India, a country recognized for its diverse tradition and culture. A rich mythological background with nearly 1.2 billion people and counting, seems each day is a reason to celebrate. Now I don’t need to be biasing myself or be some kind of racist. I am trying to highlight the vast lateral diversification with regard to people’s belief. India literally runs on strong sentiments and ritual prayers without which it is a curse to go ahead in any endeavor.
I am an active theist and the fact that this post comes under one such belief substantiates the necessity in belief. Different cultures, different festivals, some vibrant and colorful, some at peace. One such festival recently concluded is the Vishwakarma Puja.
Note on Vishwakarma God and Vishwakarma day
The creator of this Universe is believed to be Lord Vishwakarma, the ultimate architect. Idols depicting Vishwakarma are installed in all mojor industries, factories, machine shops etc. to celebrate Vishwakarma day. All equipments, machinery and tools are cleaned and worshiped. Special prayers for the smooth functioning of the same are offered too. Vishwarkarma day is celebrated on 17 of September each year.
With a large equipments bank in our workshop, the celebrations kicked off in great pomp and glory. The idol was installed with yagna having been performed for the safe functioning. After the conclusion of rituals, the idol is to be immersed in water (Commonly called visarjan in India).
The place of immersion had been finalized, the music system on its way and a group of traditional drummers. With half the revelers unable to stand on their feet and another half finding the gravitational pull too appealing to be ignored. With loud music and high spirits, the cluster moved towards the banks of the great Mahanadi (River flowing through eastern India).
As we moved towards the bank of Mahanadi, dusk in the backdrop loomed quickly. The current of water was too high to be ignored.
A telephone call had made things quite assumptive before that evening, 3 people had drowned while the immersion of one such idol at another known location.
Most of the crowd stayed away from getting into known zones of danger. The idol was worshiped before immersing into the river. As we moved from the bank inside, the depth of water gradually increased and soon the level was around neck. Stones, moss and bushes made staying afloat difficult. With final prayers the idol is immersed into the river.
I struggle to keep myself from getting drowned, the force of water current nearly took me a few hundred feet.
Instead of having to save a colleague from drowning I was quickly finding it difficult to save my own life. I tried to grab him but I was suppressed into a murky world of death. The water was above my head and I was suddenly being carried away, I couldn’t fight the dominant flow and panicked instantaneously.
A bush is what I was lucky to grab and slowly with all the thrust I made my way back to the bank. Horrendous was the experience.
Moments of life and death, glimpses of happiness and care of loved ones. All flashing in a split second scenario. For I was blessed that I relive to tell this story. Truly the blessing of holy almighty.
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