Monday, November 14, 2005

Tiruvalampozhil - III

So what kind of place is this Tiruvalampozhil? It is your standard unknown village (something like the South Indian Charanpore from Swades) with huge paddy fields along which the hero in a khakhi half trouser runs screaming "aaththaa naan pass aayitten". The aaththaa in question will have an uncanny resemblance to Kamala Kamesh. There are minor deviations though - there is no aala maram (strange, for Tiruvalampozhil) where a couple of elders sits with a sombu and conduct a panchayathu!

Just to set the record straight, I've never worn a khakhi trouser and never ran across the fields crying "aaththaa naan paas aayitten" owing to the facts that I don't have a khakhi trouser and that I've never had the drive to pass exams! And yes, my mother does not bear any resemblance to Kamala Kamesh.

Places like Tiruvalampozhil have a strange effect on you. You come to the place year after year, every year you change while the village remains the same. Its the same old kids with leaky noses, the same old geezers with their soiled loin clothes, the same old ladies with bad stained teeth. The house remains the same, so do the million odd mosquitoes that show a particularly strong affection towards you when you are in the toilet. The place is like some reference point, some fulcrum around which your life revolves. Its like some sequence in a video which is always in a still mode, a backdrop on which you lead your entire life.

In fact it is the perfect backdrop for a lifetime of romance. A open terrace looking towards a golden sunset, rains peeping in through the muRRam, the pungent smell of the cow shed, the feel of the fresh earth on your naked feet, wonderful symphony orchestrated by the birds, the lone lamp flickering by the temple late in the would be a sin to not find love in this kind of a place.

Finding love...sometimes, life makes me think - do you find love or does it find you? Perhaps love is a sentinent being while we are its puppets...

P.S. And sometimes I'm left wondering how an outrageous movie like Austin powers has such lovely songs!!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Tiruvalampozhil - II

Reposting with corrections thanks to Padmasani

ஆலம்பொழிலினிலே ஆத்தோர சோலையிலே
மாலைப் பொழுதினிலே மனசெல்லாம் மயங்கையிலே
பாலோடு தேன் போலே பக்கத்தில் நீயிருக்க
காலம் மறக்குதடி கள்ளெல்லாம் ஊறுதடி

வானஞ் சிவக்குதடி வயக்காடு சிரிக்குதடி
சாணம் போட்ட மாடு ஒன்னு சந்தினிலே சுத்துதடி
கானம் ஒண்ணு நான் பாட கூத்தொண்ணு நீயாட
ஞானம் பொறக்குமடி நல்லதெல்லம் நடக்குமடி

பொன்னியவ கோயிலிலே பொங்கவச்சு பாட்டெடுத்து
கன்னி நீ கையசச்சா கனவெல்லாம் தோணுதடி
பின்னி இழுக்குதடி பம்பரமா உன் கண்ணு
எண்ணி எண்ணி என்மனசு ஏங்கித்தான் போகுதடி

வீட்டிலே விளக்கு வச்சு வீதியிலே கோலம் வச்சு
பாட்டிலே மனசு வச்சு பச்சகிளி உன்ன வச்சு
ஏட்டிலெ ழுதாம வச்சு எனக்குள்ள பத்திரமா
பூட்டி புதச்சு வச்சா பூபூவா பூக்குதடி

மாட்டு வண்டியில மயிலு நீ வாரையிலே
ரோட்டில தான் என் மனசு ராட்டினமா சுத்துதடி
காட்டுக் களத்தினிலே களையெடுக்க நீ போனா
காத்து வந்து வீசியே உன் கண்டாங்கி மயக்குதடி

மேகம் கருக்குதடி மல்லியப்பூ பூக்குதடி
மோகம் தான் மூளுதடி மாமன் பெத்த மரகதமே
தாகம் எடுக்குதடி தண்ணியூத்த நீ வந்தா
சோகம் குறையுமடி சொகமாத் தான் இருக்குமடி

To be continued

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Tiruvalampozil - I

If you were to take the road that is directly opposite to the Kandeeshwarar temple in Kandiyur, you will hit one of the worst maintained (if there is any maintenance being done at all) roads in Tamilnadu. (If you don’t take it you will obviously not hit one of the worst maintained roads in Tamilnadu – I like making my point clear). It was as we hit this road that my mother proposed a murderous attack on one of cousins. This suggestion was not exactly unrelated to the condition of the road that we had just hit…actually, it was the road that had hit our car and the car had hit back at us; that is hard hitting. The cousin in question had in a moment of over-enthusiasm (perhaps under some alcoholic influence) announced authoritatively that the road to Tiruvalampozhil has been improved – ‘jumnu irukku’ were the exact words he had used. I don’t blame him though – we had forgotten to ask the meaning of what is jum.

So, we reached Tiruvalampozhil with the road testing my father’s driving abilities to the maximum (not to mention the occasional surprise test popped by the drunken cyclist) and my brother now joining in the macabre plot to assault the prevaricating cousin. I did not speak. It was an emotional moment for me (Ok, please add the violins, the chorus humming and other sentimental effects that normally appear in Cheran’s movies.). I was coming to this place during Diwali after a break of two years, the first time after I had got my job (a major portion of which involves typing my BLOG).

It is surprising how little a place changes and how much a person changes in the same given time, especially if the place is a hamlet. The ponniamman temple which has seven ammans carved in the same stone has not changed one in the many years that I’ve seen it. Nor has the well opposite to the temple or the torn trouser clad kids who play in the sand nearby.

The car was parked in the familiar lane opposite to our ancestral house. I don’t remember a single time when the car was parked in a place which kept it safe from the perils of street cricket. And just as we were getting down, our illustrious cousin came with a beaming smile unaware of what perils awaited him as well. After my mother and brother had meted out the planned treatment we entered the house. Once again to my knowledge, we have never entered the house before one of the aunts rebuked one of the cousins – a loving family.

Some facts : Tiruvalampozhil is the abode of athmanathar and gyanambal. It is one among the padal petra thalangal. Appar has sung 10 songs in his thiruthandakam on the deity here. Download the entire thevaram from and search for songs 852 to 860. The 10th song has been lost.