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“बर्तन पे राख़ लगा दो तो वो चमक उठेंगे .. फिर तुम राख़ लगा कर पवित्र कैसे नहीं हो सकते हो ? टूटे बर्तन की तरह हम अपने शरीर को समेटने लगे … अनमने ढंग से जीवन की खुरचे हटाने …और धीर धीरे सारे कपडे जो समाज ने दिए थे, लगे फेकने …और वो गरम राख़ हर जगह  लगा …बढ़ते गए …बढ़ते गए ..जहाँ कुछ देर पहले सभ्यता का आडम्बर चमक रहा था, ये नश्वर तन पर सब उतर चूका था …कोई झिझक नहीं, कोई डर नहीं ..कोई धरम नहीं, न कोई आशा न निराशा ..जो थे सब आँखों से निश्चल हो बह रहे थे … चारो ओर आग की लपेट …और अचानक वो-मैं सब दौड़ पड़े ….ये एक मृत आत्मा जो फिर  सजीव हो उठी थी चमक उठी !”

“If you apply ash to utensils, they start shining .. then why can not you cleanse yourself with ash ? Like broken utensils, we started collecting our bodies together … absent-mindedly started removing the scratches given by life … and slowly, we  stripped ourselves of all the clothes which society has given us, started throwing them away .. and then applying warm ash to our bodies … we started marching … marched … where the pomposity of civilization was galore just some time back, this mortal body had rid itself of all that .. no hesitation, no fear .. no religion, neither hope nor despair .. whatever remained, flowed through the eyes … fire every where… and suddenly them – me started running .. this dead soul which had become alive again, shone bright ! “

I am back after this visit to the Mahakumbh, the biggest pilgrimage of mankind. The above lines are excerpts from my memoirs which I keep publishing on Facebook. Hope you like the glimpses of the Mahakumbh…

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Pilgrims getting ready for the next morning ..

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Fortified with Litti, a common delicacy of the Purvanchal .. and yes, they are not dinosaur eggs !

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And these.. if you know what they are ..

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Blowing the Bigul

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The Happy Sadhu

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The Sauve one ..

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Smoking chillam

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Sadhu on bicycle

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Naga Sadhus marching towards the Sangam

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And the culmination …