Monday, April 28, 2014

The sacred and the secular

Last week was a combination of the sacred and the secular. First, the sacred. The sacred was multidenominational: viz. the dargah of Shaikh Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer, and the Bramha temple at Pushkar. The dargah was complete with marble jalis and floors, chadars made of roses, threads to ask for wishes, and qawwals singing Sufi qawwalis. The mood was cheerful, and the atmosphere about half way between a  fair ground and Friday prayers. Pushkar was even more cheerful, the only sour note being Savitri Devi, Brahma's wife, sulking away in a temple on the hill side thanks to having been displaced at Brahma's side by a milkmaid named Gayatri Devi (to say nothing of an eponymous Maharani ruling the roost for many years in nearby Jaipur).

Speaking of sulking, the secular provided solid reasons for sulking,  the secular being the current Lok Sabha elections, and the reasons for sulking being bounced off the voter list for the sixth time despite filling Form Six, those self same six times! The cheerful polling officers at the polling booth pored over the list three times (six by two, get it?) and said sorry madam, name missing, thereby putting paid to hopes of recurrence of  the miracle that had happened six years ago (that of name being found on the supplementary list).    There was another six by two piece of numerology for those who made it to the polling booth. There were three electronic voting machines in the booth, thanks to forty two (six into seven, what else?) candidates being in the fray in Chennai South parliamentary constituency.  Hopefully, the elected candidate, whoever it be, will fulfil the fervent mannat made at the dargah and the tirth (oh, please, please, please, finally fix Taramani Link Road), and another trip to Ajmer and Pushkar can be made, this time complete with chadar and coconut. The next wish will be to be put back
on the voter list (at least for the duration of the municipal elections)!

This blog post by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

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