Unplanned Holi visit to ISKON temple, Mayapur.
Holi, also known as festival of colours or festival of love, is celebrated across India and neighbouring south Asian countries. It is celebrated in the most parts of India and around the world. Like others, who wanted to celebrate the festival at some special place, me and my friends planned a trip to visit the ISKON temple, Mayapur on this Holi. The trip was planned just a day before the festival. ISKON temple is very famous for the Krishna devotees. Lots of people from around the world visit the temple every year.
Many foreign nationals who are Krishna followers live there. ISKON has various programs throughout the year and we thought we would get to play Holi this festival. Its 110 KM away from my home.
We were 7 friends on 4 bikes. We reached temple in 3 hours via highway and a small boat trip with bikes. 😉
First 1 hour was wasted because we were not allowed to park 2 wheelers there. All security persons were also confused about the parking area. So we thought to park it in a hotel. We ended up paying 10 times money for the parking (just for 3 hours. ) as it was a festival day and hotel person knew of our problem. We thought not to spoil the trip just because of the parking. As some festival was going on that day (not Holi festival exactly), many people came from different places to visit the temple. 😐 There were thousands of devotees at the temple area and a long line of people, so we thought not get in as it would have taken around 3-4 hours to enter the temple. So voting out the possibility of entering the temple, we thought to play Holi outside within the group. Later we came to know that only temple-members were allowed to play with colours inside the temple!! B-)
There was a small ‘mela‘ (mini-fair) going on in the campus. After enjoying a while, we thought to do some shopping, but shockingly we were told to move out as we all were coloured with the ‘gulaal‘ (powdered color). Well, how was that? A Festival day, at ISKON, and you are not allowed to enter the mini-fair ground (we were not entering the shops). The shopkeeper told us not to touch the cloths as the cloths would get dirty. (Oops.. that was humiliating, we were not touching them though). He also told us to move away as the colour could fly and settle on the cloths. (Haha, howz that! ❓ ) So the logic given was really unique to us. We did not even washed our face, because we were wondering if we did, we would be asked to clear the wash area for splitting the colour in the basin. A guard even directed us to move out of the fair campus, telling us that he was directed by the security officer. 😀 Not looking forward to stay more, we planned to get back because we went there just to play Holi. We decided to visit a friends place which was 35 KM away from the temple. In between, we stopped at a resort and had good Bengali-lunch.
Then we visited his place and spent our night there. It was a very nice place out of the city, very peaceful. I visited that kind of place after a very long time and a trip like this after almost 4 years. We enjoyed our stay there playing, teasing and having good food altogether.
The family poured a lot of love and care, more then expected! We enjoyed our ride on our way back and came back to the city the next morning. We had a good breakfast at roadside restaurant (dhabha). ⭐
After coming back to the city, we enjoyed playing Holi with friends who were not able to play at the temple. The lack of opportunity to play Holi at ISKON forced us to enjoy Holi again taking leave from office. 😈 We ended the Holi festival finally playing at our home (Enjoyed with others. It was much fun!). Then I thought it would be better to change the reason of this trip from visiting ISKON temple to visiting a friend and enjoying the evening with his family and other friends! What else could we do to give condolences to our self and forget the humiliation, which was not expected. 😀
Planning to visit the temple again, but not at the time of any festival. 😉