Band, Baaja and…..Chaos!

After a hectic day at work, when nothing in the world looks more appealing than the comfort of the faithful bed and pillow waiting patiently for our return, I deliberated the level of my hunger, and finally gave in to my baser instincts to stop at this homely dinner joint with my friend, to quieten our groaning stomachs.

Turns out, my stomach was the quietest thing around..

At times like these, with haggled nerves that rankle with exhaustion, there can be nothing more infuriating than being stranded in a sea of traffic, or more damning to know, that the hold up is because of an aunty who took a wrong turn and was now trying to reverse, simultaneously moving 10 inches forward and five inches backward.

But on this occasion, it was because someone had decided that our Gods are short on publicity and hence a procession must be taken out on a 3 meter wide road.

Thus the buildings were decorated, mammoth speakers were installed and out came God in His full glory.

I don’t have a problem with public affectation of God (though I believe that religion is personal) but the “band baja” that accompanies the obsequiousness invariably leads to chaos. One side of the road was completely blocked- the bus, the auto and the uncle with the shiny new car all became equals in their struggle to find the place to move forward. The uncle did not care for the scratches on his car, if only he could move 1 inch forward. The traffic policeman at the intersection seemed to have given up, he was just waving his hands frantically for help, any hope of untying this huge knot now abandoned.

And amid the ‘Aey tu age se hat’ and calling names to all the relatives one can possibly have, came the unmistakable sound of drum beats with the latest item number being sung as the latest Bhajan (the Gods must be cringing) – ‘Bhakti me leen hui, Ambe Maa tere liye’ (Munni badnam, anyone?)

At times like these, all that comes to your mind is ‘Hey Bhagwan!’, and when you think about it, it is for the very Bhagwan that all of this is happening. A simple invocation is no longer enough it seems, Gods have to be shown off too.

Ruchika Tripathi

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