Ordinarily nothing exciting or even interesting happens at work in the lives of those in the Government. But occasionally, there will be something that will put in a bit of excitement though transient, for those, like me, who are lucky. If not anything else I am travelling very often making a trip a month, usually to Delhi. But sometimes I get to travel to a different place, like Bengaluru, Bubaneshwar and also Tirupati. Sometime in 2012 I guess I went to Tirupati on an official visit and incidentally had darshan at the famed Temple of Balaji in Tirumala.
Only a couple of weeks before, in the first week of this month, I had made a trip to Tirupati with my family for the darshan. While the train was moving out of the station at Tirupati I had the same thought that everyone who visits Tirumala has, that is, when the next trip would be. Even before a month has passed I got a chance to visit Tirupati again, this time on an official visit. I was accompanying a team of officials of the Government of India. Because of the importance of the visit the team was accorded State Guest status which meant that they would be accorded many privileges not available to others. Naturally, some of the privileges extended to those following them and I was one of those in the retinue.
After the meeting at Tirupati on Monday afternoon we went up the hills to Tirumala. I got a large room for myself at a nice guest house on the top. Since we had to get up at around one a.m. in the night in order to have an early morning darshan, I went to bed early. At 2-30 am we entered into the temple and were taken to the inner temple in such an incredibly short time. This normally takes hours and I felt lucky to have made it in a matter of minutes. The luckiest thing was that I was able to stand in the Sanctum Sanctorum for a full five minutes having a wonderful darshan that others only can dream about. In 2006 too while I was posted in the Vigilance Department I got a similar opportunity. At this early hour, the attendants in the temple are relaxed and in no hurry to shoo off the people like they do in the rest of the day. In fact, one of the attendants asked me to move closer to have a better darshan of the deity. Darshan over, we rushed to the airport to catch the flight back to Hyderabad.
This was one dream trip I am unlikely to forget.