Yesterday we went to see the Mansa Devi temple.She is a wish fulfilling godess and my wishful mind wanted to give this a shot. The cable cars weren't working and we had to make our way up the hill by foot in the bitchy heat and through the harsh ruthless landscape of bare grey decidous trees sometmes occupied by black face langurs sitting like fashionable ladies.
Marie was really confident about making it up but me after my greasy chowmein had no energy. Just when I felt I would die of dehydration, a guy stopped and offered both of us a lift on his bike.One wish fulfilled so far.
Anyway so we made our way up and while getting off , I burnt my legon his exhaust pipe thing (what is that long silver thing called) so much so that I have a huge burnt patch on my leg that makes me look like I am in an abusive relationship. Ok , I will not romanticize my life further.
We entered the temple and came to what looked like a covered slab . A priest grabbed me by the head , put tikka on my forehead and pushed me away doing the same to Marie. After we moved on , he pulled us back shouting at us for not having made a donation. He literally grabbed me by the hand and demanded money so I meekly placed a ten ruppee note on the slab. At the next deity, the same happened and by this point I was practically screaming in anger and at no one in particular about how they are begging.
This is the worst experience I have ever had at any religious place.
I like going to religious places because I am always overwhelmed by the positive energy, the faith , the sense of surrender. I like to linger in this , to try and meditate .A thinks that I am stealing from the place if I don't participate in some way. I don't really consider myself religious. The Golden Temple is the only religious place I have been to that is both extremely famous and not commercial. http://www.artofeurope.com/larkin/lar5.htm . This poem by Larkin captures what I am talking about well.
I will post about that soon.
In the evening I had a huge craving for maggi so I decided to cook it in the kitchen of the Ashram we are staying in . Awkward is too gentle a word to describe the girl in a purple dress (with jeans below for modesty) making maggi among Holy men eating their Saathvik food. I was really worried that they might find my maggi impure and come yell at me but they were really nice to me.