Divine intervention at Kamakhya temple 

For all those travelling to North-East , your trip would be considered incomplete, if one does not visit the famous Kamakhya temple in Guwahati( Assam).Kamakhya is also known as the bleeding or menstruating Goddess, this temple is not only for the devotees , but also for many history lovers, as it encompasses with in itself archaeological wealth of ancient India.
The legend goes, that this is the very place where Devi Sati’s vagina and womb fell, when Lord Shiva performed Tandava (destructive dance) holding the body of his wife Sati.

Lord Vishnu in order to calm down Shiva, swung his Sudarshan Chakra and cut Sati’s body. The place where her reproductive part fell, came to be known as Kamkhya. The middle chamber of the temple leads the way to the cave, like a sanctum, that bears the vagina shaped cleft on a stone and an underground spring flows through this cleft, also known as Garbhagraha (womb) hence it is considered as a famous pilgrimage. Apart from this , stories of Shiv and Sati’s romantic encounters pertaining to this place are also prevalent. So the place also becomes symbolic with fertility, love, romance and strength of a woman.

It was amazing to see that the temple highlighted the menstruating Goddess, a temple dedicated to natural cycles of a woman and its significance. During the month of June the temple is closed for three days as it is believed that the goddess menstruates for those days and on the fourth day the doors of the temples are opened, all this while no prayer takes place, the pilgrims only seek blessing from the small spring coming out of the Garbhagraha , in form of a small stream, which is believed to be flowing with menstrual blood.
Well apart from these amazing facts, what drew my attention was for some other reasons as well, rather shocking ones , because in a country like ours where even to go out and buy sanitary wear for ladies is a source of embarrassment and talking about mensuration is a taboo, here is a temple which is completely dedicated to the bleeding Goddess and her productivity.
  But it also made me realize that ,Places of worship at times divide us on religious grounds , at times on our sexuality and most of the times on our social status.
A temple highlighting the strength and power of a women was also not untouched by the frills attached to the V.I.P (very important person) culture. Well we are aware of the red beacon syndrome spread in our country, the high and mighty known for throwing their weight around to an extent that even the ‘House Of Gods’ are no different.
Yes this culture can be seen in places of worship too, that too in epidemic proportions.

On one hand we have not forgotten our history of playing subservient to Britishers, which still lingers on , and on the other hand some people still behave as the Mughal Monarchs, even if it is at the places of worship.
Yes one could witness the Darshan on priority basis here too, various counters for the ones with extra constitutional powers, the ones who were ready to shed an extra paper notes, in the times of demonetization could be seen buzzing with seekers of the divinity.  

The ones who did not want to witness the odorous heap of thronging devotees all lined up for the blessing through normal channels. The ones who did not want to come out of their comfort cocoons, they were now the first ones to take a dip of faith, hardly able to differentiate between a river or a sewer now. But yes they had found an escape route, whether it was on tax-evasion or back door entry to the holy place.
Here in the house of Gods , nobody was higher than the kings of today, not even the Goddess herself. The first row of visitors, who were busy proliferating the very important culture could be seen thronging the temple . Well they had all the reasons to flaunt their power, as special arrangement for entries were made for them, the cavalcade of the mighty ones created barricades and blockades for the onlookers, who were all caged up, waiting for their share of offerings in the temple.
The bystanders like me, in the name of protocol were stranded for hours, making us somewhat similar to the pigeons caged outside, kept for sale in the temple premises.

Here were we, amongst many who had sold their faith for an easy access but sighting of the deity was long and arduous process, still. All devotees appeared more like the hens in a poultry farm, fighting amongst themselves for breaking or jumping the line, even the children were not to be spared. At regular intervals the whistling guards kept you moving and at times embarrassing you by their constant screams of chalo-chalo (keep moving) in that serpentine Que, which left us flabbergasted. It was then , I wished there was some divine intervention or I was a VIP, who did not have to face such things, but on the other hand the important ones were rather blessed with special blessings by the priest himself, here for them the route was a short cut , like instant two minute-noodles, but the darshan (special offering) was done with immense patience, and now they were in no hurry, unlike us, who were shooed from one corner to another.

I pondered over the poor state of the ordinary man, those who are always found standing in long lines whether it was of the ATM’S during money crunch or of a temple , a pious powerful place like this, and feeling like the lesser mortals or representing the hapless strata of the society.
How could I forget, that with great power, comes great responsibility and so the powerful were more responsible for paying their obeisance at sanctified religious places.
  God is the answer to all our problems, we have a faith full of platters, he is our ultimate canvas of beliefs, a solution to all our troubles, so scores of visitors come here from across the globe, religious places denounce selfishness as it is considered as a cardinal sin, under all faiths.
   But In these places of worship one also gets to witness such acts of dishonesty, because it is guarded by us the humans, where being selfless is practically impossible in this materialistic world, it is rather inevitable, everyone wants to be considered as someone special. 
There are umpteen examples of such mishaps every day , whether it is on the roads or temples, our culture thrives on such things and it is not at easy dealing with such a proliferating culture, especially at such places of worship.

 Would only like to conclude with : the lines from the story on Mulla Nasurudin, when a guard interrupts him by saying that “Nobody is higher than the King…!”

And he replies “I am Nobody…!” now you got it right.
Yes we all are that Nobody, who wants to be Somebody, waiting for some divine intervention.

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In defence of the worthy Golgappa ūüėä

One of the things ,nowadays we dread the most is the junk food and it’s presence in the diet of our children.As there goes a famous saying “You are what you eat ” , a metaphorical expression implying- what we eat affects our lives.
During my childhood days, that are long gone, picnics meant outdoor fun and outings, then no concept of playmates or play dates existed, as we were not guarded by or hounded by the insecure and unsafe world like today. Apart from looking forward to such picnics, the major attraction was the big hotcase mommies carried along with them containing homemade food, which was obviously a hit case then. Yes it was a hit case in the hotcase. 

But now being a mother myself , I realise how privileged were we and also well behaved, or we had less of options to go for, because nowadays every nook and corner of the city or village is buzzing with packets of chips and packs of aerated drinks.
What was a luxury in my childhood has become a necessity for the kids of today. We may blame the parent or the environment for that ,but the fact of the matter is that these things are so easily available and we at times as adults with our laid back attitude just go with the flow. 
But then who to trust further with vegetables and fruits, natural veggies and fruits are a rare commodity today, coming under the tag of being “organic” and the ones we get are laced with chemicals.
So there is not much of a difference between junk and healthy, in fact junk food gives us the label of being healthy, which of course in hidden language means you are fat, but a polite way of saying so.
Call it comfort food or convenience food, it is the concept of the West, which we have obediently imbibed in our day to day life, though the West is slowly abandoning their very own idea.

Instant food, door step delivery to ready to cook meals and chopped vegetables/fruits has made life much more easier for many, saving upon their time but making them deficient of nutritional value. 
Pizzas, pastas , burgers and noodles are all outsiders, harming our bodies from inside .Once a while it is Okay, but to include them in day to day eating would be rather injurious to us.

Why don’t we imbibe our rich culture in once in a while concept and shift our focus to more desi desirable stuff called the Golgappas, which also happens to be a Junk food , but of rather different kinds , for me at least. 
Dear mommies this write-up is in no way propagating the consumption of fast food but it is rather my tribute to the Golgappas, which I consume in moderation but cannot give up.

I may give endless lectures to my kid on harmful effects of junk but when it comes to our very own indian junk Golgappas, I just give up.
Well so here, I introduce the hero of my write-up, the “Golgappas “.

Let’s refresh our memories on our very own desi junk, also known as panipuri, gulgulle and phuchkas. 

Call it anything , but each time I taste it, I just go weak in the knees.

I fall in love with it all over again.
With age my love has grown by leaps and bounds. Well it’s just progressing with age.

 . Despite of all the odds it has still been able to maintain its place in our hearts. Though there were many invasions but it stood the test of time, firmly grounded to its roots.

Despite of facing humiliation in its own country in the name of being a street food and the others coming from West proudly displaying themselves in the air-conditioned shops, Golgappas have still managed to sustain in such conditions and continues to be a major hit amongst the masses, especially the ladies. 

Despite of being a chartbuster and topping all chaats , oops sorry , I mean charts of popularity ,it manages to stay so humble. Easy to access and avail. It represents india in true sense , where it stands for all flavours, from sweet to spicy , from tangy to sour, it represents ‘unity in diversity’ , available throughout the country , now also exploring foreign lands.

One of the most adjusting snack , like us the Indians, providing different varieties of its flavour, according to our taste buds. 

How can i just forget, when my aunt landed in India from The US of A , the first place she went to ,from the airport was the Golgappa stall on the roadside.
Like a monk with a bowl in his hand , she stood in front of the man selling these divine eatables. 

How ecstatic she became , the moment she gulped down her first piece of heavenly delight. There were tears of joy or was it the spice quotient that led to such outpourings, God knows but yes one thing for sure could be seen, the feeling of fulfillment in her .

Though the competition was tough, others those who were waiting in line were giving her stiff competition, the moment she missed her chance or momentum, the other competitor would put forward his or her claim to fame of consumption, I mean their plates for their turn and share.
But she did not give up, how firmly she directed the golgappe wala bhaiya for her fair share, as she kept a strict vigil on the numbers consumed. 
There was not a one awkward moment, from opening her mouth wide open to greedily gulping it down without chewing.

Well this public display of affection for Golgappas, can only be known to an Indian, when there is no shy moment, and majority of people will vouch for it.
Neither this food is limited by seasons nor by space constraints, and while consuming it , trust me , no one can cheat us, so it also teaches us “our value for money”, which no pizza, burgers or pasta would.
The consumer and seller are both at the profitable best, for the consumer it is the treat to the taste buds and for the seller, to be surrounded by hoardes of people , that too, mostly ladies ,is a treat in itself. Though the poor seller may get hassled at times, by constant complaints by the clients for wanting more , so maintaining pace is a slight problem there, apart from it , ladies asking for extra sukhi poori or extra water can be a bit irritating , but then it is our birth to ask for it, otherwise the whole ritual of consuming Golgappas goes waste. Well in terms of popularity he is one lucky guy, mostly referred as golgappe wala bhaiya, . His stall is mostly in demand at any function or party.
Ever wondered , how such a small thing encloses within itself the world full of taste and flavours. A hollow sphere, in which the vendor makes a hole, shoves in the stuffing and then plunges this magical ball into the sea of spiced liquid. The moment the vendor places this world full of spices on to our plates, the feeling of fulfillment just grabs us, our moment of glory , as it just pops into my mouth, an explosion of flavours, the crunchy sound ,a world full of taste grabs me, what else do I need , why should I leave this indian invention, a humble recipe which serves all, Prince to Pauper anyone can afford it and consume in a humble way, as well. It is not just an appetizer, but also food for the brain and the soul.
It also teaches great lessons on life as well, knowledge about various flavours, it’s taste teaches us about our preferences, it also teaches , how to negotiate with the vendor for that extra piece of round crispy ball. Standing and waiting for our turn , teaches us to be patient as well as how to be a leveller or equivalent to others or treat others the same way. At times when other junk food gives us that constipated feeling , Golgappas may help us to clear our tummies and make us feel much lighter.
It is absolutely a miraculous snack, which can never go wrong , an adventure in itself, the orbs of temptation, with each bite I reach the state of trance and I’m not sorry for not giving up upon you my yummy Golgappas. 
But always remember to have it from a safe and a hygienic place . Rest is all is conspiracy and rumours from the West , to bring down its value.

So just enjoy your plate of golgappaa.