My tryst with 108

You might think that this blog has something to do with somebody dear to me not well..ambulances..hospitals…tension…prayers..that last minute decision by GOD..and what that decision turns out to be..

Well, it has got nothing to do with ambulances and stuff. But, about the GOD part, I will come to that later.

Yeah, I just wanted to tell you that I had done something which is totally totally not my type of thing to do.  I have done 108 rounds or rather pradakshanas in Chilkur. Ya, I am serious. This thing happened last Friday, 7th Sep.

As you might know, I have not been a very religious person in my life. Or rather religion or practices, that are accepted and followed in my community. And sometimes forcibly pushed through my throat. I always denied something irrational and illogical. Come on, who in one’s right brain doesn’t want to.  Some practices as weird as starve for one entire day and sleep on a white cloth on the floor facing your head to the north and your legs to the south. Or is it the other way round? I can understand the part about the direction, but why white cloth? Why not some other color? And why the floor? I was told that if anything went amiss, GOD would get angry and curse me. Such were the practices I was told to follow since my childhood. I defied them. And defied them more.

I was not against GOD or something.  I was ready to accept and imbibe something with a rationality, meaning and something which would take me closer to GOD than away from HIM. At one point I can say I became a REBEL. Not a very wise thing to do. But I guess I couldn’t help it then.

As I grew older, I came across many experiences which were beyond logic and rationality. Were too much for a coincidence. Am sure I might not be the only one in having such experiences, many might. And then I came to a cross roads where things were just not moving …about what those things were, I will talk about them later as they were neither too big nor insignificant. I tried everything….logic, analysis, went beyond my comfort zone, but to no avail. And then…you know what… I started praying. I began to give my prayer all I have. My prayers did not change anything around me. But I began to feel a peace of mind, which I could not feel before.

And then I vouched that I would do the 108 rounds in Chilkur, something very very unlike me, if things start to move with me.

And then, one day things began to move. And I began to relax, relax like never before. Until that thought kept occurring to me that I still have an obligation to fulfil. I wanted to ignore it. And went about my life as best as I could with a guilty thought lingering.  It was like some alarm in me kept popping up saying that I still have that 108 thing to fulfil.  The longest I walked in a month was from our house to the immediate kirana shop, say a distance of 200 mts.  Although it might not appear as a big deal to many, as they are used to temples and pradakshinas, it was a BIG deal to me…a budding believer.

One day as a matter of fact, I told my mom about this..and immediately regretted. My mom is a real alarm who keeps reminding you time and again. ‘Be serious about things. Don’t play with GOD’ was all what she was saying.

In truth, I kept procrastinating because I never did such a thing before and was afraid to do so now. What if my legs swell so badly after I do the rounds and people tease me that I have got elephantiasis in both the legs suddenly? What if I faint in the middle of the rounds? And what if I am not able to walk forever after that? How can I ever explain the loss of my legs to somebody when questioned?

OK, has gone a bit too far! But I was really afraid.

Time had come when I really had to plan this. First due to my inside alarm and second due to the alarm outside-my mom.  I thought I’ll plan it on a Friday as there would be hell a lot of crowd on weekends. But what about leaves? My company hardly gives any leaves L and even has a swipe for the cafeteria J ya am not kidding.

The D day was finally decided, 7th Sep, a Friday.  The original plan was that I’ll go alone, finish the job and come home early. My mom insisted that she and Abhi (my 1 year 9 month old son) will also join me saying that if I go alone and faint in the middle of the rounds, then what? And my husband also joined us in the last moment.

If you plan to do pradakshinas at Chilkur, you BETTER plan the timing well. But we reached the temple at 10.30.  A huge crowd was already very busy doing their rounds. So, how I manage or not manage to fulfil my obligation forms a part of my next blog J


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