance. I started looking around all those temples that I visited. Soon temple architecture caught my fancy. I remember days when I used to go spellbound by merely looking at the way they were built, the colours that were used, the carvings that were on the pillars, and the layers that were distinguished. It fascinated me even more when I learnt that each of them had a reason for being there, every art carved depicted something important, or they influenced symmetry for stunning visuals. However, as days went by, most often than not I never felt the calmness within me when I went to these temples.

There were market places around the temple or sometimes even within the temple. They sell everything, right from pooja requirements, like flowers, to images of deities, to food and even clothing. Is it a bad thing you might ask? I would say yes. The noisy, cumbersome markets with products catching the fancy of every eye with a bargain needs to asked and rejected if at all we tend to buy from them. This leaves a dent in thoughts even before one could enter the epitome of brilliance. Money is set into play. Already.

As we further proceed and enter the temple, across the huge gateways having locks bigger than our faces. A distinct mess is seen, oil marks are left behind on the pillars; black soot from camphor covers the floor and walls. While these can at least be discounted in the name of faith, it gets worse as we walk further in. We see plastic covers been strewn and huddled up in the corner, scribbling of the ‘in’famous visitors (definitely cannot call them devotees) upon the stones and walls in the temple. Sometimes people never realize that it is not easy to clean the temple on a day-to-day basis. These marks and stains remain etched in the walls of temple for a very long time before they can be removed. It takes a lot of time, and resources to clean the little acts we do out of sheer negligence.

Source - My clicks

Source - My clicks

It is also not uncommon to see many people, who are associated with the temple in the queerest ways to be helping the devotees. What do they do? Do not wonder. They are brokers to see God. Quite literally, they help devotees getting a darshan (a view of the main idol in the altar). A little extra money and they get them right in front, jumping all the lines, an express luxury darshan. The worst part is, right before the shrine, many of the associates of these brokers argue over cash. They charge up the already choked atmosphere with so much of greed and anger. It is ironic because calmness takes the high road out; the holy vibrations are disturbed giving into chaos.

Even as I try to folded my hands for a prayer at his alter, thoughts crash in! God sitting in such majestic structures, where greed and carelessness comes in at large. Maybe in days to come, I hope for a clean ambience, which bring in calm for anyone who walks in. 
Hope, is a four-letter word and I hold on her.