Monday, January 17, 2005

Meendum Srirangam

Srirangam has not changed much in these past 1.5 years. The roads have become more pothole ridden thanks to the development of underwater drainage schemes. The ride from Srirangam station to home was like a ride on a maattu vandi (bullock cart). Apparently, the copious rain of the past year also contributed to road woes. The crowds have increased considerably. I was told that even Srirangam temple regulars couldn't go to the temple on Vaikunda Ekadasi because of unprecedented crowds! The temple is as it has always been. New paintings depicting the history of the Sriranga Vimanam have been added near the Garudazhwar Sannidhi. And a new Devasthanam stall has sprung up selling calendars and books about the temple. Other than that, even the bhattars in the sannidhis have not changed. As usual, I got very good sevai (helps to know all the bhattars around the temple. A simple "Enna maama, sowkiyama irukkela? Ungalai parka dhaan US-lerndhu vandhen..." will do wonders!)
Visited Nachimuthu Stores near the southern entrance and a couple of other well known faces. A new Vasan Medicals store has opened in Subha Complex in Srirangam. This will alleviate the pain of going to Malaivasal for rare medicines, especially for the plentiful octogenerians in Srirangam.
Thirumanjana Kaveri has water flowing plentifully. Usually, this is a small stream with a trickle of water. In my four years there, I've never seen this much water flowing through the stream. Lends a greenish cover to the surroundings. Looks really pretty.
The familiar flower vendor near Mangamma Nagar remembered me and offered me 2 mozhams of jaathi poo at a discounted price for me (Rs. 6 for 2 mozhams. Apparently, it is Rs. 10 otherwise). She even remembered my favorite flower. It was quite gratifying and satisfying to be remembered affectionately by these simple people.
It was just a whirlwind trip around Srirangam in the brief 2 days I had there. In a world of change, it was reassuring to see that my old town had not really changed much. Tenuous though it may be, it gave me a sense of security and belonging.
Watch out for pictures of Trichy in forthcoming posts. More on Trichy coming up....


shadow said...

ennama.....orey aiyer vaaadai...nice blog ...good ...

kichami said...

namascar subha iread about Sakkaraipongal and Ur journey.The common bond is Srirangam where I was born brought up married etc etc.Mami's sarkaraiPongal receipe may be palatable with more jaggery but as per Aandal's receipe the ghee should flow down into the forearm.Vow! My wifw a naturopath Dr shudders at the idea.I am writing of Srirangam 60 years ago in my blog.<. My son with whom I am staying in Maryland is collecting info on Indian bloggers in his>< U can link.All the best in Ur endevours.My niece Sowmya is in Kentucky.