(encounter on the foothills of the Jivdani Shrine, Virar)
The weatherman’s prediction has been proving jinx for the rains, for whenever he predicts a storm there is a lull!
The advent of monsoon, or atleast the thought of it, brings to my mind my trip to the Jivdani Shrine which i did during two monsoons, just when the rains started. Both the times i had an inner urge that drove me to the shrine The first time around i did not even know how to get there from the station. But i did find trusted waypoints to the place. The Shrine is located on a hilltop which is about half hour walk from the Virar Railway station. To reach the temple we need to climb 1000 and odd steep steps which takes another half hour for an average person. When it starts raining, the rainwater gushes through the steps carrying red vermillon (Kumkum) with it offered by devotees, and we see a stream of blood red going all the way.
During my second visit there, i was gratified by a beautiful Darshan of the Goddess and that of her humble creation who waited for me during my descent. I was busy smelling the breeze which had the freshness of raindrops and the fragrance of herbs of the hill. I was distracted by a sweet shrill voice that summoned me “Saheb Wazan check kar lo please…sirf Do rupaye ” (Sir please check your weight, only 2 rupees) and her dark tiny hands, washed in raindrops, pointed to a primitive weight checker that lay at her feet. I was reluctant and i moved further.. the child was persistent and used the mercy card.. “Sir please check your weight because i need to eat something from what you will pay”
I budged and removed my wet shoes before checking my weight. Looking at the dial i said “Oh my God, 70 kilos!! are you sure your machine reads the weight right??”. The Kid chuckled pointing to the canteen on the hilltop saying “Sir I am sure you would have had some great Misal pav there” .. i was surprised that she guessed my meal right! by not watching my weight, but my expressions. I smiled at her.. i emptied al the change in my pocket which came to about the fee of checking my weight ten times. In my mind i still maintained that i was not 70 kgs :-)… maybe it was the weight of my rain-drenched clothes.
But the day today sees me a little heavier than 70 despite my dry clothes, no extra luggage and yes… no rains from the skies … sigh!