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.