is to be our last substantial stop before arriving in
Nabadwip, expected for lunch time the next day, except
for another roadside Prasadam stop in the evening. It
is therefore nice to be able to take a shower in this
place, since about 20 hours of being on the road still
lay ahead of us. The shower situation is much like the
Ksirachora Gopinath experience, except this place is bigger
and less crowded. Also I feel more confident this time,
on arranging a 'gamcha shower' under a single tap, and
feel happily refreshed afterwards.
evening stop is five or six hours later, and quickly managed.
I sit and write until Prasadam is served, quite charmed
by the little temple reflecting on the small lake on the
roadside where we stopped. It is almost invisible in the
darkness compared to the bright lights that assisted many
cooks from various coaches, as well as stall-keepers,
to perform their duties. From near the water's edge, if
you fortunately stumble across the lake like I did, it
is amazing how crickets' songs fill your ears as the stars
shine brightly above, and you could almost forget where
you are - just meters from the highway!
As I expect, I sleep not a wink during the night. This
was my main concern when I was contemplating catching
the bus or otherwise, as I can never sleep in road vehicles
at all, and I had found it very exhausting on the way
to Puri. But this time, most of the journey is already
complete, and no more visits are planned until reaching
the Nabadwip Temple.
I have become very grumpy in the morning in comparison
to my jolly good humour throughout the day on the bus
yesterday. Tolerance levels do tend to fall when you have
slept six hours one night then been in a coach with no
sleep for more than 24 hours, with about five left to
go, but we all survive it and it is well worth it. There
is something more to the experience to doing a pilgrimage
in austere conditions, in a large group of devotees together.
Although I speak little Bengali and they almost no English,
we communicate with smiles and even some affection has