Annual Moksha on Sand Banks

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Mamta beautifully depicts the supermarket of religion that springs up, in , every year, where religion is commerce. Here Moksha (salvation) is an annual dose. The imagery and metaphors are picturesque in this verse, for Different Truths.

A drowsy settlement
Located on the confluence
Of three holy rivers
Singing primeval epiphanies
Transforms annually
Into a pulsating mystic land
Thousands of devotees descend
Trudging on foot
A temporary global camp
Colossal in proportions
Springs up
Within the permanent city
A month long sojourn
Anchored in spirituality
Fasting, praying and havans
A litany of verses from dawn to dusk
Garlands of marigold and rose
Incense sticks of sandal and jasmine
Assault the senses with heady fragrance
This journey of faith
Ain’t just an outward journey
An inward journey
Elevates the sinner
Into an everlasting ethereal space
Divine presence spread on sandy banks
Community kitchens offer mouthfuls of ambrosia
To nourish the palates of the rich and the poor alike
The dense cloak of January fog
Dispelled by the sea of humanity
Braving the winter chill
Cleanse their sins
Purging their unsavoury deeds
and renewed
They depart
With the buoyant promise
Of a splendid after-life
An ecclesiastical economy thrives
Of packaged prasad, and bottled holy water
To distant corners of the globe
The comfortable assurance of elixir within reach
For salvation in foreign shores
After the month long colourful Lila
Torpor creeps in
My city becomes sedated again.

©Mamta Joshi

Photos from the and Cover Photo Credit: Didier Ruef

Mamta Joshi

Mamta Joshi

Mamta Joshi did her post graduation in History from University of Allahabad. writes short stories, reflective essays, prose pieces on everyday life in national dailies and international e-magazines. writes with equal ease in Hindi. For over two decades, as a teacher of English in college section at SMC, Allahabad, has been nteracting with young , understanding their pulse and in turn being savvy on technology, fitness, fashion, humour and rumour too.
Mamta Joshi