Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Maduraikku pogathedee..

After pacing around in the scorching heat of Madurai, I finally find myself in the temple complex of the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Kovil.

The first thing that catches my attention is the blissful ecosystem with the peepals and the neems hanging over the ever clean tiled street surrounding the  Amman Kovil. I would consider myself a criminal if I ever understated the bliss and calm around. The soothing hymns floating along keeps the air even more rhythmic.

For those with an appetite there are many options. But right now I am after the famous Jigardanda alone. Waiting for some space to be made after the heavy lunch I had at the wedding, not to forget the extra load of soft drinks and tea that I had.

The experience becomes even more blissful after couple of hours of roaming along the streets under the hot sun, carrying a sizeable bag. The heat is slowly getting on me, and sweat flows down my face but I was strolling slowly.

I had been to the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Kovil a couple of times before this, and I still had around three hours before my train back to Bangalore. Having lots of time helped me observe many things around me. The hawkers selling  a variety of colourful bangles and cosmetics passed by with their wares, and were followed by a father holding his son's hands and telling him stories while walking around the compound. I wondered how many times my father would have held my hands and took me to umpteen places telling me fake stories to prevent me from running away ;) That moment, I wished to be home, to stop roaming and sit besides him and listen to the stories that he has to tell now.

Snapping out of my emotional whirlpool after a moment, I decided to take a good look at the gopuram. I think it was the South one I visited first. After a few attempts at clicking photos, I felt like an idiot and decided to examine the art work with my eyes. Roving my eyes over the large structure made my neck pain and I decided to take in the sight at ease. So, very much unlike my usual practice to stand and walk for long hours, I decided to sit down and enjoy the marvel in front of me. Nothing else was in my mind when I was immersed in the beauty of the ancient construction. Each demon, each God, every mythical figure in it seemed to weave stories in my head as the facts about Madurai's history kept rolling into my head from some storage. I might even have had a full blown historical and artistic conversation within my head before I decided to snap out of it and tweeted the pic of the beautiful tower :)
the towering beauty
Seeing me sitting on the footsteps of a closed shop, staring at the sky, a couple of roadside palmists approached me and tried to make me take the bait by offering to predict my career, matrimonial ventures and even going as far as claiming that from my face it was clear something big was coming :) I managed to break out of their circle and walked to the next tower. On the way, I found a hand loom showroom where I decided to check out sarees for Amma and found even more beautiful ones than the ones I had bought from Pothy's a while ago. But after getting a firm scolding from Amma for overpurchasing I managed to filter only two good sarees from that shop and moved on.

I didn't find the other towers to be as imposing as the Southern one, but they were pretty good as well. I soon found myself approaching the shopping areas and bagged some Amla and also managed to down a tasty cup of Jigardanda

 before I decided that I had eaten too much and started walking in the direction of the railway station, hoping I will take a couple of hours to reach. But it so happened that the railway station was too close :(
Tired after all the walk and all the food, I dropped my bag and sat down beside the platform, tweeting and whatsapping a bit even as my phone battery threatened to die out soon. All of sudden it started raining and I had to pick up everything and move to the first platform, grumbling all the way. My eager eyes soon found a notice which read "AC waiting room. Rs.10/- per hour. Tickets available at Platform I". It was pasted outside the waiting room, and so I guessed it meant I had to take the tickets from the ticket counter and went in search of it. Phew, it was a near 10 minute tired walk to get there and after another 5 minutes in the queue, the person at the ticket counter informed me that the tickets were available at the waiting room itself. I smiled a weak smile, thanked him and trudged back.

What followed was an hour of a repacking, recharging and telling the stories to all my friends. I stayed some extra time in the AC room until the train finally arranged and I had an uneventful journey besides a fully loaded
The murukkus, paan packets, kaaracheeva packet and couple of sarees bulged my bag as I put myself to a tough sleep among the chug-chug of the railgaadi :)


1 comment:

  1. madurakk pogamateen ;) but reading this compels one to visit..especially jigarthanda :) :)