Sunday, October 17, 2010

Welcome to the land of the living Goddess

For those have read my earlier post on Bangur Ave, you are already aware of the geography. For those who haven’t – it is, once sleepy, now fully awakened and a bustling neighborhood on the VIP road. The road that connects the city to the airport. Among other things, it is famous for getting waterlogged with minimal rains, they have revamped the drainage system with extensive overhauling. However the new system is yet to be tested, with this year’s rain being below par.

What really makes this locality unique though, is what this post is about.The Brahma Kumaris, which is a spiritual based education institution – has a chapter in Bangur. Every year during the days of Durga Pujo they enliven the Goddess in flesh and blood. They have volunteers from their institute dress up as Maa Durga, her children and the Asura. People come from far and wide to see the show of the living Goddess.


The ‘show’ timings are 5:30 – 10:30 every evening during the 4/5 days of Durga Puja. Once the curtain goes up, the ‘Darshan’ is on for about 10-15 mins. After which the women (called Sisters) on the stage are given a break of 5-10 mins. They can relax during this time, because once the curtain goes up – they freeze, with the only exception of the occasional blinking of the eyelid.

It really is quite impressive to stay the way the ‘actors’ stay without twitching a muscle and with only an occasional blink.


IMG_1123 No the ‘Lion’ was NOT living, in case you were wondering !







This degree of on-stage perfection would be hard to imagine, without meditational capabilities. There was enough distraction for these performers, with shutter bugs, the cheering crowd and people talking. But these were professionals. 

You can see it in the eyes of the devotees below. Sheer amazement and joy, at least for the first timers. IMG_1150 

The volunteers of Brahma Kumaris were managing the crowd in a fairly competent fashion. There were at least two checkpoints  before the visitors could be in front of the stage. Only a limited number of people were allowed through the checkpoints. Once they exited and the performers had their break and were ready for curtains up, a new group of visitors were let in.

IMG_1118 IMG_1116 

As I waited patiently my turn in a sea of people, I was asked by one of the volunteer as to “Where was I from "?” To which, I replied I wasn’t from ‘anywhere’, just an individual who writes a blog and would like to get some pictures, while I was there. Thanks partly to my irresistible charm and a fancy camera dangling around my neck, I was handpicked among hundreds of other people for a front-row-seat. I was rushed inside an exclusive entrance and before I could imagine – I was sitting comfortably at a touching distance from the living Goddess !


Finally it was curtains !

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