24 feb, bharata yatra 2008
washim, vidharbha, maharashtra.
from hyderabad, at 3 am we reached washim. washim is in the vidharbha area, in the state of maharashtra. children and people with their families wide awake, were waiting for amma. the whole street was lit with small oil lamps. people decorated the street in front of their houses with kolam – auspicious designs made with powders.
there are a lot of posters all over the city put up by different people welcoming amma.
maharashtra has had a lot of mahatmas, and they have moulded the culture of this land. This generation too recognizes the value of a mahatma and know how to welcome a mahatma.
in the evening when amma was leaving the house, hundreds of people waiting for a glimpse-on the road, balcony of the neighbors, terrace, looking through the windows.. they were every where. the road was blocked. there were not an inch left. a cow wanted to go to the other side, but not possible. it was amazing: it pushed itself through the crowd with its head to the other side. and people cheered.
the 2 km road to the venue was full with people standing on either side with pranams. when amma came to the venue, it was already overflowing.
i don’t think this city has ever seen such a thing… i asked few. they also have the same opinion. one of the business man of the city said that this is history. he added “the prime minister and chief minister have declared packages of crores. where are they? nothing has reached the farmers of vidharbha so far. amma has has announced 200 crores and she is there giving.”
ladies dressed in traditional attire, standing with oil lamp and flowers in a plate, were waving arati to amma as she walked to the dais. chanting the mantras, their lips were moving up and down vigorously. it was a beautiful sight.
on the gents side, most men were in white cloths, had turbans or white hats. but on the ladies side, it was full of colours. red, green, yellow, pink… all in fluorescent colours. beautiful.
there were over 30 people on the dais. all different political parities — shiv sena, bjp, congress, ncp — those are in opposition and those in power… all came with respect and love for amma. it was beautiful to see all there for the blessings and guidance from amma.
the background was beautiful. the stage is decorated by a series of painting by satish pimpde, portraying amma’s mission. the picture on the very right side, amma’s hands saving the farmers is an apt one for vidharbha.
during the welcome speech the speaker asked the people to respond to the call “mata amritanandamyi devi ki.. all stretched out their hands and called out ‘jai’. it was beautiful.