A Travellerspoint blog

The Value of Time

14 June 2011

"Patthar hi to hai", (Theyre only stones, anyway) were the words of the manager of the archeological site upon noticing my disappointment.
Thousands of years wrapped in a few rocks, each of which has stood witness to the most glorious events that time has created. The same rocks lie dumped in a heap today, as if disposed in a scrapyard. The archeological department, run by the government, stands at one miniscule room, crammed with files that look like they too had been created in the same era as the artifacts, and chairs that appear ready to give way anytime now. I step in, greet the manager, and tentatively choose to stand. Disgust and rage proceed, as he displays a pile of pillars kept outside the room as if showing me his greatest work yet. I only notice them as innovative waste disposal techniques. After being blessed with one of the most vibrant chronicles of time, and all we can do to revive it is store it in shockingly repulsive manner. Of course, once such structures resemble any one of our Gods in remote correlation, we build herculean amounts of faith in it and the artifact controls thousands of lives. Only in India.

Posted by ankitdamani 02:33 Comments (3)

Dwarka: The City of Illusion

12 - 13 June 2011

(Let me inform anyone looking for a philosophical take on God’s existence that this trip concerns people and their behavior towards the concept of such a power, not an evaluation of the power itself. My involvement includes the reactions that I may observe in areas where this concept is taken to its most extreme boundaries, and where religion happens to be the primary source of recognition and attraction for the town itself.)

“The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” – Oscar Wilde

Dwarka: majestic, rustic and capable of making one consider themselves time-travellers, as it almost absolutely lives in a culture experienced decades ago. I wasn’t surprised when I noticed the lack of youth in local public: most had already ‘escaped’ according to them, but more likely trapped in the vicious circle of the slowest form of death, the modern way of living. One incident that personally shaped my experiences in the grandiose town of isolation and insulation from the modern world occurred in the city’s crown jewel, the Dwarkadeesh temple. Hundreds gather for the daily ‘aarti’ that takes place amidst clanging bells and booming drums, and each one of those people hope to transform themselves in some way as a result of their display of devotion, which they so desperately want to portray to others. As I stood in line, one of dozens of sardines packed in a box, I noticed the first ounce of joy from anyone in the crowd: the glowing smile of a baby as he seemed to be obsessed with something above his head, looking upwards every few seconds and transfixing his eyes as if hypnotized by an enticing force. I glanced upwards to realize that it was only a fan. A 3 or 4 bladed instrument used primarily to provide forceful winds and cool air by method of rotation. Each blade is identical, a provider of comfort, yet when in motion all together resemble a circle of sorts. The baby’s fascination with the instrument seemed to bloom from his curiosity as to where the blades disappeared to, once the fan was switched on. Strange, the fact that once something cannot be seen, its attraction automatically increases. The invisible blades seemed to reflect in attribute to the objective of my trip itself, and the peculiar trait that most people share in obsessing over what they may call comfortably unexplainable.

Endless faces stare, anticipating.

The unstoppable clatter of voices becomes
gradually agonizing, extracting any iota of faith left.
Hands rise upwards, chants fill the room, the standard praying procedure commences.
An abrupt smile is spotted in the sea of expressions. Wonder and disbelief cram my mind.
A baby, wide-eyed, gawks in bewilderment.
The three-bladed disc is now just a disc.
The blades are invisible. Illusion surrounds all of us
In a wafting wind of agony.

Strange, how he may react with astonishment
while we choose to worship pointlessly.

Posted by ankitdamani 02:15 Tagged people religion history india baby illusion artifact government poetry dwarka Comments (4)

(Entries 6 - 7 of 7) « Page 1 [2]