Vadodara and its footpath temples

I remember reading Albert Einstein somewhere. “They tell, I am greatest Jew ever born. After my death they will take my bones in a pot, to parties and ceremonies and collect money”. (Not the exact wordings)

There are thousands of footpath temples and “Durgah across India. All of them have built on same way as Einstein told. None of them have legal papers, none of them exist in government papers, No control over the money collected and if some authority takes some action we fight each other.

One of my high school teachers always used to mock this easy way of making money. “Find a nice black rock. Preferably it has a nice shape (like face, or nose etc.). Move it near a road, put “kumkum” on it, and lit a lamp. Stamp a “thrisul” if you have budget. That’s it… congratulations” you get returns end of the day. The return depends on which place you have chosen to erect your footpath temple, and also traffic of that road. Mr. Bechra goes to office daily and while walking to bus stand, this small structure comes into his attention. Now God has a roof on his head. Peep inside there is a stone painted read looking bright in kerosene lamp. Kerosene is not allowed inside the temple since it is believed to be “pranijanya” (source is animals). Only “vanaspati”s, i.e. vegetable oils. I know this information, so do you. Does Mr. Bechara.? A rusted thrishul adds to the fear. Even though he is not being able to recognize which god is sitting inside, he puts five rupees (the day has to go good to his family members also).

If at least five of such people cross the road, you have crossed Indian per capita income for the day. You are rich, think about some more features. A rangoli, some flowers makes it a popular temple of the street. Don’t worry about the government. The day they touch your structure, communal riots will happen and they will lose the next election.

The stories of ” Durgah” s are very similar to what Einstein told. Some Sufi saint would have died, create a Durgah over his name. No papers, No Land… Nothing!! There are thousands of them. Most of them happen to be on the footpath or middle of the road. These structures never did well, instead they obstruct traffic. If some municipal corporation like vadodara takes some action, please welcome it