Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The trials of Dassehra

Ratna and Mansi after visiting the Mahalaxmi temple

Dassehra is once again in full swing and the queues at the Mahalaxmi temple wind up the road for at least a couple of kilometres. They all stand in the heat with such an incredibly patient look on their faces, almost as if they enjoy torturing themselves. Among those waiting for a glimpse of the divine power was S’s sister, husband and three year old daughter Mansi.

Where I sit at the computer now I have to put up not only with the usual traffic roar but also with loudspeakers blaring out sangeet and bhajans. The Dassehra festivities in the hall next to where my parents live, which hold up traffic for days, is toned down I believe this year, on account of terrorist threats but it doesn’t seem to make a difference for the thousands of devotees who throng to the temple anyway.

At home S, A and I are planning to celebrate Dassehra with lunch at Swati snacks this afternoon. S has a few days off from the second job as her employer has gone on vacation, which makes it easier for her to go out in the afternoon. Swati snacks, which most people in Bombay and especially around this area are familiar with, is such a popular joint that I hope we don’t end up waiting on the pavement like we will have to, if the place is full. And after lunch there’s a movie to watch – we’ve ordered a Marathi DVD for the afternoon which has been heavily advertised on TV and which S has been dying to see.

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