Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hindu temple and the storm: Gods are happy, you are wet

India considers itself a very religious nation. And Punjab considers itself a more religious part of India. As I was told, “not to believe in God in India is morally condemned”. The two main religions in Punjab are the Sikhism and the Hinduism. Since we have already visited a Sikh temple (Gurudwara) in Amritsar, we wanted to look at the Hindu temple in Ludhiana.
The interesting fact about Hinduism is that it is “a religion of 30 million Gods”. While the main gods are well known (Rama, Shiva), there are many other deities. The temple itself is a big complex, with a lot of shrines and the main building where the mass is being held.
We reached the temple after work, it was already dark. When we departed at the hotel, it started to rain, but it felt like the type of rain which brings a lot of water, but goes by quickly. Despite the rain, we had, however, to take our shoes off prior to entering the place of worship. This meant that we had to walk on the cold marble floor with a layer of rain water on it barefoot. A refreshing experience.

After seeing the evening ceremony and hearing the priest’s sermon (we guess it was one), we were ready to head back. However, by the time we left the temple, it started to hail! Something like this happens in Ludhiana very, very rarely – in fact, our local consultant said that he has not seen anything like this in 30 years. Apparently, heavy rain means that the Gods are happy. With my clothes wet, I would be very happy if the gods find ways to express their happiness differently. 

The intense rain has transformed the roads into rivers divided only by the median, with the hail swimming on the side. Our auto (tuktuk) seemed more like a boat than a vehicle. I guess that in Europe, the security guidelines would demand us to wear swim vests. This video conveys the atmosphere very well.

By the time we arrived at the hotel, the traffic in Ludhiana has totally collapsed. While some people were just amazed by the nature event, others were trying to get home despite the weather, with their scooters and bicycles just drowning in the floods.
Hail in India – one of the last things I expected. And one more adventure on the long list…           

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