Travel for faith: NCR residents cross border to fulfil long pending meeting with...

5 months ago 36
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Unlock 1.0 has allowed reopening of places of worship in Delhi. But, the same continue to remain closed in some parts of NCR. This, however, hasn’t been able to deter the determination of those who had been long away from their revered place of worship. As a result, quite a few residents of Gurugram and even Noida have been crossing the border to visit their religious place in Delhi.

In fact, some residents of NCR had been eagerly looking forward to visit their favourite holy sites, during the lockdown. “I was wanting to visit the Hanuman Mandir in Connaught Place for a long time. Just before the lockdown happened, I had vowed to visit this temple while praying for my grandmother’s recovery after her recent knee surgery. After months, when I finally got a chance to fulfil my promise, how could crossing the border stop me,” asks Nagarjuna Pratap Singh, a resident of Gurugram’s DLF Phase 2, adding, “The feeling of visiting a temple after months was surreal, and the journey across the two states was worth it!”

Some Gurugram residents, who had been waiting eagerly to visit their place of worship during the holy month of Ramzan, have also travelled inter-state, braving the pandemic. “We couldn’t visit the mosque amid the lockdown; even on Eid we stayed indoors to follow the rules of social distancing. Therefore, we were hoping that mosques would open in Gurugram just like they have opened in Delhi. However, that didn’t happen. That’s when I decided to travel to Old Delhi’s Fatehpuri mosque. Even though the long travel was a peril, and constant anxiety about the pandemic stressed me, the happiness of finally getting to be in the mosque and pray released all my stress,” says Suhail Ahmed, who visited the mosque carrying a hand sanitiser and wore mask and gloves.

“I look forward to the temples opening up in my city so that I don’t have to travel so far.” – Geeta Sharma, a Noida resident

For many residents, the lockdown was a period wherein they engaged virtually with the almighty. However, for some that didn’t work out to their satisfaction. “I was hoping and waiting that in the first phase of Unlock, at least our neighbourhood temples and gurdwaras will open. But that didn’t happen in my city,” says Geeta Sharma, a resident of Sector 21, Noida. She adds that she spent the lockdown singing bhajans while staying connected digitally with her friends. “But somehow that didn’t make up for the feeling of attending a real aarti. That’s why I have been insisting on going to Delhi to visit the Kalkaji Temple,” says Sharma adding, “I look forward to the temples opening up in my city so that I don’t have to travel so far.”

Author tweets @FizzyBuddha

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