It was a chilly winter morning; a thin layer of morning fog enshrouded and made the morning even duller and despondent. I was struggling with my willpower as whether I should detach myself from the bed or not. The clock was showing exactly 6.30 am and being a Saturday, there was no hurry. I double-checked the time and about to make another attempt to slip inside the cozy quilt when my mom entered the room. Mom has arrived a few days back to spend a month with us and since then she was on a spree to wake me up before 7.00 am!
“Get up, get up, I’m going to the Kalighat Kali Temple and you’re going with me”.
(Mothers are like this. They always prefer to take decisions on behalf of their children, in this case, a grown-up lady)
“Oh NO! Maa, have you seen the weather outside? It’ll start drizzling anytime!”
“Really? Since when you’ve started working with the Alipore Meteorological Centre?” she rolled her eyes. “Let’s go dear, you’ll enjoy the weather outside, trust me.”
Though I had no inclination to trust her about ‘enjoying’ that shabby, gray weather outside, but I didn’t want to disappoint her and after about half an hour we were on our way to the temple. I always think that the taxi wallahs of Kolkata are direct descendants of Muhammad-bin-Tughluq, who generally care a fig for the passengers and live by their own whims. The basic rule is, you’ve to find out that particular driver, who for some reasons, fortunately, is destined to go to the exact place you’re heading to. On that day, perhaps by Maa Kali’s grace, we managed to find our savior at the second attempt.
I’ve been to the temple umpteenth times so I decided to wait outside. Kalighat is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas and thousands of disciples including tourists visit the temple every day. The crowd is heaviest on Tuesdays and Saturdays. It’s not at all advisable to take elders to this temple if you don’t have a personal connection with the pandas or the priests. We’ve family relation with one of the priests, and he took the responsibility to guide Maa all through as usual.
As I sat on the bench of a local tea-stall and watched the moving lifeline that was making the morning throbbing slowly, suddenly I realized that it’s not bricks-cement-stone that build up a temple, a temple is built by faith and fasting and is sanctified by sacrifices of devotees. The heavy fragrance of incense sticks, flowers, leaves, mingled with the garbages producing a mixed smell. But the smell that was driving me crazy, was the smell of hot kachuris and singaras (samosa). I was feeling ravenous as we hadn’t had our breakfast, and the heavenly smell seemed to be more alluring than the most expensive French perfume!
In order to divert my olfactory lobes, I took out my Zenfone 6 and started clicking random photos. #MyAsusZenFone proved to be quite effective as I momentarily forgot my hunger. After a few minutes, Maa returned and without exchanging a single word, I ordered three plates of kachuris.
” Why three?” Maa wondered.
“Two plates for me, I’m famished.”
After the kachuri meal, a cup of milk tea totally refreshed me up. It was almost 10.00 am by then and, meek rays of the sun were trying in vain to establish their supremacy as we started our way back home.