Monday, October 06, 2008

The bedroom shrine.

In a certain bedroom I recently happened to be in while on a sick visit, there is a compact wooden shrine just behind where I was sitting. In it, there were the pictures inter alia of (1) Rama, Sita and Hanuman; (2) Krishna playing his flute; (3) Ganesh; and (4) Lord Vishnu in his virat swaroop of which he spoke to Arjuna in Bhagvadgita. There was also a pindi with a abhisekh patra (water sprinkler) hanging over it. In addition, there were idols of a flute-playing Krishna, Ganesh and several other deities. The shrine took me back to the sitting room of a guru my mother used to visit for a while.
He used to stay right on the sea face in the basement of a house up the Walkeshwar Road. His shrine in dark mahogony (if memory serves) too was cluttered with lots of pictures and idols. He sat in front of it chanting mantras and answering the queries of his devotees like my mother. From his balcony, you could see the whole of Marine Drive on your left and the Governor's House on your right. What I found most enchanting about the place was the fact that the Arabian Sea used to reach very close to the balcony at high tide. The sound of the waves ebbing and flowing had a soothing rhythm to it. The guru and most of his visitors seem completely oblivious to the beauty of the here and now, though. They were concerned more with what was going to happen in the future and what the portents predicted.