Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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The Mela has been at its peak these days because of the overflowing crowds that have been  coming to and going back from the Sangam.  Although the auspicious time for the Mauni Amavasya  bath ended early this morning, the crowds   nevertheless had not thinned as fast as one would have expected them to do.

This is because the bathing time lasted for many hours. Some came early, some later in the day and some towards the end.  Some kept on pouring  in hundreds even later. The people were helpless. They had no choice but to cope with the transportation delays. The trains have been running late and the overcrowded buses had to stop midway due to traffic rush if not  because of  chakka jam staged at some places  to protest against various administrative lapses including  police callousness .
 There was a drizzle on the  Mauni Amavasya dawn which made the weather chilly if not unbearable. And since there was hardly any space for people to walk, how could there be logfires except at a few places?
Despite the best of arrangements—or claims to that effect—things do not always emerge on expected lines. Often the apprehensions of the pessimists come true. A glance at newspaper headlines will reveal the positive and negative side of the arrangements. The interesting part of the whole affair is that the people know that they would be encountering difficulties. They know that  when ultimately they do take a dip, they might be in the danger of catching some skin disease because of the presence of pollutants in the waters.  They know that the gutter waters of the city were flowing into the rivers. They were even prepared to face the horrors unleashed by the presence of floating corpses or carcasses. If they were spared these ordeals that does not mean they were not prepared to face them.
Ultimately it is the will power of the devotees that works and in the final analysis it is faith that triumphs over filth. Devotees seem to be telling Mother Ganga that ‘You are our Ma, We adore you irrespective of the state of the river waters’ which could be carrying bacteria of so many diseases. Faith does triumph in the end. But for this holy victory of the heart and mind, we have to pay dearly in terms of the inconveniences if not ailments that might have to be undergone by  many, as the rush in hospitals indicates.  But how does that matter if the soul feels elevated, the mind is purged of pessimism and the heart brightens up with new optimism, new thoughts for a better morrow? 

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Magh Mela 2014

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