January 5, 2010

India - how different people are!

I was on a whirlwind trip criss crossing few districts of Tamil Nadu in the past 2 days and I was astonished to see people walk by the side of the road for days on end, on their annual pilgrim trip to the holy shrine at Palani. I was told people walk from down south, from the east coast and from other places to converge around the Pongal festival, at Palani. It takes them many days (~ about a fortnight) and there were makeshift arrangements en route for the pilgrims to rest and nap for a while before they move on.. Amazing grit and devotion and penance, don't you think? I, for one can't imagine myself in their shoes even for a day. Actually, they were all barefoot:-) walking on asphalted road!!

Many of you may have seen such similar scenes.. I wonder what drives them to do these extremely tortorous things to themselves.. My friend joked that he and I wouldn't because we have not sinned so much:-). Jokes apart, its really amazing and admirable to see these people, young and old, all wearing a similar kind of yellow dotting the skyline.. The person who was driving me around remarked that as the destination neared, they would be so weary and tired that they would almost crawl on all fours, to reach the temple.

This in my opinion is spirit and determination. Since we seem to have an overdose of it, why can't we make use of these positives to improve the quality of life in rural India, in particular, I wonder.

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