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Suddenly, I see faith floating down in a plastic, disposable bowl, even as a chorus begins to praise the Mother. “Jai Gange Maata..”

The flame of the aarti is so close that I feel the heat on my skin. My eyes alternate between the ebullient flare gyrating in the hands of the pandits and the plastic diya that is assigned with the task of fulfilling its patron’s wish and wash away his/her sins. The Mother does this day after day at the cost of her own well-being.

Elsewhere, in the land of lush green, rivers have turned murderous. A sharp shiver goes down my spine.

As I watch the styrofoam lamp sink at a distance, I say a silent apology. To That which creates, sustains and destroys.

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