A long, long day at work. It seems unending. The fast doesn't make it better. I really should have prepared better for it. Stocked up on fluids and fruits and curd. With no food and drinks, it's difficult. Anyway, coffee and water sustains me somewhat when there isn't time to get a juice or buy a lassi. Around 11 when I was done with office, I really wanted to visit a Durga pandal. Someone had told me about one that remains open until three in the morning near Congress Bhavan. I absolutely wanted to visit it. So the plan was to go home, eat something and then leave to visit the pandal with my friend who was staying with me last night.. She was reluctant to step out because she had almost retired for the evening and also because PJs, ciggies, and moonlight is a hard-to-resist combination. One doesn't choose a middling drive in the night over that.
Anyway, I convinced her that I needed the blessings of the Goddess because I am so overworked. She didn't say anything but I could see the 'meh' in her eyes. Anyway, she gamely came. Now, I reached up to FC Road and then got lost. I drove around a surprisingly busy area and then got lost some more. At which point, my friend's vision of PJs and moonlight seemed like the best idea ever. While driving back, though, we saw the Chaturshingi temple glittering and twinkling. It was flooded with lights and the night was splashed with swirls of pinks, blues and greens of plastic toys. Inside the temple, there were lots of people and the police sat about here and there chatting. There were shops selling trinkets and slippers and odd stoles and various kinds of accessories that, for some reason, had violet and mauve faux fur trimmings. Must be the trend now.
Crudely tied bamboos separated the stairs - different lanes for the genders. The main sanctum for the goddess is on top of a hill. The lines up to there were relatively sparse, with the majority of the people at the base of the temple. Groups of lanky teenage boys were passing under, over, and in-between the bamboo separators - more for fun than any great urgency to get to the goddess, I think. So, I did the same. I wanted to get to the temple quickly though because my friend was waiting down. I had worn slippers right up to the top and I didn't really want to then go scouting around for a place to leave my footwear. (I didn't know where to leave them at the base). I stood outside for a little bit and came down.
It's getting hot in Pune and it is very, very busy at work. But this nugget of serendipity exhilarated.