I've never seen my ma obsess about gods and goddesses, not even a fraction of what my grandparents did. Yes, she offers incense sticks to a laminated picture of Ma Kali every day, and that is it. One's relationship with god, or the lack of it, is a very personal thing, and I am glad she never followed socially dictated norms of letting the entire world know that she is praying.
So it surprised me when she very enthusiastically told me, Kedarnath jachchi! (Going to Kedarnath). It's a holy pilgrimage place in the Himalayas. We have never been there, so it made sense for her to visit. Maybe she was really happy about my new job and move to India. Who knows? People do change with time, although, she could have visited and thanked god in less expensive ways by going to our neighborhood temple or maybe Tarapeeth or Dakshineshwar Kali Mondir or someplace more accessible. But Kedarnath Badrinath? It seemed a bit of an overkill, but then, one's relationship with god is personal! Who am I to judge?
To add to the confusion, she said that she is very excited to see Sushant Singh Rajput. Now I have no idea who this guy is, so I just assumed he is a cricketer who plays for the Indian cricket team. Ma is even less interested in cricket, and too many things seemed wrong in this conversation.
"How far is Kedarnath from there? Are you going with baba?" I asked. I am still trying to understand the logistics, wondering if she is taking the train or flight, and who else is going.
"No, I am going alone."
I am even more confused by her sudden show of bravery by traveling the world alone now!
"It's walking distance, and Tuesday morning shows are half-price."
And just like that, everything suddenly made sense. It was never about god or cricket. It was about a movie called Kedarnath playing in the neighborhood movie theater.
"Ufff, You are growing old rather fast! Tube light ekta," ma told me. Well, I might be getting old real fast, but I am relieved to learn that no supernatural spirits have possessed my ma, and she is just the same! I would be very worried if she suddenly started visiting holy places looking for god or developed an interest in cricket.