It was 7th August 2019 when I came back from Pune after one month. I was so excited to meet my family after a long 24 hour journey. I reached at 3.30 pm and just after half an hour the real story began…!!!!
“Achha listen, now you go freshen up and then we will go to darshan together. There is a manorath today, I want you to come.” Said mummy with a broad smile after finishing all the Pune gossips.
“What, she must be tired right now let her sleep. 24 hours se travel kar rahi hai meri bachhi.” My father said in concern.
“Wait first, its been years that I haven’t been to shree nath ji temple. It is always so crowded yar and second Papa, I neverrr get tired of travelling, please let me travel my entire life na.” I said making a cute face to my father.
To which he sarcastically replied and laughed, “hmm bilkul. Ambani to apan hi hai.”
“People from entire world come here for darshan but our daughter is a VIP why she will go.” My mother said with disappointment.
After 2 minutes of complete silence in the room, she said again,
“Please for me, come na.”
“Oh god okay, don’t make this face now…I will come.” There was a little frustration in my voice.
To be honest, I was a little tired and I really didn’t wanted to go. But while leaving from Pune I promised myself,
“I know I am going as a better person from here and now I don’t want to change again. I will do everything that makes my parents happy.”
[ Before going further, for those of you who don’t know anything about nathdwara or shree nathji let me tell you a brief history.
Nathdwara is a small town near to udaipur, it is famous because of the shrinath ji temple. The shrine at Nathdwara was built in the 17th century at the spot as exactly ordained by Shrinathji himself. The idol of the Lord krishna was being transferred from vrindavan to protect it from the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. When the idol reached the spot at village Sihad (now known as nathdwara) the wheels of bullock cart in which the idol was being transported sank axle-deep in mud and could not be moved any farther. The accompanying priests realised that the particular place was the Lord’s chosen spot and accordingly, a temple was built there under the rule and protection of the then Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar. ]
We reached temple and suddenly my mother started acting like a child and my tourist guide. It was not like that I was going there for the first time. But yes after years I went there. (As far as I remember, the last time I went there, I was immature and I had no skills of observing things.)
While entering the temple my mom stopped me and ordered,
“Go and submit this stupid device of yours, it is not allowed inside.”
“Stupid??? Seriously?? You are a typical maa…..Well I know I have to submit it, but why??” I really wanted to know this answer.
We entered from the chowk called “Moti mahal” as soon as we entered, people started greeting us with “Jai shree krishna”
Like my mother, a lot of woman are regular in mandir.
“Who was she?” I asked in curiosity.
“I don’t know.” She replied very casually.
“What….Then why you both smiled like you are best friends.”
“Ahun, here everybody do the same and you have to do this too to everyone you will meet, understood??”
“Apka hukum sir aankhon par sunderiii.” I said to maa who was wearing a green colored saree coordinating with the green manorath of the temple. Almost every woman was wearing green that day. Cute right??? In temple everybody treat each other like family, friendship starts from here and large no of gossips are also exchanged.
Next we entered the “Bethak ji” such a calm place it is. Maa started telling me the history, importance, miracles and her love for the temple. But on the other hand, her daughter started observing everything around her in detail.
The temple which was built hundreds of years ago was still looking beautiful and new. (Of course they renovate but in terms of strength.)
It is still strong, radiating positive energy to every “darshnarthi” coming here with full faith. Slowly a new love for the temple was growing inside my heart. I started admiring the beauty of the walls. The narrow ways for going to another chowk. The way it is built and of course the calmness, purity, peace that it was radiating.
I looked back to Maa who was a complete child at that place. Although I understood the fact that there is something in the temple which was helping me connect with myself a little more, but still I had a lot of questions. Like why to have so much of faith in him? What exactly he serves? Why to go in so much of crowd?
“Come I will introduce you to my friends.” My maa said with enthusiasm as we entered the goverdhan chowk.
“Arey what is a big deal in that, why she wants to introduce.??? Why she is so excited here??? Why my mom is so strange at times.” All these questions and thoughts were going on in my mind.
I went back to my thoughts,
“Maybe it is a big deal for her. Because all her friend’s daughters and sons come here frequently and her muski (me) was coming there after years. Well maybe because muski never gets time from her phone. Wait what,???”
I then realised why stupid devices aren’t allowed.
I gave a big smile to my mother who I thought was acting immature till now, but now I was slowly understanding her love to that place, her craziness for daily going to the temple so far, and yes her faith in her god her shrinathaji.
I looked around in Goverdhan Chowk, hundreds of people of every age, gender, and some with disabilities were waiting there for the gates to open. There was hope and faith in their eyes. The sound of dholak, tabla, shehnai and other musical instruments was coming from “nangar khana”
Some ladies of age around 60 to 90 were sitting in a corner on stairs, chanting their daily bhajan with a big smile and so much of patience. You can clearly say, that there was no cast boundation among them there. There was a different kind of freedom that they were getting there. Few ladies started dancing, and expressed their love when they sang in same voice,
“Radha dhundh rahi, kisi ne mera shyam dekha.”
It was like Radha was dancing herself on the bhajan. Well it was crowded, yet peaceful. I found solitude with peace even when I was around a lot of people.
We further moved towards the “kamal chowk” where hindole/jhule (swings) ke darshan were going on. Such a beauty it was!!! Whomsoever said that, temple is a best place to bring back the lost person in you, was 100% right. You totally understand your Rights and wrongs at such places.
I realised how lucky nathdwara is to have such a beautiful temple on its ground. It is really a big asset that we all need to preserve forever. And yes the youth totally needs to understand it’s importance that despite of all the flaws of nathdwara, we have something that no other place in the world has.
Finally we reached the place where darshan of shrinathji was going. It is like a small hall, with so many doors on two sides. It was so crowded that people were pushing each other like animals. Because of all this “Dhakka-mukki” I lost my patience. I wanted to give up and leave that place. Curtains were yet to be open. It was so hard to even breathe.
“Beta bas thodi der aur please.” My mother knew that I was not much familiar with that.
I looked at the men also known as “jhapatiyas” who were handling the whole crowd. Tiredness was clearly visible in their eyes.
Suddenly the curtains were open and there I was standing, staring at the divine power which was in front of me.
Okay you can see shreenathji anywhere. In pictures, internet anywhere. But what you see there is totally different. It is so beautiful that, I know it and I want to explain it but no word is coming out right now. I swear it is hard to explain the feeling that you get in front of him. It is not just another statue of stone. They say, shree nathji lives here still, true and you can feel that. All my tiredness, doubts, fears, questions were gone. Now I didn’t wanted to left that place, where it was even hard to stand. The Men/jhapatiyas were happily handling the massive crowd after doing the darshan of their “hari” their “shreeji bawa” it was like, as if they suddenly drank a tank full of energy drink.
We came out and went for darshan of lalan ji and vitthalanath ji. Also bowing our head in between the yamane maharani. By this time, I was 100% sure why people even in the age of 90-95 come here daily.
“Ek bar firse chalein darshan karne shreenathji ke” my mom asked in excitement.
“What, again in that crowd?? I haven’t ate anything, I am travelling from 24 hours and still you want to go in that crowd again. Itna pyaar? Itna faith? It’s clear you love your god more than your daughter maa.” I replied.
“Aren’t you enjoying this?”
“Actually yes, I am. I am enjoying your insanity too.”
“Then let’s go and yeah this time, repeat everything that crowd says inside.”
“Buddhu, I hope I don’t have to explain you atleast that words can do wonders.”
We went back, this time I realised that words are the only thing that I have. I thanked shree nathji for giving me the power of writing, for making me fall in love with words. Of course maa was right that words can do wonders. They did in my life. So I joined the group and started saying whatever they said.
In the same voice, everyone followed, “AAJ KE AANAND KI JAI.”
About The Author
Bhavika joshi aka @silent_hug_by_words is a journalism student and a wanna be writer. A professional procrastinator with some creative skills. She is a certified social media addict.
And a person who observes everything around her, just for content. Also, if you ever need a hug in your solitude, her words are the answer.