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