I have always wanted to go to the Kumbh Mela. I console myself that this is just the Ardh Kumbh Mela, the real one is to come in 6 years. Why do I want to go to the Kumbh Mela so much ? I am not religious…
… but because I want to feel a total sense of loss of Individuality. Being just one insiginificant one amongst a huge mass of millions can be a humbling experience. Living here in London, directing movies, always being some one, always being written about. All this imposes a sense of self importance that has become a heavy burden I carry. I want desperately to be free of it. But so difficult to let go.
I watched on CNN and although they were extremely respectful of the Mela, they did consitently mention the hazards of pollution when upto 12 million people congregate on the banks of the rivers. Especially when they are drinking the same waters in which 12 million people are bathing and whatever else.
But why does everyone not get sick then ? I have never heard of an epidemic that has been swelled by the Kumbh Mela ?
Is it true then, that such faith and belief can counter any disease that you may pick up ?
Many years ago I went to Amarnath. There is a particularily steep stretch which will test the best athletes. Yet I saw old people, sick people, people who should have been in wheelchairs climb that stretch invoking the Gods to help them in their journey.
I must go to the Maha Kumbh Mela in 6 years.