Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pangrizampa gave me the flu

My family planned a day before that we would go and attend the annual rimdo at Pangrizampa. We tried getting up early morning by disturbing the peaceful sleep our year old infant. We couldn’t even drink our tea properly thinking we might be pushed to trail the long queue. So I drove my family as fast I could to the venue.

Much to our surprise, people have already queued up making a long snaky way to get the blessings. We climbed uphill to trail the queue. I told my wife to keep our son in the shade and feed him enough to make it for his breakfast. I and my sister took our spots in the line. I knew it was a long line and will call for a good stamina.

Hours went by and the line was moving at a snail’s pace. After three hours we could hardly make it the halfway. We were left to bear the scorching sun. Helpless, we had to buy junks from the hawkers to keep ourselves fed and hydrated.

We witnessed a brief twister that blew over the people at the fag-end of the line. I thought it was heralding the afternoon wind. By then we were standing for four and half hours and past the noon. The line almost stopped to move.

Afternoon brought the usual winds. Coincidentally a huge earthmover was ploughing through the construction dust across the queue in RBG colony. People stood up against the thick blanket of dusts blown to them by the strong wind attacking their nostrils. I looked at the faces of devotees. Most of them were weary of the line and the time it was taking to move. Some they diverted from the line to find themselves a shed and rest their tired limbs.

Hunger was building up the frustration. And knowing that your children and their mother were also in the open facing the dusty storm was fuelling my impatience. Our infant has just recovered from the seasonal flu that almost weakened him to his bare bones. I was afraid if the current scenario would stifle his recovery and inflict him more.

It was then I made up my mind to give up queuing to that never ending journey towards the rimdo altar. For a moment I thought to myself ‘the whole merit of the purpose was lost’. But again I couldn’t face the reality. It would easily take another three to four hours to get to the altar.

It is just then I thought how poorly the devotees were managed. The lack of visiting information to the rimdo was main reason given the prevailing mindset that getting there early morning could save us time. But all seem to have turned up in the morning. So the mindset backfired.

But people could have been managed if the organizers could inform people about the visiting timings. Moreover, it was a weekend. Queuing problems at public functions is often an eyesore in our society. Our police can hardly do anything than just keep people in the queue.

Managing a queue of few hundred, for that matter even some thousands, should not be a problem if things are properly planned and executed. Organizers of the public functions must also consider people’s time and energy making to that event. Unless, if the only reason to this problem will be “if you suffer to get the blessing, you will earn more merit.” This is a mere cliché.

So we gave up and drove back home. Some of my friends followed suit. And I think I just got the flu.