123/365: How The Grumpy Blue Blogger Was Able To Write About A Place of Worship: OMKARESHWAR, INDIA: JYOTIRLINGA SHRINE OF SHIVA

3rd of May

BlueHis name happens to be my favorite color - BLUE.  He said he is GRUMPY but I don’t think so! … well, usually he also said,

I am posting this a bit late than the intended schedule that this is supposed to be posted.  The main content has long been queued on my draft but...I honestly can’t find an ideal introduction for our guest blogger for today.

Probably because I don’t know him personally.  I can’t stalk him either because he is NOT on Facebook.  He has this “MENTAL NOTE” posted on his site:

“Though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run. Blue, resist the urge to use Facebook. You can do it. Good luck.  Cats and dogs can be friends. So can cowboys and Indians. So can we.”

All I know is that it never fails to amused, amazed and puzzled me every time I read his blog posts.  Sadly he deleted most of his (earlier) entries (so I also consider him a bit WEIRD for that). Yes he deprived me of my pleasurable habit of back reading so I can also call him CRUEL.

“WIT“ is the best word to describe his writings.  I was suspecting an intelligent mind behind those posts and I was not surprised at all when I found that he is a University Professor!

When I ask him to be my guest blogger this was his reply…
“I'm not really into places of worship, Balut. The best I could do is write a post about why I wouldn't ever visit a particular church. In my view faith and buildings are not related. That's borderline rude, I know, so I have to pass. But.... here's what I could do for you:”
And so I was smiling from ear to ear when I found his email in my inbox one day.  He really made my day.  Isn’t he AWESOME!?
~~***~~

OMKARESHWAR, INDIA: JYOTIRLINGA SHRINE OF SHIVA

In Madhya Pradesh, a central province in India, there's a seemingly insignificant little island located in the sacred Narmada River called Mandhata Island which happens to have special religious importance for Hindus across the globe. So much for appearances. It is there that my then girlfriend and Bollywood princess Angie went to stay at her mother's nephew's house right before she made a life-altering decision, and it's through her eyes that I'm writing this post for my friend Balut.

Mandhata Island is better known as Omkareshwar, so named after the famous white Hindu temple that is situated on the island. Don't ask me to pronounce the word Omkareshwar, but Angie tells me the island oozes tranquility and spirituality. Which does not come as a surprise given that Omkareshwar is a place of pilgrimage where visitors are welcomed to spend the night at an ashram, that is, a spiritual hermitage or monastery. Just like in the temple itself, people come to an ashram to perform a prayer ritual known as puja (poojah, pooja), which is what Angie did. She also walked around the island, which took her only one hour and a half.

Picture 1 (2)

Omkareshwar, the temple itself (also known as the Shri Omkar Mandhata temple), is dedicated to the notable god Shiva. The reason why pilgrims come to this particular place in India is that it houses an actual jyotirlinga shrine, a sacred devotional object representing Shiva of which there are twelve in the entire country. Jyoti meaning 'radiance' and lingam meaning 'sign of Shiva,' a jyotirlinga shrine is said to be a place where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. People come from afar to kneel before said object to pray and offer mala (garland), phal (fruit) and prasaad (sweetened confection). When Angie came to visit the temple in February 2012, there weren't many visitors - that is to say, not many in the Indian sense of the word. Everything is relative.

Picture 2 (1)

The temple itself is white (if a bit smudged) and clearly visible from the river, reminiscent of a big beehive on top of a big square. There are two entrances, one on each side of the building. Once you're inside you'll notice the impressive high ceiling, entirely white too, with few decorative patterns that are so typical of Indian art. In contrast to many other temples, you can stay here for a couple of hours and speak with the priests.

Although I am not much of a believer in visiting holy shrines and religious buildings myself, the fact that Angie was connected to Omkareshwar in more than one way made me think hard about my own life and the direction I would want to be heading in. I came to the conclusion I wanted to marry her in spite of our huge religious differences. I picked her up from the airport on February 18, popped the question and luckily she said yes. Omkareshwar will forever be connected to me too. Even if I'm not planning on visiting it in person, it feels like I've already been there. All I need to do is close my eyes and watch by future bride walk along that river toward the big white temple.
~~***~~

After reading Blue's entry  I am sure you will agree with me that he is also sooo SWEET and ROMANTIC!

36 comments:

  1. Good to know about this guy and his culture and the shrine!
    Thanks for sharing Balut. Naiiba eto:)

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    1. I'm Indian because my wife is. I always say, I'm the Cowboy, she's the Indian. :)

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    2. That's not what I typed... Where's the rest of my comment? I wrote: Interesting you should think I'm Indian because my wife is. :)

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  2. Nawala yata comment ko dito before? :)

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    1. Sorry Joy I have my comment moderation enabled that's why the comments are not showing instantly. It's for spam protection.

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  3. Well "Hello, Balut. Nice to make your acquaintance and all that. I hope your life is splendiferous. I know what you mean about Blue, he does get in your box doesn't he. I mean, inbox. A very interesting and wonderful soul..(Shhh - I gotta say that cos he's taking me to Bora Bora one day...)

    On to the story. Firstly, I can see where Angie got her cake ideas from. That temple looks like the worlds biggest Wedding cake. Don't ya think? I think she should make it - challenge set.
    The story was very moving and I sniffed a little. You have such a softness, Randy dandy man. I like that about you. I too, do not really find a connection between God and buildings but I do think that temples and churches have a magical feel to them. Maybe it's psychological, I dunno, you're the professor, Sir.

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    1. Jules, dear Jules... How I adore you for taking the time to read my guest post. I just told Angie five minutes ago she should make a cake based on that temple. I thought it looked like a bee hive but now it's clearly a divine cake. Yes, temples and churches make us humble. That's what I like about them. Flip that coin and you could argue that they are supposed to make us want to believe. Well, that's just me.

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    2. I wouldn't miss it for the world my beautiful friend :)

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    3. And you were saying.... something about a..... box? ;)

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  4. I love Blue's original response. Very insightful. Then, I also liked the post. Omkareshwar is really beautiful. They did well by Shiva. The ending was also quite beautiful. Well done, Grumpster.

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    1. Thank you, Pickleope Von Pickleopeland. You're too kind.

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  5. I've never understood why people build churches and temples instead of schools, orphanages, factories, bridges, water cleansing facilities, homes, hospitals..... What do you say, Blue? Would you like your temple or an orphanage with your name?

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    1. When you put it that way," I'd go for the orphanage. I know orphanages can change children's lives for the better. I'm not sure gods would be interested in us building temples. Here's my reasoning: anyone who can create a universe will not be too impressed or charmed by the buildings that we, humans, make. Again, that's just me.

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  6. You gave blue a good scolding indeed
    Deleting all posts at his feed
    What a thing to do
    Only from old grumpy goo
    He just wanted to get rid of the proof
    Of his bora bora goof
    That was it
    As he knows the cat will never let that go one bit
    And a romantic side to blue
    Who knew?
    Maybe he used it all up that day
    Now he just grumps at his bay
    Or saving it for a rainy day?
    Who waits for rainy anyway?
    Now I am through
    Yep, it's true

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Pat will never hide my Bora in his kitty Hatt
      A double 't' for that's his name
      Some call him Bat the Kitty Cat
      Always telling me I played some game
      Involving tickets and a President
      Or rules that I might have bent
      I did delete a hundred posts
      Or maybe two from coast to coast
      When I was down and blue and worse
      Feeling my eyes were such a curse
      Of course I did get rid
      Of the 'proof' he said I hid
      The Cat is so suspicious and smart
      You'd think my brain was just a ….
      You know what go fill that gap
      If you were a dog I swear you yap
      Haha so I'm romantic too
      I guess a blue romantic shoe
      Who knew, how right you are
      Shiny like shiny blue star.

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  7. That's quite a beautiful place.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Quite. And I'm sorry you had to prove you're not a robot.

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  8. yep, Blue is so sweet and romantic. I suspected it was so.

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    1. You're smart. I suspected you were... ;)

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  9. Nice to know you Balut and what amazing and interesting post coming for Grumpy blue:)
    I love Churches and all type around this is a nice post Balut and love to know you.
    Im thinking to ask Angieva guest post about cakes because she make awesome cakes and Im agree with Jules some churches reminder me tha Angie's cakes, awesome!

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    1. Friends meeting friends. I love that. You should ask me to write a guest post and then I'll bake you a cake. (Just don't eat it.)

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    2. Good idea when you can make a cake for me Blue??
      You know mu birthday is June 9th:)

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    3. And Angie grumpy? May she make a cake for me?
      I know she is sweet:)

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  10. That looks and sounds amazing. I want to go to there.

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    1. Beware of the culture shock awaiting you, sir. ;)

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  11. I didn't know Blue was a prof. :) I did suspect from posts I'd seen that he is fond of his wife. ;)

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    1. Don't tell anyone.... As for my fondness for my Bollywood princess.... it all depends on the weather ;)

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  12. It's a delight to meet you, Balut. I arrived here at Blue's suggestion, although we have been visiting only a very short time. I have read his comments, that are on and off, at Pat's blog and what fun to take a little deeper glimpse into another side of him.

    Blue.....The moments ticked away as I studied the pictures and a rush of memories came to me. The town of Omkareshwar looks like it's built on an incline and I thought of how healthy it is for people to do daily hill walking. I grew up in just such a small town and when I reached a certain age, I realized how many old people there were in the town and they never seemed to further age. Then somewhere back in the 40's I became interested in the Hunza people who lived in seclusion (at that time) tucked away in the Himalayas. The people too, lived to a very old and productive age. Now, I again live in a city of tiered streets and notice all the old people walking up and down. What's my point??? I believe hill walkng promotes good health and a long life and this city (island) must be a very healthy place to live. (apart from the spiritual side.... or maybe in connection with ha)
    Ahem..... and by the way Grumpster, your sentimental side is showing and I'm very happy to see it.

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    1. I think you might be on to something there, Manzanita. I remember walking in a Spanish village a long, long time ago when I noticed a lot of old people hill walking. I was dead tired going up that hill but there was not a drop of sweat to be found on their foreheads when they passed me by. Ha… I wonder what that means. Ha, I get it. Get what? Get it? Yeah, well, sometimes I get a bit sentimental. What can I say? If you're happy, I'm happy? ;) Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my little guest post.

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  13. That is such a great post. Insightful, intelligent and romantic. I'm not much for going to church myself, but I did write about the Karni Mata Rat Temple a while back. http://scarymarythehamsterlady.blogspot.com/2013/11/weekly-rat-facts-rat-temple-in-india.html

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    1. I just had a look… A genuine rat temple…. Who would've thought?

      So, are you calling me romantic?

      Now, excuse me while I go and prove I'm not a robot ;)

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  14. Such a lovely post Blue. You should get this published in goindia.com or travel India or any romance site.
    I love your version of Eat (Angie's cake), pray and love. Love your response as introduction and the way you ended with such a lovely romantic and powerful note.

    You gotto make a gif of your quote in your blue avatar. Great post!

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    1. Thank you very much, you and your thinking cap. My version of Eat, Pray and Love... How come those Hollyheads are never looking when you put me in the spotlight?

      Thanks!

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  15. Yes, of course. You can use the content from my blog..

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