Maha Kumbh Mela - where millions congregate, many of them to be freed from the vicious earthly cycle of life and death and move towards a liberated realm that knows no suffering or pain. At its zenith, more than 30 million surge towards the confluence of three rivers (one non-extant) at Prayag (Allahabad), to take a holy dip in Sangam with an eternal hope - things will be better. Being irreligious, I had no predefined narrative when I visited the Mela at Allahabad and Varanasi, often hailed as the pilgrimage capital of India. Saints and rituals didn't interest me much, but I was enthralled by the pilgrims, common men and women, some travelling hundreds of miles from their villages all over India, to take a dip in the holy waters. Their humbling simplicity and perseverance through hardship with nary a complaint was baffling to urban dwellers like me.