Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I am on I and I am on J

I seem to have erroneously committed a grave mistake by not making a submission for Tatter Beans' ABC Mondays last week. I didn't add the 'I'. So now I hope that Rachel will take me back into her fold and I have for her an 'I' and I have for her a 'J'.

'I' is for 'Incense' today, you lovely ladies and fine gents. And this incense has come all the way to you from Rishikesh, high up in the Himalayas, where I had gone last winter.

I know what you're thinking. Who goes to the Himalayas for winter! But you already know the answer to that possibly rhetorical question, so I present to you without further ado.... Incense.

So this is how the story goes.

The most seemingly significant incident that seems to be happening in Rishikesh is the 'Sandhya Aarti' (or 'Evening Fire' when literally translated) on the bank of the holy Ganges River at dusk. It is spoken about in length in every guidebook and all the locals and tourists talk about it as if it is a Marian apparition of sorts. So we went to the site in the afternoon bought these little flower pots (aarti), lit it and cast it afloat on the Ganges. We would be doing this again in the evening, only we imagined it to be an event replete with a beautiful and sacred fire ceremony and thousands of lit 'aartis' floating down the holiest river of India.

What transpired in actuality was the probably the biggest burst bubble of my life. There was a slimy, slinky priest, prayers in anglicized Sanskrit, scores of young boys singing along with the priest (yeah, your line of thought is definitely in the right direction!) and a handful of tourists from different parts of the world. Any story you could put together in your mind with all these characters would be about accurate.

So at the end of the day, I was grateful for my moment in the sun with the aarti in the afternoon. It was special and it was memorable and it is the closest I got in that trip to a dip in the microbial cesspool called the Ganges, that is believed to cleanse one of all past sins.

And J is for the jasmine that grows in my house. 

Over and out.


  1. wow love the photo of the jasmine.... and your back in the fold lol... as if you where ever out of it ...did miss you last week ... :)

  2. Last week was so funny coz i kept thinking about what i should post for I and then its like the whole thing fell out of my head and I forgot about it! Anyways:) Hope you've been good.




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