Last week we went to Santala Devi’s temple.
Ms Teen had experienced the divine power of the goddess, ‘an impossible wish that came true‘. Hence she wanted a darshan. Was it another favour or just an excuse to get out of the house, she wouldn’t say.
The Government had unrolled Unlock 5 Guidelines but home was still a detention center.
What better than visiting the abode of the hill goddess! You cannot go wrong appealing to the spiritual side, in these troubled times.
I was excited to be out and the early October chill was refreshing.
The steep climb on the other hand was a killer for my couch potato body. I wheezed like an asthmatic patient every ten steps. The jumping gazelles accompanying me were especially concerned about my flushed face.
“You are tomato red!”
“Can you walk or do you need a push?”
“Starting today, October is your Fitness Challenge month!”
I heard them and my creaking joints and pounding heart.
We made it to the top without any mishaps.
The temple bells were wrapped in multiple red gauze like cloth. Perhaps to impede the spread of the virus through touch. It was an unusual sight so I had to take a picture (the first one). By the way, the bell rang just fine.
A sanitizer bottle stood on a stand inside the temple while the prasad sellers had their own. Corona caution was unmistakable. We were under divine protection but one could never be too careful. The masks were firmly snapped in place.
Thankfully, the way we communicated with the diety remained unchanged. Santala Devi, the embodiment of Shakti, looked on unblinking as we offered her our prayers and prasad. Many other gods and goddesses outside her shrine jostled for our attention and agarbattis (incense sticks). I saw a tiny Laughing Buddha too sharing their space.
In the compound, tinsel laced, red streams of the same gauzy cloth hung from a ‘make a wish’ banyan tree. Its boughs were laden with countless ones.
“You have to come back and untie if your wish comes true”, my mother told me the last time we were there.
I didn’t then. I was once again not sure when I’d be back.
We bowed and prayed instead.
Somehow I am sure that even without the red knots, the lines of communication were open. The gods heard us alright.
Inspired by Lens- Artists Challenge : Communication