Of Shrines and Sadhus

On Friday I was waiting to pick up my kids outside Burn Hall School when a shining object caught my eye. It was a huge trishul in the hands of a fearsome ash-smeared lioncloth-clad sadhu with dreadlocks and flowing beard. He was striding towards the Durga Nag temple with a companion.

Just across the road from my car, the sadhu stopped and turned towards the shrine-cum-mosque complex next to the school while waiting for his companion to catch up. The azaan for friday prayers was emanating from the mosque loudspeaker and the sadhu kept staring at the shrine. Something about his stare made me sit up and take notice when all of a sudden he folded his hands and bowed respectfully towards the shrine before heading off again with the same purposeful stride.

Somehow this incident made an impression upon me, especially against the backdrop of the sectarian violence of the past few weeks, and here I am blogging about it.