Suvarna Ganesh !

Some years back someone found a huge copper box in his backyard. ‘It was in the backyard of a lady named Draupadi’. It was a copper box. I am no chemistry student and I have no idea how and if copper can survive 1000 years. But that’s the story. And quite a credible one at that. Ok ?

That’s atleast what the man sitting next to the priest at the Suvarna Ganesh temple in Divegar tells us with an equal nonchalance to the other big activity that occupies him : swatting flies.

With some swagger after swatting two big flies, he tells me ‘no photographs’. In a dry, desultory and dismissive tone that must have sure given great glee to the flies.

So, no pictures of whats inside the temple people. But heres an amateurish attempt at description.

The copper box sits pretty. Yes, the same one that was discovered. Its like an army man’s trunk. Today, the copper box sits inside a glass box ! If it could withstand the vagaries of the planet for a 1000 years, I don’t see how that glass box was going to add any protection.

Then it strikes me that now the box is dealing with human beings and it wont take a minute for a love struck Anand Anybody to carve out the name of Sumita Somebody!! Yeah. The glass box indeed makes sense.

Somewhere above, there ensconced in another glass cabinet is what they found inside the copper box : A 22 carat idol of Lord Ganesh ! Weighing more than a Kilogram and made of solid gold ! A kilo of pure gold !

As I stare at the idol and seem to think of it more as a mask to an idol that must have been there sometime, a voice hisses into my year : ‘A 1000 years’. Unsolicited personalized commentary with gesticulation warranting the 1000 to be multiplied by five. I smile a weak smile.

The sheer thought of someone making this, that many years back, stuns me into steep silence. I continue staring. A 1000 years back ! How did the men and women back then, have the idea to build something like this ? Only to put it in a box?

Was the town under attack or something? Was it a gang of masked http://www.eta-i.org/tramadol.html hoodlums who stole it from somewhere and forgot where they hid it? Or was it a Ganesh propogation society ? Could be!

I realize that it sure must have been a ‘Mackennas Gold’ moment for the chap that discovered the treasure in 1998! Wouldn’t it be? In a jiffy, my mind races back to thinking what would have been the reaction of the folks that opened box and seeing the idol of solid gold? How different would the reaction been, if all they found was a battered cycle tyre or something like that ? Anyway, they discovered. Well and truly so !

Anyway, here is a list of stuff that’s inside the temple ! A ganesh idol made of stone, and kept inside a cage like structure. ( Don’t ask me why ). Thats the main deity. The golden ganesh in another glass cabinet. Some assorted jewellery that they found in the copper box. A clock. A trophy.

(A small trophy like the ones that I used to compete for in arbid school elocution contests on topics that shaped my career, like ‘If I became Prime Minister’). Don’t ask me what a small trophy is doing in the Ganesh temple. It is there.

The temple itself is small and non descript. We missed the temple as we drove past it, looking for a building of prominence. But simple structures are the essence of this place.

But heres the big piece : Its PEACEFUL and leaves an indescribable feeling of calmness. We are there on Ganesh Chaturti. But there isn’t much of a crowd. A small assortment of people and ofcourse the swatted flies. We amble around.

Outside the temple there is a big black ape shaped dustbin, with ‘Use Me’ written on. In the opposite side of the road is a small temple for Hanuman with asbestos roofing and all of that, beyond which is the green fields and blue mountains! That’s about the temple. Peaceful. Simple. Serene.

We shuffle our feet out of the temple, with another couple and their wailing son. Tourists like us. I hear the wife ask her husband : ‘Whats the latest price of a tola of gold?’ ! The husband whips out his phone, presumably to check.

Our feets shuffle out in a hurry.

Diveagar diaries !

Diveagar is about 200 kilometers from here. After weaving through all the traffic, insignificant seeming roads and amply aided by inconspicuous road signs that you mistake for signs leading upto something like a failed undergarment factory keen on hiding failure !

We did get to Dive Agar. Was like a treasure hunt and it indeed is a treasure ! It’s a small place. A gram panchayat. That must settle it. But for all of those that need more explanation : imagine simple dwellings. Small lanes. People sitting in their front yards, most of which is the road itself. Some of them viewing you as though you are riding a kangaroo with three legs and big moustache !

But then, they really are simple people. Simple Minds. Simple Homes. Simpe egos and such else. A home that caught my attention on the way, was the one you see below which was more exotic than the most of what those big builders offer. ( At prices that could well maket me a bonded labourer for three generations)

How would it be to retire here. With the grassland as your garden, real mountain as a wall paper !

For a big city officianado, frankly, there is nothing to do here. That sentence reads as ‘no malls here’. Those malls with parking lots and attendants who guide the cars into parking bays imagining themselves to be Air Traffic Controllers guiding an aircraft on to its parking bay. Those were 200 kilometers behind us.

The claim to fame of Diveagar is its beach. That beach is long and clean. But more important to me, is that it is a few kilometers of COMMERCE FREE ZONE! No candy. No ground nut. No silly target practice with a bunch of balloons and bent air guns, http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/anti-inflammatories/ with which you cant hit a target as big as buffalo on growth hormones, not to think of those small oddly shaped balloons.

There were no swank cars. No ice creams the size of cauliflowers. No groundnut vendors. No gola. No Pav bhaji. Nothing. Just the beach and its sand bubbler crabs !

Ah. One exception. Just one old chap on a carriage pulled by horse look alikes. And no takers. We were content walking barefeet that we politely declined his offer for a ride on the beach. The horse look alikes seemed to nod and neigh in great happiness, and I strongly suspect they managed to look at our pizza powered bulges through the corners of their blinkers.

The little of the tourists that we saw, were more like us. Thankful to walk and spare the horse look alikes religiously, that we could have applied for some award sponsored by SPCA or someone of that ilk. Some time soon, the horse cart was out of sight !

It was such a relief. The only murmur and occasional shout, came from the waves and the breeze. All else was silent! The waves themselves leaving patterns on the beach which could take up all of the hard disk space on my camera !

The sun dance was spectacular, to say the least. Playing hide and seek with such élan that at one point, the missus repeated a line that she has a particular way of saying. She has said it enough times in the recent past and I usually interpret it as ‘danger’.

‘Its either the camera or me’. I stopped. Obviously.