Days were excruciatingly hot. Villages provided a change of pace with visits to marketplaces. The family routinely stopped to worship at almost every temple or shrine. At Agra, they stayed a week visiting Lord Shiva’s four temples at the four corners of the city. They prayed at each and placed flowers on the linga, symbol of Lord Shiva’s life force. But Rama no longer participated with her heart. She schooled her mind to control her emotions. Banging gongs, incense, and chanted mantras assailed Rama’s senses without stirring her soul. The gods were far away, uninterested in humanity.
Srinivas recited at every stop, but Rama didn’t listen, nor did she care
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