AYODHYA: While Ayodhya is decked up in festive 'yellow' (pitambari) to celebrate the bhoomi pujan for the Ram temple, 'closure' is an overbearing sentiment in the temple town as the D-day draws closer. With just two days to go for D-day, this sentiment transcends caste, class, social groups and even religions.
“Dhal chuki hai shama muskura le sanam, ek nayi subaha duniya mein aane ko hai..... (the candle is about to melt, just smile my beloved as a new dawn is around the horizon) ” this how Mahant Virendra, an austere, sums up the common mood of Ayodhya as soon as one enters temple town.
It has been a long wait for those yearning for the mandir. It has been a little less than a year since the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict for the construction of the temple.
The trust was formed on February 5, 2020 and it was planning for Bhoomi Pujan during Navratra in March-April 2020. However, the coronavirus creeped in to pulverize the world. Now that the realisation has dawned that the temple construction would finally begin two days from now, Ayodhya is having a sigh of relief.
“Shubh ghadi bas apne dwar par hai. Ab prateeksha ke pal samapt hone ko hain. Bhavanayen mukhar ho rahi hain par shabd saath chhod rahe hain. Prasannata na keval Ayodhya ke har kan mein hai apitu usse sampurna rashtra aur samast vishwa ke Ram Bhakt anubhav kar rahe hain (Auspicious moments are now at our door step. The wait is about to over. Emotions are high but words are failing to express the feelings. Joy is not only in the air of Ayodhya but it is across the nation and is being felt by Ram devotees across the globe)”, says Mahant Raju Das, head priest of revered Hanumangarhi temple.
The rancour piled up after seven decades of legal battle and three decades of political one-upmanship over the ownership of 2.77 acre of land, is melting. All in while, the town was in a crossfire and caught in a time warp. Now is the time for breaking away. For both Hindus and Muslims. Says Mohammad Ismail Ansari, member Babri Masjid Action Committee: "We have buried the past. Now, is the time to move ahead. We all want development of Ayodhya. Temple will bring a slew of development projects. The town needs them desperately. We all are ready to welcome out PM."
It's the most emotional moment for local Hindus born before 1990s. Most are at a loss to describe it in words. Even a year ago, when asked about the temple, they would reply with characteristic sarcasm that how political parties were keeping the issue alive for electoral gains. Now that it is going to happen, they are overwhelmed. “We are fortunate to live this moment. The only regret that my father, who was part of the temple movement, could not be a part of this historic event which will herald altogether new era of positivity, development and growth. My father’s wait remained unending as he passed away last year,” says Abhisar Tiwari, a student of Saket Degree College.
As the city dons a ‘Pitambar’ (an ochre sheet), the favourite colour of Lord Ram, the songs of celebrations emanate from thousands of temples of the town. Ayodhya has over 40,000 temples. There is hardly any street or house without a temple. “This is the favourite colour of our beloved Ram. We have painted all out house in yellow,” says Amrita Shukla while decorating the front of her house with a beautiful ‘Rangoli’. Murals adorning the walls narrate the instances from Ramayana depicting the life and time of Lord Ram.
“Aaj Ayodhya ki har gali, har marg, har deewar prabhu ke agman ke spandan ko anubhav kar raha hai. Ayodhya utsahit hai unke swagat ke liye, unke mandir nirman ke liye .. ek swapna akaar lene ko tayyar hai (every street of Ayodhya can feel the pulse. We are ready to welcome our beloved Lord Ram. A dream is set to take shape),” says Mahant Parmahans Das of Tapasvini Chhavni. At Kanak Bhawan, as a group of women sing welcome songs in local Awadhi dialect, the coronavirus caution has been thrown to the wind. The revelries in the air have inculcated the confidence among Ayodhyaites that no virus can now harm them.
“There may be Corona. It will not be able to do any harm to any of us. We are now protected by the ‘kavach’ of our Prabhu Ram,” says Poonam Singh leading the group of women singing bhajans and dancing to the tune of tabla.
As one proceeds further, the flow of Saryu, swollen to the brink in the monsoons, seems set to be a witness to another testimony to the divine legacy of the land of Lord Ram. “It’s going to be a Diwali before Diwali this year in Ayodhya. Had coronavirus not been there, it would have been a double Diwali,” says potter Ashok Kumar in a nearby village Jaisinghpur. He has been entrusted to make 1 lakh earthen lamps before August 4.
“The banks of Saryu will come alive with lakhs of diyas. These waves carrying diyas will dance to the divinity. We will celebrate a three-day long diwali as the dream of ages is coming true. We will recreate Treta yug,” says Chandan Gupta, shop keeper near the banks of Saryu.
On the other side, a group of youngsters are preparing the ghat for the illuminating it with around a lakh diyas each on all three days of rituals. As one reaches the Karyashala (workshop), one finds that work of cleaning and carving the stones is going on war footing. Abuzz with hectic activity as it also houses the office of Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, marathon meetings are going on for making arrangements for the D-Day.
“We are not sleeping a bit these days and still there is no fatigue. The zeal to translate our eternal dream into reality has given us the strength to withstand this pressure,” says Neeraj Singh, with a smile and rushes for fulfil the responsibility he is entrusted with.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)