Monday, December 29, 2014

Betul Boat Ride And Shantadurga Kunkallikarin

One of the messages on whatsapp received recently, said “The last week end of 2014 - Enjoy it”. Our swimming group ‘The early Birds’ took it seriously and decided to do something about the suggestion. An invitation from one of the members to visit his village near Cuncolim for the annual ‘Jatra’ of ‘Shantadurga kunkallikarin’ and have dinner in his house came in handy. The invitation had been there for a week on the  ‘whatsapp’ group and had not received any response. I do not know who let out the word that the major component of 'Teerth' in the ‘Teerth-Prasad’ is going to be ‘Chivas Regal’, suddenly on the Sunday morning there were half a dozen takers. We have another friend whose in - laws live in the nearby village 'Betul' and own a fishing boat. He offered to provide ‘Tea’ - Just real tea - and take us for a ride on the fishing boat in the sea if we could leave a bit early.  A full fledged plan of a ‘pleasure cruise followed by Darshan and teerth prasad’ got in place in no time and was notified.

We were to leave by four but we left by five due to force of habit and when we arrived at Betul it was just past six.  Just a few minutes spent exchanging  pleasantries and we were in the boat.

Getting into the boat - carefully  
Heading towards the open sea. Calm water, cool breeze, beautiful sights, pleasant going. 

The family watches our departure. 
 I got to know some of the facets of fishing as an occupation. It is not a pleasant joy ride for the men who head towards the sea every day. They usually leave at about four in the morning and return by noon or leave in the evening and return after midnight. Tough timings. You spread the nets and wait. I believe the fish move to and fro at dawn and dusk and get into the nets during the process. The catch depends more on your luck than on your skills. And so are the chances of returning alive - when the sea is rough. Out there you are on your own. Our friend's family has lost a son. It is nearly eight years now. The wound is still there - but life goes on.
A resort across the waters. If only the 'teerth prasad' was served here!

It is not so calm in the open sea. The nose rises up and dips down constantly. It is getting dark and some stomachs are turning queasy.
Our hosts do not mind going on for some more time but it is getting dark and there are a few requests to turn back. The light is low and the camera refuses to work. We head back. 
What looks like some christmas decoration is the fishing net hung out to dry. 
  After the stomachs relaxed, the group refreshed itself with Tea and snacks and headed for the Jatra.

'Deepasthasmbha' in front of the Shantadurga temple at Cuncolim.

And the temple at 'Jatra' time.
Paid our respects to the twin deities Shantadurga kuncallikarin and shantadurga fatarpekarin, partook the teerth prasad at our friend's place where the teerth flowed liberally and returned home after a nice evening - the last week end of 2014.

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