Thursday, 4 February 2016

My Wanderings - 27. Token of Love and Faith

It was  much  cloudy   afternoon of august 2003 with arrival  of   fresh monsoon after long scorching heat of the summer season at jammu. The atmosphere was humid and air laden with water particles of early  morning showers of the day. I along with my wife decided to pay our obeisance at the much revered shrine of  kashmiri pandits Mata Raginya Devi, popularly known as Mata Khir Bhawani shrine at Janipura Jammu. As we sat in front of Mata to perform puja under the guidance of Guru ji, another family of Kashmiri pandits comprising of a Gentleman  and perhaps  his two kids of adolescent age son and daughter also sat besides us for the same purpose. As Guru ji started puja the Gentleman brought out from  his front shirt pocket  a small and  beautiful box containing some  ornaments and kept them along with other puja articles. It was a complete pair  of Dejhoor  with  chains known as Ath in kashmiri,  wearing of which represent the married status of a Kashmiri pandit  woman. It is just like Mangal Sutra in other Hindu communities.  He applied some vermilion on the ornament and sprinkled water and flowers on it. He was a middle aged man of short but stout stature with a little bald head. He had a clean shaven face with a tuft of grey moustaches profusely spread over his upper lip. His personality gave an  air of responsibility and concern for his kids, who also appeared very obedient and well groomed. They all bowed in front of Mata and paid their obeisance to her as well as  to the ornament lying in front of them. By their gestures I felt  that they all were holding the ornament with great respect. I could  understand that ornament  perhaps belonged to the mother of kids who had already  left this mortal world. Otherwise she would have been accompanying them this time. I had some feeling of  sympathy with the family alongwith  a sense of curiosity.
Latter on after completion of our prayers the gentleman  happened to sit next to me on the verandah surrounding the pond of temple. While exchanging some pleasantries with the man, I enquired about the ornament he was carrying with him only after apologising for my curiosity. He confirmed my belief that ornament belonged to his late  wife, who died in cross firing at Srinagar in early nineties. He also told me that his kids were very young at that time and he had to face many difficulties in bringing them up particularly due to migration of our community from Jammu to Srinagar. Now they both are doing engineering at Pune and are able to look after themselves. He also felt relieved to a great extent as he had promised to his dieing wife that he will look after them properly. Further he told me that he was taking his wife for granted as far as she lived with her. But with her death he could realise the importance of his wife who was a God given boon in his life. She was very pious and generous lady. I was always carefree and devoid of any responsibility in her presence. But in her absence I can  feel the drudgery of life which I was destined to face. Now regarding  the ornament, he pointed towards his pocket,  this helped me a lot to face the uncertainty of life. Whenever I felt discouraged or depressed while bringing up my children, a mere look at it made me feel  like full of bliss and hope which encouraged me to face this world with renewed  energy. Whenever I picked it up with my hands  and dangled it in front of my eyes,  it gave me a feeling of hypnotic effect which lead me from darkness of depression and dismay to the threshold of enlightenment and bliss. Though I am not a superstitious person but I had to compromise some rationality with belief and faith to compensate my state of mind with tranquility and peace. I could well understand his position and had no option but to believe on the charismatic effect of the token of love  and faith of his wife which he cherished so much.