Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rest of my Kamarpukur Trip....

Been 2 weeks in between....and it gets little difficult to pick from where I left last time. Actually so many things keep happening in between, which I feel I need to tell you all about. I wish I had the patience and the energy to write every day!!! But then there are so many things I want to do in life, but am never able to. And it’s really not about having not enough time or energy left after the tiring days at office...it is about your will, your passion and if one really wants to do something, nothing can be on the way......

Moral of the story: No excuses, I simply did not feel strongly enough to bring myself up to write ...

To avoid another of these long weeks long jumps, I would rather like to wrap up my Kamarpukur visit today. In my last entry, I had stopped at the point where we had just reached the place. Subsequently, we went through the registration stuff at the office and went on to occupy our rooms in the Ramkrishna Mission Guest House. There were 2 rooms allotted - demarcation of the occupants to be done on basis of gender. For those of you who get inspired to make this trip, please make a note that this is no 5/4/3 star accommodation - it is pretty modest and humble.

After freshening up, we went out in search of breakfast along the road that leads to the temple from the guest house. Again, very modest options here – no restaurants but small sweet shops lining both sides of the road. The popular options for breakfast in small town Bengal are shingara (samosa) and kachuri-tarkari (a type of puri with potato curry) and to end it on a sweet note – hot sweet syrupy jilipi (jalebis) or any other of the famous Bengali sweets !!! Between the group, we had various permutations and combinations of these and then washed down with some hot tea. The food, though not very high on hygiene standards, was really yummy and dirt cheap. Pet-Puja (a popular term for eating) over, we walked down to the temple complex. It is quite spacious, serene, well maintained and beautiful. It comprises of the main temple, a shiv temple, thakur’s house, the prayer area, the mission office, the community dining area, multiple water bodies and the residence of the sanyasis. We spent the rest of the morning paying our homage, and listening to some captivating discourse rendered by a senior swamiji. Normally, religious discourses rarely attract my attention, but this one was different. It was not anything like the run of the mill ones that we can see across the hindu religious TV channels. There was no direct attempt at imparting “gyaan” but it was more like short interesting stories and lessons drawn from there.

Then it was time for lunch. For the duration of the time you stay at kamarpukur, one can have breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening tea here itself. The lunch was traditional Bengali dishes – dal, 2 sabzi with rice and the very tasty payesh (rice porridge) for dessert. It was the most tasty food I ever tasted at a community meal, and the affair was extremely well organized. The best part was chanting of some vedic hymns before and after having food, mostly symbolic of thanking God. I found this really amazing and liberating, as we take so many things in life for granted without thanking god specifically, and keep cribbing for things which we don’t have.

Post a short afternoon siesta, we were back at the temple again to attend the aarti, evening discourses and the dinner. The most important part of the evening session was the ritual followed every night of serving dinner to thakur and readying his room for his rest at night. It was almost a surreal experience, one feels that he is very much around……

Next day ma and the aunts got up early to attend the 4.00 am arti, but I was not too eager for it. I got up later, and with baba and the other uncles, had similar breakfast as the day before, and continued with the day in similar way. In the afternoon, we went around the village, touching upon all the those places which had special significance w.r.t Sri Ramkrishna’s childhood and we could visualize all stories about his childhood that children in Bengali households grow up listening to….. The most exciting part of the site-seeing was looking at harvested paddy – stacked into big heaps, all over the village !!! I actually mistook them as stacks of hay, which I had seen before but was promptly corrected….Another amazing discovery of was the flower called “nagkeshar”, which actually has a small shiv-linga (Shiv idol in the form that is commonly worshipped) like structure covered by something like a nag (snake – which is always found with a shiva idol) !!! And there were other things like double storied mud structures, and a chikoo tree (nothing too great about it – only that I had never seen one before).

Next day we went to Jairambati, which is Ma Sarada Devi’s home, and spent the day paying our homage at the temple built at her place of birth, and other related places around…..

Any finally, after a memorable trip of 2 ½ days, we were back to home at Kolkata

5 comments:

Pradip Biswas said...

These places give you a solace for your life. I once went there liked both the places and stayed there for a week.

Koel said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks a lot for your comments...The visit was really very soothing ......there is so much peace around.

Pradip Biswas said...

Koel
Long time there is no blog from you. If you may have time come to my blog.

Pradip Biswas said...

do you have other blogs may be you are writing there pls let me know, i like your blog.

Rajesh Sen said...

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