Friday, April 07, 2017

God's own ooru

Bharathiyar quoted "Yaam arintha mozhigalile tamizh pola inithu engum kaanum". Major Sundarrajan stylela solanumna "Of all the languages I know, tamil is the sweetest" (imagine doing attention pose like body jerk, with both legs firmly on ground to complete the scene). Of course, anyone can alter the quote to suit their tongue, but what makes Bharathiyar's one special is the fact that he was well versed in so many languages. After going through the rigors of each of them, he made that quote as a fact statement and not a hyperbole. Even though my level of knowledge is nowhere in the same league as him nor have I travelled to that many cities and places, considering utmost prejudice and bias that I carry, I would safely say that "Yaam arintha (ariyatha) anaithu oorgalilum Mylapore pola sirappanathu engum kaanom". If Kerala is God's own country, Mylapore would very well be his most favorite ooru, for HE himself would be spoilt for choices here.

If your first query, as a feminist/mannist/humanist is on "why HE and why not SHE" this question is out of syllabus for this post and would be dealt with later. Secondly, on what basis would "HE" select nu religion wise keteenganna, though it doesn't deserve merit, yet for argument sake, HE can be of any religion or any form. Athana form will have a temple in Mylapore. Its probably one aspect about this place, that deserves much more attention and publication. Probably Incredible India folks, when they herd those bus full of tourists would do well to showcase this aspect as well. Though forever in fight from sanga kaalam till date, we've both Iyengars and Iyers co-exist in same locality along with their gods. Kesava perumal and Srinivasar are at koopidu thooram from Velleswarar and Kabali, whose compound is a stones throw away from Jain theerthangara's abode, which squares up against the Mosque on kutchery road in line with the several Churches across all Christian sects leading to Santhome. My favorite of this list is ofcourse Kabali, who to me is the king of Mylapore. Religious sentiments apart, you just have to witness the yearly "Panguni peruvizha" which is currently ongoing, while hearing me out.

I have special place in my heart for this "Ther festival" right from my school days, for it always funded cricket balls for me. Enniki kedaikumo illio for "Ther" there would definitely be money given for buying stuff, which would straight away be spent on buying rubber balls from road side shop in front of Rasi silks and at times if the budget allowed fake tennis balls. Problem being, tennis balls were quite costly and if it went for six, crossing into some apartment compound, invariably it never returned back.

Next special thing about the festival would be "Rishaba vahanam". Mylapore, in all of my 3 decades here, winds up pretty early and 8 PM usually would see as many people on road as Lok Sabha on normal days (minus the sleeping of course). But on the day , rather midnight was the time the festival usually happened, of Rishabam, it would be several times the crowd you would witness on Ranganathan street during Aadi offer period. You simply wouldn't find moving space and god knows from where so many turn up at such odd hours. The moment Kabali makes his appearance, taking a left from inside the praharam and turns into the main entrance, the crowd goes into a trance and frenzily ecstatic at the same time, with chants of "Kabali" on everyone's tongue. Then begins the dance routine, where the bearers would sway in rhythmic steps, giving an illusion as if the God is dancing his way out. No language has enough words and vocabulary to describe it. Note that, even the wooden rods on which the whole setup is based would weigh about a ton, on top of which you've people who perform puja, the vahana on which the deity is placed, plus the decoration, plus few other crew who would monitor any overhead street wires from touching the umbrella and setup. There would be about 30 to 40 people who are needed to even lift this whole setup, after which they have to sway to beats every now and then and above all, need to carry the lord across all madaveethis and bring him back home to the temple. It takes about a good 5 to 6 hours for the whole function to get over and would surely be early morning before it completes. If we are in city during this festival, never once do we miss watching Rishabam. There is an additional incentive to this being that you can avoid becoming a cat in your next birth if you watch Rishabam.

For those who live here, there is literally no need for owning a vehicle, though every house has about so many wheelers that, the vehicles outnumber the inhabitants and spill over on to the streets, which double up as parking. There are 2 dozen decent to petty good schools across all boards, Arts and science colleges, vegetable and meat markets, malls, jewelry and textile bazaars, commutation of every possible mode and above all THE BEACH. Its a village with a smart city infrastructure. Of course the all prevailing traffic, encroachments on roads and other negative stuff apart, if India can be considered as a good sample set for analyzing the world, Mylapore would very well be the sample set for analyzing India. When I was in Disneyland during Christmas time, all those carols and "once upon a Christmas time" mickey parade and everything about the place was so charming and enchanting. You don't need missionaries with money to spread Christianity if they could sponsor a ticket to Disney for the target audience. They would fall in love with that culture. Ditto for Mylapore. You can be an atheist or whatever "ist" you belong to. Once you stay here, you settle and cannot move anywhere else, for its God's own ooru.


Ramesh said...

Oh Please. Mylapore is a mess. Koncham gunda iruntha, can walk only sideways on Mylapore streets.

Only saving grace for Mylapore. Blog mannan Gilsu is from there !

gils said...

ROTFL avlo mosamilla thala :D but yes..lighta traffic jam aagum and narrow lane