It was supposed to be a business trip. The
minute I got my flight tickets to Guwahati, I knew I had to do two things there
no matter how busy the schedule got: visit the legendary Kamakhya Temple and catch a glimpse of the mighty Brahmaputra.
Early Sunday morning, I reached Kamakhya
Temple. By early I mean 5 am! I decided not to pay extra to avail a pass to get
inside to the main temple by jumping the normal queue. Hence began my patient
wait to get a glimpse of one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Peethas. For five
long hours both my hunger and patience were tested. While in the queue, I
witnessed the sacrificing of the goats, which is an age old Hindu tradition of
pleasing the gods. It broke my heart hearing the helpless sounds of the animals
that were being sacrificed for the greater good (a theory I fail to
When I finally got inside, I was amazed to
see the beauty of the temple. The garbhagriha is below the ground level and
consists of no image but a rock fissure in the shape of a yoni. The garbhagriha
is small, dark, and reached by narrow steep stone steps. Inside the cave, there
is a sheet of stone that slopes downwards from both sides, meeting in a
yoni-like depression some 10 inches deep. This hollow is constantly filled with
water from an underground perennial spring. It is the vulva-shaped depression
that is worshiped as the goddess Kamakhya herself and considered as the most
important peetha (abode) of the devi.
It was a wonderful experience. The wait was totally worth it. The visit left me wondering about the mythical story that is linked to this great temple.
Just one day before my departure, I went to
the riverside for a sunset cruise. It left me mesmerized. The mighty Brahmaputra
flowing with all its strength; the beautiful sun just about to set with a
promise of an even better tomorrow; a flock of birds flying, perhaps back to their
nest; and fishermen with their nets trying to end the day with a good catch, filled my heart to the brim with
There was a song in my heart and it reflected on my face through a
constant smile. Just when I was drawing strength looking at the forceful
currents of the river, I saw a river dolphin do a flip. Wow! I told myself. I
felt my heart flutter. I knew for sure
that something extraordinarily beautiful must be coming my way. This must be a
beginning to a new story. A story that I have absolutely no idea which way it
is going to sway. But somewhere far away from home, in the middle of a river,
amidst strangers, this moment gave me hope and filled my soul with peace.
The hour spent on the cruise got over faster than I had expected. But with a promise to come back again, I bid farewell to Brahmaputra and Guwahati!