The Maha Kumbh in Allahabad has perhaps no parallel in terms of the sheer size of the congregation. In less than two months over 100 million people are expected to come to this city, at the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna. But even as they celebrate the rivers it seems they don’t see the rivers, but only the ritual.

This mela is about how the Hindu religion — and I believe all religions — is based on a deep understanding of and respect for nature’s strength. But we now worship without reason. So people can take a dip in the polluted river but still believe that the dirt, the filth and the plastic that swims around them will not defile the river’s properties. Our strength has become our weakness.