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 shoes                                  

Those who visited the Mela for Mauni bath have interesting experiences to narrate. But one disclosure floored me. A person coming from the Mauni bath on Sunday morning said that the rush was unimaginable.  It was a sight to see jostling crowds marching forward. Rather they were carried by the crowd. They could not bend or change direction. They were flowing with the current..  Pilgrims’ shoes were the biggest casualty.

They had taken off their shoes before going for a dip. But the returning crowd was so massive that people were pushed forward by those coming from behind. They had to walk. They couldn’t pause or bend to look for their shoes, let alone wearing them because they were carried away by the current.. This gentleman told me, ‘Shoes in hundreds were lying on the ground, crushed by the weight of the passersby who could not even look down to identify them let alone wearing them. The shoes were crushed under passing feet. Even if they have survived the  crushing impact of the passing feet, how will one trace  his or her shoes? One gentleman told me, ‘Whenever I go to the mela I wear worn-out shoes that are to be thrown away. If I lose them in the mela, I won’t feel the  loss’                           

Magh Mela 2014