Chennai in all its religiosity 22/3/2016

One of the highlights  among  Chennai’s  various   celebrations  of a traditional nature  is the Phalguni Festival of Sri Kapali Temple held  during March-April. The  ten day festival begins with Kodiyetram  and concludes   with Thiru kalyanam.

We  witnessed   Arubathmoovar, which  takes place on the  eighth day and  soaked in the festival   though in a different way. Not  venturing to be part of the scene where  thousands/lakhs of people  vie with each other to get the best view /glimpse  of the 63 saints  being taken in a procession, we settled for a ride  by an auto rick through the various streets and by lanes of Mylapore   surrounding the temple .What an experience  it was, never to forget all the rest of my life I thought. There was deafening music, songs on Lord SIVA being played  and  clusters  of people all the way, collecting  ‘plates’  of biryani, glasses of butter milk, juice and what not and trying to balance themselves holding the  stuff  in both their hands. Some were grabbing three and  four plates, surely with an intention of taking home for the family and some were eating the biryani on the spot and throwing the ‘plates’ on the way side before heading home. Even as I thought  the menu comprised  all the above I found another group of people  in front of a small  eatery and  when I craned my neck to see what was holding their attention, I noticed a man making  ‘kal dosa’ and   serving  it straight from the pan!

It took us more than two hours to reach our home, hardly  three kilometres away, literally ‘wading’ through  all kinds of traffic comprising  pedestrians, four wheelers, two wheelers, cycles, fish carts and ofcourse auto ricks. Hats off to our  auto driver for his dexterity and patience.

n.meera raghavendra rao


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