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  • Writer's pictureVrinda Singh Chauhan

Dry dreams in the wet world-- Holy but Melancholy Kumbh.

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

Dry dreams in the wet world.

55 days of the holy dip in the sacred waters of river Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati and I still feel criminal, sitting on the banks of Ganga in one of the purest cities, Prayag. In the heat of the moment for the first time raises voice as "me". The city of faith and belief had lot to offer except faith and belief in particular and still the millions were trying to extract the most expensive diamonds from the caves of hatred, selfishness and disrespect. 71% of earth's surface is water and millions come to this small place in search of waters. Waters of hope, Waters of confidence, Waters of sanity and Waters of purity which is inside us, but yet we struggle to find it at other places. Just like happiness. Some great saints said, "True happiness lies inside you". Yet we try finding it outside in others (both living and non-living).

Arrangements to welcome people were fabulous this year at Prayagraj, the city of spiritual and philosophical significance for Hindus. But bidding goodbye wasn't the very courteous one. Walking miles and miles to the rivers from the outskirts of city, the enthuse of the city was at its zenith this time. It is believed in Hinduism, "the difficult, the better: the strenuous, the merrier". So, the crowd merrily enjoyed the pains of the city in order to enjoy the long and late gains of their kitty. On an average, 9 out of 10 people feel guilty. Guilty for something they did, guilty for something they didn't do, but want to, guilty for something they think they did, guilty they didn't do enough to help someone, guilty for doing better than someone else, etc, etc. The simple math says we all are guilty. And the one interesting thing of Hindu mythology is, "Commit as many sins as you can, coz a day would come when you can feel free to be guilty in the holy waters of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. The magic of the waters is transcendental enough to purge you of all your sins". The thing which I loved most was that you have the leverage to wash out the sins of your near and dear ones just at the price of one dive for each.

The attention seekers of this "Ardh Kumbh", 2019 @ Prayagraj, this time were not the fancy lights glittering the city in the sheet of Gold, neither the high profile, gadget holder saints and Aghorees, nor those showy helicopters showering flowers on the devotees but the devotees themselves and their blind believes. Tourism flourishes and there is an exponential increase in the tariffs from hotels to a flower seller with the onset of this huge festival at Prayagraj. But the only question is, "Do people buy virtues in the most expensive tariffs in exchange to their sins?" or those who cant afford to buy virtues are robbed of their sins by the locals to the maximum of their capacities. Still, we call it a city of faith and hopes, coz either ways, we get a chance to get rid of our sins, no matter what it takes.

Millions walk into the city once in every 4 years to experience the magic of wet lands. Perhaps living on dry lands for centuries now, humans have evolved with the habit of dreaming dry and offloading them in the wet lands. Some dream of getting rid of their families and achieve them amidst the clueless crowd. What do you dream today? Are you planning to add some weight to them with the sprinkles of the magic waters of Prayag? It's true that water is a universal solvent, but I wonder since when it started absorbing the soulful sins.

Prayagraj @ night. The devotees of Dry Lands.

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