Friday, February 1, 2008

Cue Moments From Mathura...

As with my vast traveling experience during my childhood days,this one of the best I can remember frame by frame and still fresh in mind as red juicy carrots harvested on winter morning.We were staying Gwalior and I was in my fourth grade I suppose and we were on a family tour to Mathura in UP [For all those people who have some idea of Mahabharata its the birth place of Lord Krishna]with my dad`s office colleague and his wife[Mr & Mrs Das from Bengal if I remember them correctly].We took a late evening train , it was the GT and we were on our way to the mythical city of Mathura. At that point I heard nothing more than it was just another temple town with chants of Lord Krishna everywhere.After a brief journey of four hours we were at the banks of Yamuna , one of the mighty rivers of the state.
Time to get down and take a stroll across the city and we met this all blabbering and over enthusiastic guide who promised us take around the city and also obviously with the title of his profession , offer us some guidance on the history of the place.Me and my sister were very busy starring around the place as if we had landed on Martian planet, we can already observe substantial cultural differences just for a place which around some 350km from Gwalior.
We were visiting temples after temples,palaces after palaces and the guide was non stop with his blabbering and he seems to have a folklore for every place he took us.I can even remember couple of them,the one where describes how a "Booth"[kind of ghost] actually had built a magnificent palace
overnight for a local ruler,to how lord krishna once sold his golden bangles in a milk shop to buy some drink as the priests of the temple had forgotten to offer the Prassad.
By mid evening we were nearly exhausted by all those walks around and we settled for a photo session , who would have ever thought that this is going to be the most memorable experience of our trip.We were at the Grand Krishna temple at the heart of the town which hosts a giant 15ft statue of Lord Krishna.The one obvious things you will notice about the place was that it was infested with monkeys,not ten,not hundred,but nearly a thousand.I suppose the monkey population inside the temple quite clearly outweighed the humans .And very much the pilgrims have found ways to live with our distant cousins, some people offer them food ,if not they had every right to snatch it away from you and give you a glare just enough to make a fully grown 5ft human run for his life.
We did feel a little threatened as we saw more monkeys around us than humans but our guide was gracious enough to convince us that they were harmless and you will know it soon why he said that. As my dad`s colleague was clicking our family photo and we were all saying cheese to the camera ,my mom felt something fishy happening behind her and before any one could realize it was all over.One of those monkeys mistook the spectacle my mom was wearing as some kind of toy and snatched it from right behind her back without any suspicion and out in flash climbed on the nearest tree.And you can guess my mom`s initial reaction,she just freaked out so loud that every organism inside the temple complex were gazing at us.
And hearing that loud freak there he came charging towards us "bhabi ji kya ho gaya??", our ever faithful guide,and when we informed him about the incident ,he went straight to the tree where the monkey was by now virtually bitting into my mom spectacles and it reminded me of that old monkey story which my grand parents used to tell me,he threw some "chenna"[moong dal] up in the air and our Hanuman avatar was just magnanimous enough to throw down the spectacles,"lijiya babiji apka chashma" and my mom with such high reputation of hygiene consciousness refused even to touch it and he had to hand over the belonging to my dad.
The best part is yet to come ,after that incident my mom was without her spectacles for few months because she never trusted ophthalmologists in Gwalior and was waiting for a vacation to visit Chennai for a eye check up to get her new spectacles,and surprisingly the doc found her eye power to come down to almost a insignificant level and told her that she could do well without her glasses unless otherwise she gets any head aches.Its been a decade and more since that incident and she never touched her spectacles again and what can I say here "A miracle from Miraculous city of Mathura".

The little lad you see sitting on a marble lion is none other me,so no prize for guessing that one.[It was taken in one of the Krishna temples on the outskirts of mathura,probably choreographed by my dad]

With nostalgia all around,


Ninja said...

So u started series on "Trips to interior India" ?
Anyway good one.

Krishna Kumar.S said...

It was a very good writeup. I liked it. Since I know you earlier, I knew these stories. I very much welcome this post. Wish you could post more similarly. And add more pics of your childhood.

Karthick said...

thank u guys...i really have lots more to speak on my traveling experience..this is only the tip of the ice berg..

Shruti Mukundan said...

U r post reminded me of my last year's trip to Mathura... Am born n brought up in Delhi (less than 300 kms from Mathura) but had never visited that place till last year when I was despo in need of a vacation n insisted on going to Mathura by car. Me n my dad drove in installments and we reached there in 5 hrs. We went arnd the city in our own car n didnt hire a guide coz we wanted to b very selective. it was a fantastic trip n as an icing on the cake, it rained!!! n it was a lovely weather.. in the month of october...!!! and yeah one news for ur mother - tell her that the monkey manace has come to a limit now. I didnt remember seeing even one monkey thr!!! I hope it wil b a welcome news for her ;)