The pot of Pain

While bringing my car in through the compound gate, I saw some wooden poles, bamboo sticks and lots of rope lying on the roadside near my gate. With a sinking heart, I instantly realized that the dreadful day of the earthen pot must be round the corner. Next day few more items arrived. These included some steel frames and more rope. A gang of workers soon arrived and started digging big holes on the mettle surface without bothering to the least, about the municipal directive not to dig the roads. In no time, the workers erected scaffolding frames along the roadside with a bridge like structure across the road.  Steel frames were used to create a dais right in the middle of the road with heavy car traffic passing by. I was reminded of those legendary worriers, who fought their battles in the midst of very adverse conditions. These workers also never looked around them and never saw any incoming vehicles. With single-minded devotion and zeal, they set upon their task in the middle of the road. The vehicles, braked, slowed down and detoured. The steel frames were later covered with bright red canopies to give a festive look to the roadside.

The posters came later. These were giant and colourful. All the posters had, like a common denominator, a huge picture of Lord Krishna playing his flute. His chubby face appearing sweet and benevolent.  All around the lord, like a string of butchered demon heads garlanding the goddess kali, some expressionless spooky faces adorned the billboards.  The posters claimed that these were the selfless kind souls, who in their relentless pursuit for the uplift of the downtrodden and poor in the society, had got together to organize this event for the benefit of the true disciples of the lord. The posters also claimed that this group was the only and true representative of the ‘Mohalla’ to organize this great religious Endeavour.  After looking at the posters, I felt that I might not be very enthused to meet any of these characters in person.

The most dreaded piece of equipment arrived on the day of the pot. At first, I was amazed to see two black walls moving towards the center of the road. I soon saw the light that these were not walls but high power audio speakers stacked on top of each other. They were positioned in such a way that any person who happens to be in a wide arc in front of these, would startle and jump when these went on. The combined power of these giant and powerful noisemakers was surely in thousands of watts.

After the speakers were positioned for the kill, a flurry of activity was started. A long rope was hung across the road with a decorated earthen pot tied in the middle. I did not know what it contained.  But I guessed that it would not be filled with sweet yogurt as was preferred by the Lord.

It happened to be a Sunday and after a good meal, I just dozed off. Around mid noon, I was suddenly awakened by a deafening sound. Still under the spell of my afternoon siesta on such glorious warm day, I imagined that I was in the midst of some battlefield. I soon realized that this ghastly unnatural sound originated from the speaker walls across the road and was actually a devotional song in praise of Lord. After a few devotional numbers, the DJ or whosoever was in charge of music selection thought that enough was enough and started with Bhangra,  Disco & Rock numbers. The roar was unimaginable and extremely painful. I tried every trick I could imagine. I closed windows, curtains. Closed all doors and sat in the farthest room. Put on earplugs and even pressed a pillow against my head lying down on the bed. The thumping beat just kept on engrossing and enveloping me.

After some painful and agonizing period, I realized that if I wish to see light of another day, I would have to do something and that to very fast. I got up, locked my door and started walking until I could not hear that killing sound any more.

I do not know whether any modern day incarnation of the Lord actually managed to break the pot to get the yogurt, because when I returned, it was past midnight and things were quiet once again. However, one thing I know for sure. Next morning, when I went for my morning walk, the roadsides were littered with broken liquor bottles and glasses.

24th August 2008


About chandrashekhara

I am a retired electronics engineer. I am interested in writing, reading books. Other hobbies include Paper models, wooden fret work and social networking.


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