I am back to my bloggingJanuary 25, 2007 at 11:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
As I had adequately advertised with itinerary and all, I was away at Madras, Thiruvannamalai and Pondicherry for a couple of days each, and returned to find that our web connection was off and I felt handicapped and maimed with my virtual world shut out for over a couple of days. I was elated to get my net connection back this afternoon, and I promptly emptied my yahoo mail inbox after a peremptory perusal, taking time only to quickly browse the photographs some mails provide. I sent a few mails and messages and logged into my wordpress account. I could see that the world has just passed me by, not missing my absence very much at all. Anyway, a quick report on my trip.
My only new experience at Madras was to catch an intercity bus from the new Koyambedu Bus Station. I made a few visits to my sisters’ and uncles and aunts’ homes not having enough time to meet more people of my age. The one interesting person I met was my nephew Deepak’s wife Vidya who expressed horror that I just dumped all my book collections at a second hand shop because she would have preferred to cull some useful books from my collection. I did have some good biographies, fiction, books like How to win friends and influence people, and a lot on software, logic, economics, books on exotic subjects like palmistry, your heart in your hands, women who ran with wolves, etc. My interest in books is varied and not restricted to any category, and I choose books like an ostrich gobbling up bright objects. Books on mind games, mathematic puzzles, heart and the palm, and anything.
This was not the only time I ditched my books. Earlier too, I had lots of second hand book collections and when they start overflowing, I either gave away to a library, simple let people filch some, and even sold to old newspaper buyers.
I must mention my trip to Thiruvannamalai. I was feeling jittery about the travel by bus to a temple city which is bound to be crowded with pilgrims and devotees. As a matter of fact my stay was quite comfortable. Had I been a few years youngers, I would have preferred to have performed the Girivalam, the act of circumambulating the holy hill on well laid out roads, lit up even at nights by sodium vapor lamps, on foot even alone; but I was not ready to brave such a walking ordeal of about 16 kilometers.
So I performed the Girivalam in an autorickshaw visiting the five shrines to the Lingams, the Ashrams on the route, and ended up at the Arunachaleswarar Temple. I defered the visit to the temple for the next day, and proceeded to Ramanashram and produced proof of the Ashram letter permission to accommodate me with room and boarding. That was in the evening, and I had the ashram daily schedule printout with me. I freshened up and went round the Ashram and located all the halls, shrines, samadhis and dining hall. I first spent a few minutes of communion in front of the samadhi of my granduncle, Sri Viswanatha Swamy, whom we all affectionately called Viswanna in our family circle, who lived and attained samadhi in the Ramanashram, living the life of a celibate ascetic throughout his life. The samadhi is marked by a small enclosed room with a lingam in the centre, a photograph of Ramana Maharshi and what moved me most, a photograph too of Viswanna, the mere sight of which brought tears to my eyes. More than to Ramana, I wanted to do penance in front of Viswanna’s samadhi. I have met him a lot of times in my Periappa’s house. Sometimes he used to talk to me about lofty things in life though I don’t recall a word of what he said then, nor I would have understood their import, but his simplicity, calmness and a godfatherly attitude always impressed me. He was a simple approachable person, and I, having been a student of philosophy, used to ask him questions on philosophy. I haven’t learnt of his activities in the Ramanashram. I remember having heard that he was also connected with the Ashram publication Mountain Path publication.
I witnessed the Ashram Bhajans, Pujas, and proceedings, paid my respects at the samadhi of Sri Ramana, visited the temple in the Ashram premises, partook of the Ashram foods, made a modest donation, and aborted my stay there by one day. I could find that I was not yet ripe or ready for such austere atmosphere as my mind was swayed by my worldly attachments. I left the Ashram, checked in to a hotel near the temple, had my wash etc., and went to the Arunachaleswarar Temple. As I mentioned just now, austerity and godliness don’t come naturally to me, and hence my visit to the temple was more of an aesthetic value because I admire temple sculpture and this temple is famed to be quite an old one. The temple was not overly crowded and hence the atmosphere was quite agreeable, and I like peaceful surroundings. That winds up my long cherished visit to Thiruvannamalai and Ramanashram. It was still morning hours and so I checked out, took an auto to the Bus Station and travelled to Pondicherry.
I reached my son’s in-laws’ house where I stayed for two days. Raju and Rupa also had left Yercaud to reach Pondicherry late on the same night. My two days’ eating out had upset my stomach badly, and so I let Raju and Rupa enjoy the culinary delicacies prepared by Rupa’s mother, restricting myself to dietfood. I missed delicious Poori potatoes, a restaurant binge, and some more delicacies at home, all because of my bad stomach, which to this day hasn’t settled well yet. Raju left for Madras the second day after, to join his team from office, to interview and select candidates from IIT Madras. The next morning I and Rupa travelled by taxi to Madras, took our train to Hyderabad, and here we are back to our routine.
This outing has taught me one thing and that is not to go in search of outward things. The moral is to await great moments to happen inside you, of their own accord.