show of a movie on Saturday night (TDP,see previous post) woke up
later than usual. Leafing through the newspapers with the cup of
tea,received a call from a very old school friend, Shakti, from
Jamshedpur. He had come to Mumbai with two associates and wanted to
have a Mumbai darshan. He had put up, very surprisingly at a hotel
in Belapur, very near my house.
I agreed,even though my wife was not too keen to let me spend the
Sunday ,roaming in Mumbai. So with Shakti and his two friends , we
started off in a Scorpio hired by them.
Our first stop was the Sidhi Vinayak temple which I visited after
almost 12 years. This was followed by the Mahalaxmi temple and the
Haji Ali , which I had never visited previously. Now, I am not a
religious person but don't mind visiting such places if God calls me
to his abode. So ,the pre lunch session was really different from my
Whenever I visit such places, I am struck by the power of faith as
expressed by the devotees which leaves me wondering if I am leading a
wrong kind of life by not following a proper religion with all its
The actual darshan at all these places lasted for about 2-3 minutes as
the jostling crowd of devotees were constantly pushing from behind.
Everybody seemed to be eager to complete the ritual of darshan.I don't
know how much of the God was in their mind in the melee. I reserve my
comments on this.
The actual walking up to all these pilgrimage was quite tiring and
strenuous. Shakti is a person with weight problem and looked quite
pathetic after all this. I saluted his spirit of piety as I smoked my
poison in a very non religious urge to calm myself. The time was 2.15
p.m.when we reached the vehicle.
All of us were feeling famished by now.
We planned to have Thalis at the Golden Star or Rajdhaani but the
driver's confusion landed us at Fort . We had by then hungry and had a
very unlikely but tasty Chinese type food at 5 Spice.
After ambling around Fort area which looked totally different and
empty on a Sunday,we went to The Gateway,where a Naval function or
show was on. The Gateway was cordoned off for public. Joined the crowd
of curious onlookers thronging the sea front promenade in front of the
Taj hotel. My friends were happily clicking pics as I was enjoying the
anonimity amongst the crowd which I always like.
We were going back when one of us proposed to watch the sunset. By
then we were near Sion and turned the car towards Santacruz. After
watching the sunset there and having the mandatory nariyal pani with
malai and roasted corn on the cob (bhutta fry), we made our way
back,discussing the great Dev Anand who passed away today.
It was a mad and spontaneous Sunday. It was a really different Sunday.
Shakti will return tomorrow. Who knows when we will meet again ? But
he took me near God. That's what I will remember.
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