Friday, January 23, 2009

Widows of Govardhan

Just a week has passed since i returned from my sole expedition to the holy birthplace of lord Krishna - "Mathura".

Mathura is located in Uttar Pradesh (India) and 20 kms from there resides Govardhan. He stands stout with his two feet in two indian states(UP & Rajasthan).After meeting whom, my life came to a halt for some time...

Govardhan has vast land under his ambit fencing 21 kms, one fence of 12 kms known as badi parikrama (large orbit) and other of 9 kms knowns as chhoti parikrama (small orbit). Millions of people visit his place anually and i was one of them. Almost everyone has his own bucket of reasons to visit, as i had mine.

I found nothing different out there untill i covered 3-4 kms of chhoti parikrama, then suddenly i realized that i could see no male, no child and no young girl but the area was abound of medium to old age women. It was slightly strange at first glance but i ignored it. I could only see old ladies sitting in groups..either chating or begging!

Walking past them i stopped near an old man, he was carving

wooden beads by hand and a lady stringing them all into a necklace. The lady might be in her fourties and the old man in his sixtees definately. I asked him for a big string and three other small ones and paid him 30 bucks, as what he priced. By looking at his face and dress up i could guess that he was not a native of that place, i generally asked him about his origin place and he replied along with a smile ... Kolkata. With the same smile, i delivered him the only single bengali line i had ever learnt - "dada, kemo na achhe ?" , this i had learnt from my bengali cook and it means .."gentleman, how are you?".

..and guess, i got a big smile in return.

My curosity prompted me to talk further and i again asked, what are you doing here so distant from your home land ? His child like old face put up a grin on this. I could not understand and moved further with my new possession. Just passing down the corner i encountered a number of young ladies weaving beads and pearls on both sides of that small road. There were no children in that area and no male except that old chap.

I could not resist myself asking what was all about, and after enquiring i came to know that the area was for Widows, and all the young and old ladies out there were widows. They were ostracized to fight for their pending life. Most of them belonged to calcutta and left by their well wishers with Govardhan under the blessings of Lord Krishna.

That moment marked its presence in my heart and left me with so many un-answered questions.
Was it their fate to live like this or is this the supremacy of dominating male class? ,who even after making their way to God, left their partners to bear the pain for life !

Now Govardhan takes care of those stark souls and feed them to survive.
They are now known as widows of Govardhan.

"Govardhan is a place 20 kms from Mathura with circumference of 21 kms, it's a pilgrimage at UP & Rajasthan border".