Protos' Musings

"In the long run men hit only what they aim at" — Thoreau

Trip to Trivandrum, Aug 2006

with 9 comments

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.


Written by Proto

August 18, 2006 at 00:56 hrs

9 Responses

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  1. You have done a sacrilegious thing by not visiting Papps. No excuse can suffice for doing this unpardonable thing. I could have used harsher words like “Shame on you”….

    Btw talking about Kannan Vadhyar do you know Kannan Vadhyar bought Venkateswara Bhavan Hotel (karavadai spl) for 50 Lakhs. I wonder if I can strike of that zero there and see that much money in my account :)

    His b-i-l is naturally happy to see 100 ppl…….life is obviously a quest for money :) No emotions please….just a joke.


    August 25, 2006 at 23:05 hrs

  2. “Shame on you” would have been pretty apt! But I guess Papps would pardon me this one time for the sacrilege :).

    Well, I can understand when someone says or jokes that life is a quest for money. But jokes aside, what you forget is that the Vadhiyars in Chennai or Mumbai charge twice of what a Vadhiyar in Trivandrum would demand, and most of the time wouldn’t perform things as well as we are accustomed to see. But probably it is a case of me being “caught in the past trap”.

    Coming to the money thing, I am of the firm belief that as long as you are not doing anything unlawful or immoral, and earning money by putting in the hard hours and effort, there is nothing wrong or shameful about that.

    Finally, this time at TVM we paid just 50 bucks per head, whereas in Chennai they would have DEMANDED at least 200 per head. No Arun, it is not just about money. I have performed Avani Avittam at four different places now (TVM, PKD, BGLR, MAS), and can vouch for the fact that the last two pale in comparison when it comes to things that are “close to my heart”. Of course, but that is just me and my stupid heart!


    August 26, 2006 at 15:33 hrs

  3. Well, people in blr, chn or mum where do people have time for anything?
    I guess 90% of people who perform Avani Avittam in these cities are doing for a formality sake and genuine interest is missing. So naturally you expect that much authenticity in functions here.
    Naturally rates here would be higher bcoz they are more cosmpolitan compared to TVM.
    ie. why you get 10000 pm rent in chennai and just 1500 in tvm. So I think it was not right on your part itself to give the Vadhyar just 50/- for 2hr function.

    I don’t know much about Kannan Vadhyar.
    But all Vadhyars in general are doing business for the sake of money and they are earning madly.
    Immorality and ethics I don’t know; but I am sure all of them evade all taxes which we all pay meticulously I can consider that as immoral if I can call that. And the 50 Lakh transaction which I mentioned was full black….does that constitute to immorality? I knew about this deal fully bcoz my father was being consulted all thru. Not only this there are many other realty forays by Kannan Vadhyar in Fort area. I don’t want to do a character assassination of him here.

    Having said that; I respect them and when the whole society is sorrounded by malice and disrespect for Brahmins and subjugation by Dravidians…..I don’t deplore their acts. If muslim and SCs and STs can do bigger and flithy business these small things by a Brahmin Vadhyar is just a flash in the pan.

    Long Live Vadhyars!!


    August 27, 2006 at 14:23 hrs

  4. Rubbish – there is no truth in the fact that u need to pay 200 for avani avittam in Madras. Ofcourse, cant quote out of personal exp – but then, at the temple close to my house – which Suresh very well knows – the dakshina part is voluntary (atleast on paper still) and Rs.50/- is a decent amount . In no way, am i saying that Vadhyar in Madras would charge less (being a place where people have money, it is but obvious that the vadhyars tend to exploit that) – since they “service” people in bulk they wud make a cool 5000 for a one hour sitting. Thats how anything works.

    As for things “close to your heart” that u have mentioned – thats purely personal – and knowing u for so long, u wud have u’r own (il)logical reasons for that.


    August 28, 2006 at 18:28 hrs

  5. Look at that! You are talking about a temple that refuses to have anything to do with God for less than 100 bucks, and I am not joking. Be it a token for Abhishekam on a special day or whatever, they hang board for different items and the minimum price will be 100 bucks. Yeah, you are right. Inga paisa vachundu enna pannanam theriyaatha koncham ver irukka, and that is a problem!

    Subru, there are lots of things in life that cannot be measured by cold logic; love and things close to one’s heart are among them. Probably, you will never understand them (branding it as illogical or foolishness or whatever), and you may even be right! But that just doesn’t mean that there will NOT be people who have their likes and dislikes against all the logic in the world. Sometimes, it is better to be illogical!


    August 28, 2006 at 21:50 hrs

  6. Suresh, I agree with PNS. I can’t believe your words that you need to pay 200/= for Avani Avittam in Madras.
    In RA Puram, Adayar, Beasant Nagar it may be the case because people are well-off.
    Come to KK Nagar, Ashok Nagar, or T. Nagar where there are lots of Brahmins but in Govt. Jobs and small pvt. jobs; definitely there is no way for these people to pay 200/=
    Go to Ayodhya Mandapam(Sree Ramar Koil) in T.Nagar or any temple in KK Nagar you will definitely do it for less than 200/=.


    August 30, 2006 at 11:24 hrs

  7. Yeah, probably I should have mentioned that “I am too lazy to travel 10 km to do Avani Avittam”. Sorry! But I stand by whatever I have experienced in RA Puram area! But all said and done, I think it is one of the better areas to live-in in Chennai.


    August 30, 2006 at 13:33 hrs

  8. You cannot ask for everything in life altogether.
    Perhaps this is what is “Close to your heart” feeling :) Having the cake and eating it too.

    Its good to have those “close to your heart” feelings….but watch out that those feelings are not meandering towards hypocrisy without seeing merits of the other side.
    Then it is interpreted by others as your sheer Arrogance!
    I believe you never want to give others an impression like that and I know you are not like that.


    August 30, 2006 at 21:05 hrs

  9. […] Apart from this, I had been to Trivandrum and Mahabalipuram during this period, and there were lots of team-treats at work as well. So, in all, I was having a nice time. […]

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