When did you get so spiritual? Why does every pinnacle and shrine make you so whimsical; even the smell? Pashupatinath, Krishna Mandir, Devgaht, what next?
We were at one of the hotels (“Bhatti”) at around 6 in the morning. Backpacked, we were ready to head out for Chitwan, to conduct research in the Mushar Community residing just an hour away from the scintillating light of Sauraha – the major tourist attraction. As always, with barely any plans on top of our head, we were conversing sitting at one corner of the hotel taking a sip from the cup of tea. In the virgin rays of the sun, dust whirled around our face from the stairs above us. Someone just ran through it; the day had just kicked off.
Missing one of our group members, we were ringing him constantly making sure if he was joining us on the trip. Next cup of tea, and our plan to head out from the valley in the virgin rays of the sun got postponed. The dust kept falling while people rushed through it to break its peace. Rays with no warning shifted; the dark corner of the hotel just below the staircase reminded us of a long day ahead. We finally were on our feet. It was almost 9 then.
“I am taking a viva, Call you back!”, finally, he responded. Next stop – Nepal Law Campus. We stood outside of the room waiting for him to get done with the viva. The rays heated up; so did we. We took a Taxi to Kalanki and got on a tour bus heading to Chitwan at around 1 pm. While some of us dodged at the back of the seat, I and Suvash planned on staying the night at Devghat.
Here’s the plan: We’ll be staying at Devghat tonight.
Not a fuss! Everyone agreed. We got off at Ramnagar at around 4 pm. We then took a tempo to Devghat. The reverberated echo of honky-toking vehicles and the delirious crowd of people escaped all of sudden; the road to Devghat alone handed us some quietude. All this time, Prajwal (cinematographer friend of mine) was taping the happenings in his camera surprised by the serendipity that the time had offered.
With some lunch, we marched through the suspension bridge over the Narayani river. Amazed and entertained by the monkeys on the edge of the rope showcasing their skills, we crossed the bridge and found ourselves at Tanahun (neighboring to Chitwan). The fine light of the dawn swayed in the Narayani river and the smell of Devghat filled with incense kind of purified our soul. We dived in its fragrance and started climbing the stairs to reach the major site; also a shelter.
Not long had we reached there, one of the administrators of the Devghat Management Committee handed us a key to the room; a free service offered to the pilgrims. With the students, elders, and followers, we shared the common meal. We attended “Aarati” after the meal, and I swear I have never felt that peaceful, and calm before. The faint light of oil lamps and the chanting reverberated Devghat and my body. Still and calm, we stayed observing the happenings: not knowing how long would it last. Rajesh did not even shift from his position the whole time; he, who enjoyed cracking jokes every time was lost in the silence and aura of Devghat.
After strolling around the temple for another hour or so, we headed to the room. We adjoined the beds together. Though there were not enough blankets to keep us warm, we were happy that the place had made us calm, peaceful, and taught us a great deal on life and happiness in less than a couple of hours. With talks on religion, philosophies behind life and death, and the Messiahs I and Suvash conversed while the bell kept striking at every hour passed. However, it did not after midnight.
Tara dai (one of our fellow group members), joined our conversation asking us not to dwell more into the things which merely exist but enjoy what we have today. We nodded our head and after an hour or so, we were discussing the meaning of life with him. Before he called night, he asked, “When did you get so spiritual? Why does every pinnacle and shrine make you so whimsical; even the smell?”. To which I replied, “Well, maybe we will answer you in the virgin rays of the sun after we visit Janakpur.” We called it a night then waiting tomorrows light to show more of Devghat.
Watch our day at Devghat’s serene and majestic aura!