Days of our Lives!

April 10, 2006

A thiruvizha in Bangalore

Filed under: My Dayz — Santhosh @ 12:13 PM

There are things in a person’s life that bring him memories of days gone by, happier times, better times, in most cases of that special place called home. A face that has a striking resemblance to someone previously very close, a house number, a name called out on the street, a particular brand of chocolates, the scent of rain on sand…

It was sort of a nostalgic two days for me over the weekend. Some sort of a thiruvizha took place over the weekend here in Domlur, in all the major temples. I did not know of the things to come initially. I guess i should have recognised the signs when my next flat guy told me people had come to collect some money for some sort of a function and that i had been asleep (around 10am last saturday ;)). I dismissed it as some sorta community event.

On Friday night, after being too good for my own good (about this on the next post), i was making my way home around 3am. Noticed lights on trees in the area of my place. The temple
next to my home was full of lights and people were busy with decorations and sewing flowers and there were a couple of chariots too. Too tired to think, i moved on and turned the corner
to my street and stopped short. Every single house on my street was a show unto itself. Decorative lights blazing away off the whole buildings and all trees. Not having too many people to ask at that time of the day, i just took a few snaps off my cam from my balcony before dreamland.

The next day, being a saturday, i woke up real late and had one of those lazy days when you can hardly move. I took the other way to the main road and walked to Hotel Nandini for a real late lunch (3pm). Then on to Vivek’s with Jangaal to buy an iron box (another story, mebbe the post after the next one ;)). And then on straight to Bala and Mani’s place where i was till 9pm.

It was around 9.30 that i finally made it to my area. And found the thiruvizha in full swing. The crowd. The road vendors. The hawkers. The balloon wallas. The flowers being sold, the sweets of pink and white that i’d loved as a kid in my mom’s native, the pori (dunno the english version of this, the white colored light weight…), kadalai mittai, pori urundai, murukkus, plantain leaves, canes, i just lovvved the place. Stalls for bangles, the multi colored glass ones, were doing a roaring business. Things from toy trucks, tiny dolls, diwali thuppakkis, to ribbons for girls and shirt bits were being laid out on plastic sheets on the side of the roads for purchase. The new additions i noticed were toy mobiles. Technology has improved sooo much eh?

I’ve been to every single thiruvizha in my mom’s native for 15 years, been to our own madurai thiruvizha since i was born, and have loved every minute of it. The crowd, the sounds uniquely associated with the place, the smell of tender coconuts on soil, and of course the music. Blaring out of “speaker-sets” hanging off tree branches, with the “live-bands” of nathaswaram and petti and drums creating their own music. The drums and nathaswaram sounds have a feel about them that cant be explained in words. It just seems to enter the blood stream. In all those thiruvizhas i have been part of the ‘elite’ who would dance its way in front of the chariot bearers. And of course the simple merry-go-round. Nothing fancy. Pairs of seats with screaming children. I was totally tempted to go for a try. But then the crowd was so big with all these kutties awaiting their turn…

I moved on and bought a box of bubble blower. The soap water and ring system. Was happily blowing bubbles to a couple of little boys when my landlady came that way. She had this strange look on her face, like looking at some Martian. The other item i bought was some peacock feathers. Each cost 5 bucks and i asked for 10, for which the old gentleman selling them gave 2 extra.

I spent some 3 hours there, milling about the fair. Soaking in the atmosphere, getting nostalgic, flashes of long ago memories coming up. Days in Anna Nagar when the sami oorvalam would slowly make its way and we guys would add to the meriment.

The next day, yesterday, i woke up to the sounds of drums beating up a din right outside my home. The time was 6.30am. I came onto the balcony and looked down right into one of the chariots. My guess is the procession wound its way around just Domlur. And since Domlur itself is not exactly that big, i found every chariot (some 20 in total) spending quite some time in front of my home while people from the other houses in my street came and paid their respects. At any time there were three chariots in my street, with those moving on being replaced by the one behind it. Each chariot had its own band of drums and nathaswarams, so that the sound that came up was a real blend of them all. Some 3 hours of this which i enjoyed every single minute of. Pretty much my happiest memory in Bangalore.

I just wished i had a few of my friends with me for this. A few guys to make up a group, to check out the stalls, check out the traditional girls turning up in their proper temple-wear, blow bubbles, eat pori and mangai, have fun… I could just look on wistfully while a multitude of feelings went through me, ranging from happy memories to sadness at knowing that all these will always belong to the past only.

I guess i sound like some of (or is it all of) Cheran’s films. But any guy who’s been to a proper thiruvizha with a good set of friends will know what i feel. I guess i will always be a small-town boy at heart, guess that’s what is instilled in someone who grows up without pizza and pubs for more that 15 years of his 20. But then I would not choose another way to have lived.


1 Comment »

  1. hi this in narayanannice post dudepreparation for thiruvizha is in full swing in madurai.enjoyed the festive mood.pomp in madurai is better than any other city.

    Comment by Narayanan — April 12, 2006 @ 10:28 PM | Reply

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