Thursday, November 19, 2009
In search of er er er er erotica !
This post is dedicated to dear , sweet Geet through whose enthusiastic and eager , loving eyes and heart we spent a wonderful weekend in Orissa ; Geet who grew up in Bhubaneshwar and loved the city and its sights and wanted to show us everything beautiful and interesting and exciting in her "ilaaka" . After spending a lovely morning visiting the temples that dotted the city we were all set to go to Konark and then get a glimpse of the famous Bay of Bengal and if we had time then maybe even drive down the Marine Drive hugging the beach all the way from Konark to Puri.
Geet was very keen that we visit one of the temples just outside of the city which she said had some very interesting paintings but she was not very sure of its name or location . Intent on getting to Konark before it got too late and the Sunday crowd peaked no one really gave much thought to this suggestion . Seeing how restless she was we did say somehting like maybe we would if there was time but that was it. All the way , once we were on the road , one did realise she was desperately trying to recollect where it was. One of us asked what was so special about it and amidst some blushing and umming and errrr...it came about that the temple had some absolutley calssic , erotic paintings. That was enough to alert the antenna of the guys with us and soon they too joined in trying to locate the temple , pressing the driver of our Innova to see if he knew of this place.
Munna our driver cum guide rolled into one seemed more intent on getting us to Konark telling us we would find all that and more in the famous Sun Temple . Geet tried to get some information from her brothers with whom she had been there before and tried to get the help of GPRS on her phone to try and download some information but it was no go . We teased her mercilessly all the way to Konark where we definitlely were not disappointed.
In fact we were stunned into an awed, admiring silence looking at the undeniable magnificnce of one of the greatest examples of erotic scuptures and architecture.
Nothing could diminish the impact of the granduer we were face to face with. This marvel in stone had weathered all kinds of storms over centuries and here we were blessed to be able to revel in its beauty. Who has not seen countless images of this temple with its perfeclty proportioned chariot wheels and the squat , black pagoda like tower ; seeing it in real life simply took our collective breath away. Munna bhai our garrulous charioteer decided we would benefit from the service of a proper guide so that we had a
" history knowledge" person to take us around, left us in the hands of a very eager and earnest looking little man who lost no time in taking command of his troop. And oh boy did he take over ! We were all soon in splits over his seriously over enthusiastic and graphic expalnations of the er er er well there was no getting away from it , the erotic images. He seemed to get more and more carried away with the descriptions and we were subjected to a serious dissertation of "sexual activites " of "that time " of how and when and with "whom all" and it took all our collective efforts not to dissolve into helpless laughter at the poor man's totally sincere efforts . He told us of the three levels of man's life cycle and how childhood should be spent in play as depicted in the lower portions of the temple with images of elephants and horses; of how in the second level of life , one's youth was to be indulged in "sexual activity" ( he loved the term and did not lose a single chance to use it ) and finally as the third level of the temple carvings showed, how life in its final stage had to be devoted to spiritual pursuits.
As we gazed at the panels and the columns and the intricate carvings and the beauty , the incredible beauty of what we were gazing upon sank into our consiciousness , believe me not one of us needed any guide's ministrations or commentary to tell us what it was that was being unravelled before our eyes. The absolute beauty of the human form , the conjoining of male and female in simple adoration of the life force left us all in a stilled state of silent wonder. This was a true celeberation of life ; true worship of man's prowess in gay abandon ! Oh dear from whence came this prudery then , in which our society shrouds itself now ?
We walked around , gazing in rapt and silent wonder at each of the 24 wheels of the massive stone chariot , and I think even our guide finally felt that no one needed to say anything more ; the silent stone was saying it all and we were hearing its story ourselves in speechless wonder.
As we posed for one final picture we were a silent , subdued group knowing we had become a part of something that had been handed down to us generation after generation , a lesson in worship and love ; in the cycle of life and creation and we were blessed !!
But , we also realised that Munna and the guys were still doing some energetic research on Geet's lost temple for they had apparently been told by our guide that he knew exaclty what they were talking about and (of course) he knew where this particular temple was. So we all piled into the car in pursuit of further enlightenment with carefully given directions and instructions as to how to get there . Plans to proceed to Puri were abandoned and after a quick diversion to the beach ( I was not going to sacrifice a viewing of the Bay of Bengal , erotica be hanged !!) where we took in the unbeleivable blue of sea and sky , we were off in search of that demmed elusive temple
For over two hours we drove , over bad roads, past gorgeous emerald fields , pulling up everytime we spotted someone who could confirm we were on the right, albeit pot holed track and finally came upon the temple . It was tiny , beautiful and an incredible bit of architectural marvel but definitely did not loook like it had erotica enshrined in it, no sir. The setting sun burnished it with a golden glow and a bunch of school children picnicking by its side further put paid to any chances of even remotely erotic possibilites
Moreover the last crushing blow was dealt when we read upon the little board that the intricate carvings and paintings in this temple were dedicated to secualr themes.
So the search goes on for that elusive temple that Geet has all of us in earnest pursuit of !!!