Astrologer studied my “jhatakam” (horoscope) with profound attention. At once, he gestured “She is going through testing times. God seems to be quite unhappy with her. She needs to make few visits to temples to get things back to normalcy.” This caused a huge concern and commotion in my aunt’s mind, she made a frantic call to my mom and said “Its time for pilgrimage. Call her up and summon her as soon as possible.”
And that was it! Last Thursday, I packed my bag and made a short trip to appease and make peace with deities at Guruvayur, Palani and ancestral home.
I reached home early morning on Friday and within an hour’s time, I was on my way to Guruvayur. Newspaper reported of a huge crowd swarming in to get “darshan” of "Lord Guruvayurappan" (avatar of Krishna), but Friday seemed to be my fortunate day or should I say, Lord was indeed in a generous mood/mode. Apart from a decent "darshan" of Lord, got an invite to have “prasada ootu” (sumptuous feast at temple) which was quite lingering and lip smacking!
At any time, on any day, the atmosphere in Guruvayur is serene and silent, amidst vast turnout the temple, the sanctum are maintained well, clear and clean, adding more luster and sheen. We called it shots, by evening we were back in Palakkad, discussing and deciding to meet at wee hours, the next day.
Now that we had pleased Lord Vishnu (The Preserver in Hindu mythology), it was time for Lord Shiva (The Destroyer) to shower his blessings. We started our journey to Palani at about 6am, a temple which had "Lord Murugan" (son of Shiva and Parvathy) as the main deity. Having a cuppa tea in the empty stomach, we were pretty hungry on arrival at Palani. We headed towards “New Tirupur Hotel” (supposed to be the best in the town), but there are no words to express the nauseating experiences we had there w.r.t lavatories and food. It’s high time for my fellow Tamilians to work on their personal and environmental hygiene (no offense meant whatsoever!)
While mom and I decided to climb all the way up, dad and aunt chose to use the rope way, their ill health shattering their hopes to do it the hard way! It took us solid 15 minutes to ascend the hill while dad and aunt reached in less than 5 minutes. Money speaks a lot in Palani, we indeed had a special “darshan”, a kind of direct rendezvous with the Lord. Throngs of “pujaris” were conducting “pujas” and distributing “prasadams” to the special set of devotees! It made me wonder how Lord was taking in and tolerating all the corruptions that were unfolding in front of his divine eyes! What were scarce at Palani were found in abundance at Guruvayur – sacrosanctity, serenity, decorum and discipline!
On our way back we decided to surprise my uncle by visiting him, but he wasn’t surprised at all because we had informed him about our visit while having lunch at Pollachi. His wife prepared some scrumptious “gobi bhajji” (a delicacy made of cauliflower) for snacks and must say it was the best food that I had on that day! We reached Palakkad at about 7pm dog-tired.
A day when I tracked down my ancestors, being a Malayalee, I inherently inherit maternal surname! We reached “Nallukettu” (ancestral home) at Kuttanur (nearly 10 to 15 kms from Palakkad town) by 10.30 am. We were welcomed by an old grannie (still not able to figure out how she is related to me) who remembered my mom and aunt. Though it was extremely hot outside, the Nallukettu was quite cool and chilly, must say, craftsmen during those times had immaculate skills! We prayed to our “Kulla Daivam” – "Amma Bhagavathy" and "Lord Ayyappa"! I also got to meet the oldest member of my family – a dignified, distinguished grandpa. Talking to him was indeed an eye opener for me!
Overall it was an enriching and exhilarating experience to trace my roots, a feeling similarly shared by Alex Haley!
Three day pilgrimage did cleanse my soul and spirit, so isn’t it time to get back to my sinful, sinister ways again?
5 years ago