All posts tagged: Religion

Gaya: Where the dead incur expenses

There is a place in India for everything. Banaras is where people go to die and attain “Moksh”( salvation). Gaya is where those who couldn’t attain salvation before their death are remembered and sent to Swargalok (heaven). The dead incur expenses for everything here. “South ka log bahut aate ho Kya yahaan pe?” I asked my panda( The guy who performs the rituals) whether a lot of South Indians come to Gaya. “Aap log hi hamara kheti Hain” You guys only are our agriculture, he said. I smelled business in Gaya right from the start. However I wanted to see the process through because I wouldn’t come here again probably. Besides my mother fished out a strange coincidence for the day that I came to Gaya. It was the same day that my maternal Grandfather had died. And he used to talk about Shraadh in Gaya. So now I had no choice but to perform it. If you visit Gaya, be sure to carry a lot of change. There are Brahmins and Beggars at every …

Mixed Emotions: Land of Dawnlit Mountains- Arunachal Pradesh

“You replace my car. I don’t want anything else” the owner of the Maruti Alto said. My driver was helpless. He kept negotiating. The next offer was even more ludicrous. “You can keep my car. Leave your car to me” The owner of the alto was telling this genuinely. It was an offer and not a joke. This was part of the conversation that we had with some Arunachalis while we were returning to Assam. Our car was involved in an accident and the other party started coming up with these kind of demands. The public which had gathered also supported this same line of arguments. In any other part of India, it would have simply gone to litigation and payment of accidental damage by the insurance company. Not in Arunachal. We were advised not to involve the police because once the tribe gets involved they back off from the situation apparently. I don’t know this experience of mine is the norm in Arunachal, however this lack of law and order and the concept of …