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Copyright © 2012 Deepankar
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We had shifted to Bangalore during the summer and the process had taken a toll on us. A vacation was due and one weekend, during the monsoons, we decided to explore the neighboring city of Mysore. It was just a two hour drive. We had booked a resort which unfortunately turned out to be on the outskirts of the city. My wife, Arpana, was angry at the agency that had done the reservations for us but I reasoned with her that we would be out sightseeing most of the time and would come to the resort only to sleep at night and therefore it didn’t really matter if the resort wasn’t in the heart of the city. Transportation was the key issue. The resort staff mentioned that the city had adequate transportation facilities and we need not take our car if we didn’t know the way which suited me fine. There were a lot of places to be seen and we started right after a quick breakfast.
We wanted to get a feel of the real culture of the place and chose to travel by the city buses. We caught a bus to the City Bus Stand and from there took another one to the Chamundi Temple. Arpana was a devout Hindu and had a thing for temples which was a subject of a perennial debate between the two of us. Whenever we went to a new place the first thing she would want to see would be a temple. She would forget the most important of historical monuments or fabulous sights in her search for a holier temple. I was religious too. But I watched myself carefully so that I wouldn’t lose track of logic, reason and science against the insurmountable passions of religion. I liked to worship in private and always found a public display of religiosity a little ridiculous. I wanted to see the famous Mysore palace first, to spend maximum time there, but as always Arpana prevailed over me. ‘That can wait,’ she told me and that was that. Someone had told her at the resort that the Chamundi Temple was one of the holiest in India and the Devi was quite powerful and benevolent. That pretty much settled the course for the day. She told me then she had this connection with Devi and had to visit her first.