Of Goddesses & Ulsoor Lake

If you did a double take on the title, I wouldn’t blame you. The similarity with my earlier post aside, I can assure you that what follows in this post will make you even more aghast.

On my way home after a filling lunch yesterday, I came across the culmination of Durga Pooja celebrations by our Bengali brethren. Couldn’t help but screech to a halt to take pictures of the event. The first of the idols were arriving at the ‘Kalyani’ section of Ulsoor lake for immersion. There was lots of dancing and merrymaking. More revelry was visible than an occasion that called for piety or devotion. Is this what our festivals have come to? Anyway, thats another issue for discussioni. Meanwhile, here’s a first hand look at the events yesterday (pls. excuse me for not setting the right date in the digicam) followed by pictures taken today that reveal the extent of the devastating effect of these immersions.

Arriving at the Lake and just before being taken down from their vehicles.
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The Kalyani, just before the immersions start. Some remnants of previous immersions are visible
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As powerless as the rest of us bystanders, these guardians of the law!
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Items dumped earlier that have been cleared and awaiting their carting away. To where, you say? Your guess is as good as mine!
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You can see the idols being arranged for final prayers (see pic that follows) & subsequent immersion.
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Alas, if only she would come alive and vanquish our blind, unthinking and unyielding adherence to our thoughts, beliefs and customs!
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Well, I leave it to you to mull on these photos taken today and arrive at your conclusions.

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Personally, I feel that we need to find an alternative to this practice of immersion, seeing the ignominious way in which we literally & figuratively dump our revered gods & goddesses. Further, considering that we feel ourselves (some more than the others!) advanced and sophisticated than ever before, shouldn’t we do a rethink on these age-old practices in lieu of the alarming damage to our previous few lakes, in particular & environment, in general? If it were in my control, I’d attempt 2 things:

1. Such a high fee (taking into account clearing charges – both labour & material, usage charges, damage costs, refurbishment & replenishment costs, supervision charges, etc, etc) for these immersions, that folks will think it deterrent enough to consider this practice worthwhile! More importantly,

2. Give grants to whoever will come forward to suggest / show alternative ways and means of making the idols using environmently friendly materials that will also allow bio-degradeability!!!! I will of course, recoup these costs from manufacturers of the idols or buyers at the point of sale!

Over to you!

2 Comments so far

  1. Pisipati Sriram (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2007 @ 1:05 am

    Contamination or pollution of water bodies is bad. Correct. But can it be checked and stopped? Utsav committees which decide height of idols or images for immersion are more powerful than the elected governments at some places. This is because `secular’ governments, which follow appeasement policies to remain in power, are toothless.

    Everybody knows that places of worship in the middle of roads and pavements cause traffic obstructions. Street corner tea stalls, paan kiosks on pavements cause botttlenecks for pedestrian movement. No civic body or concerned dept dare touch them.

    Population explosion is the biggest problem, as every development effort and fruit is neutralised by ever multiplying mouths. Have we ever heard of any leader of any political party saying anything controlling population growh?

    Riverwater pollution caused by tanneries is wellknown.

    As long as people remain oblivious to the terrific damgage done to the environment, things continue to degenerate till the flashpoint.

    In the past there used to be good `Gurus’ (teachers) who used to teach many useful things in life to children besides good conduct, basic education etc. `Gu’ in Sanskrit means darkness. `Ru’ means light. Guru means, the one who leads a pupil from darkness (ignorance) to light (awareness or knowledge).

    Environment consciousness should be inculcated in children from school level.Do we have competent teachers now?


  2. tarlesubba (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2007 @ 6:44 am

    ravi many thanks….

    they now want to build another kalyani… is this really the way to go?
    http://www.hindu.com/2007/10/23/stories/2007102362290300.htm



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