I live in a typical old locality of low rise buildings, built at distance from each other. What it ensures are abundant streets and back alleys to explore on my evening walks.
I spotted a Ganesh idol beside a tree on a narrow street behind the main park. That led me to start noticing these idols much more frequently.
Walking down the street, its a reminder of the faith that has propelled our culture and civilization for thousands of years. The fact that I'm only a temporary tenant on this land. The land truly belongs only to the soul of that idol placed beside the tree.
On my walk today, I spotted a new idol. Remains of the trees that were cut before this winter were now sheltering a small idol.
Its a fun exercise for me to keep noticing these. Little idols hidden in plain sight. Peepal trees with kalava1 wound around them. Or, ends of the street with a little temple.
On one of my evening previous evening walks, I spotted a cute little mandir attached to a garden's corner. An aesthetic purple color to the walls stood out againt the otherwise greenish environment. Three flower pots were kept on small cemented area outside. An old wooden table was kept at some distance for anyone to keep their belongings.
The street didn't lead anywhere in particular. This was the unused space between two buildings. Undoubtedly, an excellent use of space.
Our culture has a very special intersection with faith. It makes me happy to see people practice their faith in such tiny ways, giving back this land to whom it belongs and reminding us of the origin out of this plastic world we live in.
The only concern I had: Thousand years later, will the remains of this litte mandir be used to justify an inherently anti-cultural act?
Suggested reading: Demolition
A red-yellow colored ritual thread associated with Hindu culture. The thread is normally tied on the wrist, but can also be tied around other items considered sacred, such as kalasha or the Peepal tree.