Held every 12 years in 4 sacred cities in India – Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjian and Nasik- the Kumbh Mela is a riot of colors, rituals and traditions that millions of Indians are a part of. We see hordes of people walking, driving or even flying down to take a dip in the holy water that claims to wash off all yours sins. Many visit the Kumbh to witness the strength of faith and immerse themselves in religious rituals, listen to sermons of the sadhus who treat this as the only social event of their existence, and observe humanity the likes of which have never been seen before.
I stood at a point over RamGhat and for a moment resonated the same thoughts- below me were lakhs and lakhs of people taking the sacred holy dip, washing away their sins. What amazed me was the fact that there still existed so many people who could leave all logic and reasoning aside and take this dip to be holy, and most importantly BELIEVE that they were redeemed of their sins.
Did this thought do anything to change my way of thinking? Unfortunately not.
Don’t get me wrong, I respect the fact that people brave the heat waves and travel so far to pay homage to what they believe in. The amount of faith is mind-blowing.
While everyone walked it to the ghat to take a holy dip, we focused on the bare necessities (or would you call them first world problems?)- a cover for our heads, some water, some glucose to survive the walk, comfortable shoes, and fresh air. As we struggled to find shade and celebrated those rare moments the sun disappeared behind the clouds, people around us walked along relentlessly, desperately in search for answers that only the holy dip or sermons of the sadhus would solve.
It’s interesting to see this faith and way of life, it’s almost as if you have time traveled to an era where looking towards God to solve all your problems was the only way of life. Nothing else can justify the fact that people can ignore heat waves, dust storms and stampedes and walk for kilometres on end in 46 degrees in the middle of May.
The Kumbh Mela was a part of a bucket list, something I didn’t expect to happen this early and unexpectedly. And as all things that form a bucket list, it wasn’t a piece of cake.
At the end of 3 days I was glad I could strike this off my bucket list. And one thing that makes me really happy is to know that the faith in the traditional way of living and thinking is so intense that the possibilities of a selfie zone coming up looking pretty bleak.
Leaving you with a photo-diary of the weekend that was –
Picture Credits – @amreekan on Instagram