Trip to Trivandrum, Aug 2006
I had been to Trivandrum last week for a couple of days (and 3 nights) to attend Varun’s first birthday celebrations. It was a welcome break from the monotonous Chennai life, and enabled me to catch up with my family and friends.
I also performed the Avani Avittam in a very traditional and satisfying manner at the Lalit Mahal Kalyana Mandapam, Trivandrum, along with about 100 others. The Vadhiyar was Kannan Vadhiyar’s b-i-l from Chennai, and he was acting as the stand-by for Kannan Vadhiyar who is on a trip to US. This Chennai Vadhiyar said towards the end of the 150 minute function that “In places like Chennai and Mumbai, people just don’t care about these things…there is no Shradha. You people are really lucky to be having the time on your hands to perform this all important function with such care and devotion. I am very glad to see this kind of a crowd in Trivandrum. I am from Chennai and I know what I am talking about, believe me”.
He then eulogized the greatness of Papps and his city, by quoting a few lines from the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Kshethra Mahatmyam (or something of that sort), which went something like “You must have done kodi punyam to live in the city of Papps. Unlike most other places, here is a place where if you go to the market and buy something, you earn Punya. That is how sacred this place is”. It was really great to hear that. I do miss Trivandrum and the life in the Fort area with all the temples! I was telling someone recently..”to know why they call it as the sanctum sanctorum, come to Kerala and visit a(ny) temple! There is, sadly, no alternative to that!”.
The highs of the trip including meeting Rena (Renuka who is Reghu’s sister) and her family, after a gap of about two years. I also got to catch up with Reghu, Sundar Anna, Sarada Periammai, Ananthan, Sankara Mama, Rema and Thylu Mami. Preethi’s Appa was kind enough to visit us for Varun’s bday bash, and my parents were having a nice time showing him the various temples, whenever the rain allowed them to move out.
To make matters interesting, both Harish and Mahesh were also available at Trivandum for Avani Avittam. We had a really nice time doing some shopping for Mahesh, and I got to spend some quality time with both of them and their folks at their place.
I got hold of Harish and enjoyed the ride in his car to Sunil’s place, where I handed over the invitation card to his parents, and I did the same at Sarath’s place. We then visited Jiju’s place, and to my utter surprise and shock found that they are having a big dog at their place (someone’s gift) and it only means one thing to me: I am not welcome anymore :).
We concluded that car trip with a visit to Archies. We called Mahesh and he finished his dinner and joined us in 10 minutes flat. We had a great time eating Grasshopper, which is the name one of my favourite ice-creams, an exquisite blend of vanilla and Pista with Pista sauce and lots of raisins and nuts. Archies, by the way, is the best ice-cream shop I have visited in South India!
The sadder notes of the trip include watching Manju Mami go through the ordeal of being on a complete bed rest. She has her right leg plastered, thanks to a fracture in her toe/ankle. Sir is taking care of the home and Mami, something he is not quite used to. Got to drink coffee made by him this time around. We are just keeping our fingers crossed that she would get well soon.
I couldn’t quite make it to the Papps temple this time, and that to me was the single biggest disappointment of the trip. I have never failed to visit Papps in any of my trips to Tvm in the last 10 years and it hurts a bit. I think I should have planned my days better there. This also meant, I missed out on a visit to Chottupura Street, and hence Ramesh’s place. Ramesh is working in Trivandrum these days, and we couldn’t quite meet! We used to go out of the way to meet in all kinds of strange places in Bangalore and Chennai!
The full set of snaps from the trip are available here.
This was a comeback post of sorts and I would try to update more regularly in future. Probably a few The Month That Was to make up the whole lot of The Week That Was specials that never appeared :).
Thanks for reading thus far. Have a great day ahead.