The Lady at the Temple Complex
The Lady at the Temple Complex3 mins 135 3 mins 135
The Mandir complex was abuzz with people. In was Sunday. People from different places have gathered to offer their prayers to Maa Podumoni. Pranati got down from her car and waited to cross the highway. Often have she heard of accidents near the temple, vehicles hitting trees crossing the bend of the road. She tried to be careful. Finally she crossed the road and went to a shop near the temple. Taking a plate with some items to offer to the goddess she walked towards the temple. Several times have she visited the temple, at different occasions. The reasons have been different though. Before her 10th exam, and also few days before her 12th exam started.
Thus she has been associated with the temple ever since a child. Her believe in the grace of the Goddess has been immense. Offering her prayers she returned back. When she reached the temple gate she saw an old women sitting in a corner. She seemed to be quite old. The wrinkles on her face spoke about her age. Clad in a white mekhela sadar and a black sweater she sat alone with a bag in front of her. Pranati walked towards the lady. Taking out a ten rupee note she gave to the lady and bend down to touch her feet. The lady smiled and wished Pranati a good life and prayed for her wishes to be fulfilled. Pranati tried to start a conversation with her, Aaita ghar kot apunar? (Grandma where is your home?)
The lady answered with a smile on her lips. She opened up her heart before Pranati. The words flowed like the gushing winds. Her husband had died a year before. The four sons she had got married long back and were settled with their families. The flood this year during the monsoon had left a trail of destruction in the village. Everything she had got washed away. Left with nothing she took to begging near the temple and since then this became her usual routine. While she talked there were several others who came to give her something from their purse. A young couple who recently got married came near the lady. She wished them luck and a happy life.
Pranati tried to spend some more time yet she knew she had to return. She had a long way to travel back home. The lady said, Aai, akou ahile gamusa akhon di jabi hi sun(Dear, if you visit again, bring for me a gamusa). Prayasi smiled nodding her head. Crossing the road she reached her car. Her aunt waited for her to travel back home. She returned with a million thoughts running down her mind. It has been two years she have travelled all the way to Kolkata for her higher studies. She thought the next time I visit Maa Podumi with the gamusa, will I meet the old lady. Will she be waiting eagerly to accept my gamusa?
Gamusa refers to a Assamese garment popular in the state of Assam gifted to loved ones during special ocassions.
Mekhela Sadar refers to clothes women wear in Assam.
Maa Podumoni is a temple located in Lakhimpur district of Assam.