We have this family outing thing 15th August of every year just because that is the only day all of us have a day off.
So my mom uses this as an opportunity to go out of the city, basically travel a bit and have fun. Now there is only one problem. Her idea of having fun is very different from ours. She likes to hop to as many temples as she can.
So obviously when she starts with, ‘Everyone has a holiday tomorrow’ we never fail to roll our eyes. I mean, who wants to spent an entire day visiting temples in the vicinity.
But there is this one temple that I love to go. Not because it is a temple, because the route to the temple is soooo amazing. It is on the outskirts of the city and we have to pass a valley to get to it. Especially after the rains it is simply mind-blowing. And the temple is not bad either. It is not crowded unlike the others on a holiday. Its serene, it’s beautiful and very peaceful.
So we had a visit to the temple and as we were about to turn to go back, my mom suddenly wanted to visit another temple which was just half and hour away. I actually fought with her. I said I am not going to another temple with her. She, in her usual style said we never visit places in which she is interested in ad all that. Emotional blackmail actually.
So off we went to another temple. My mum tried to consol me by reminding me that it is actually a huge garden with a small temple inside. So I will actually enjoy the site seeing. Now, come on mum, I am already out of my ‘garden as a site seeing’ phase.
Now there is this narrow road just off the highway that leads to this temple, umm garden. And obviously being a holiday it was packed. Some guy in a car coming back informed us that the road ahead is packed and if we don’t turn immediately from here we might get stuck and then it won’t be able to turn or make it to the destination for at least 2 hours. So happily, we turned back. I was glad I could finally go home. But then my mom suddenly had another idea.
She said we could go to another temple which is just half an hour away. How many temples do we have?
This time I couldn’t argue. So off we went again. This temple is actually a replica of a very very very famous temple in the south. First of all, I don’t get the point in creating a replica of anything. And honestly one cannot create one of a historic monument or a temple made of stone. The rustic feel that a place has because of the worn out stone and carvings is not anything one can replicate. You cannot replicate the soul and the history of a place.
Anyway, so when we reached the temple, there was this huge line that extended miles and miles outside the temple. I mean, what the hell, didn’t people have anything else to do? So we stood in line for almost an hour before we actually reached the main temple. But guess what, we were not allowed to stand in front of the deity for even 2 seconds. Aren’t we even allowed to look?
I couldn’t even see what the statue looked like. So much for the wasted time. My mum was happy though. My mum says one should have at least a little faith. I do, I really do. I am not a very religious person, but I am not an atheist either. I just don’t approve of going through so much trouble and not even given enough time to have a look around. I said,’ Yes, mom, I do have faith. But my god lies in my heart, not in any temple’. Now it was her turn to roll her eyes.
That’s madness! Making people queue for so long and not even letting them see what is surely the whole point of the temple – I’m with you, Violet. I’d have been furious too. I agree with your philosophy that the root of faith should be within oneself, but a temple is a place for worship and the deity is the focal point of that. If the deity isn’t viewable then one might as well just go and look round any old garden.
Ahh…Exactly my point, glad you are with me on it, someone please explain this to my mom. She doesn’t mind not being able to see anything. Just visiting the place is enough for her.
Hehe! I guess family outings are the same the world over…! Just different details!
For me, my faith is not about buildings, places and rituals, but about a relationship. But I do still like to visit religious sites out of interest, not because it helps my faith in any way. So yeah, I would have found that pretty irritating, too!
Good, so everybody is on my side today 🙂
We’re always on your side! 🙂
I’m on your side too. I’d have much preferred wandering round an old garden. By the sounds of things they’d all have been empty anyway. 😉
Have you gone again? 😦
Quiet round here…! 🙂