Monday, May 3, 2010

Banganga, Drains of Ganges

Banganga, Drains of Ganga,
It sounds rude when one calls it drains, but that’s the current scenario. “Banganga, the water is believed to come from Holy Ganga River.” Known to be the sacred destination on charts of Mumbai Darshan, this is the output of internet search.
In the midst of the sky scrapers that represents some of the most expensive real estate in the world, lies the Banganga with its shanties. Mumbai’s pride, Banganga, the tank’s origins are lost in mythology. The place known for its serenity and sanctified waters now is in an awful and unpleasant state. Wikipedia claims that the tank is cleaned every January before the Banganga Festival, but one look at the tank, it seems that hasn’t been cleaned since years together. There are priests performing poojas and then tossing the remains of it (nirmalyas as they are called) in the so called healing waters, eventually turning it into sullied waters. In the same one finds the devotees purifying themselves with the paradox of trash and rotten stuff.
Shiva linga with it holy saga finds its place in a corner with garlands of filth around it.
One feels consoled to see the contradiction, the adorable duck overdose, gently waddling on water surface. Few providing backdrop to the rituals by the pujaris on the steps of the ghat.
Banganga, is supposed to be a heritage structure, also has few remains of ancient stone step, which seem to be lost this chaos of dirt. It was two years ago, when the restoration of heritage was in picture, and present scenario has its own story.
On an ending note, all this humble mango man has an earnest plea, to preserve the pious waters of Banganga from turning into mossy waters. Also to conserve the benchmark of being the sacred destination of Amchi Mumbai.