Apr 30, 2002


Went to the Concord Murugan temple past weekend. Murugan was having one of his grand showers with milk, buttermilk and honey and albeit a little itch in my heart about the waste it was a pretty sight as films of whites, yellows and browns cascaded on the luminous black stone. There was a thin crowd, a few seemingly regular visitors sitting mesmerised watching and listening to the intonations of the nasal chanting . The priest did an elaborate abhishekam, then had the screen for an interminably long time for the alankaram and then did more puja before he finally showed the arathi - reasons I can think of a) he took his job very seriously, b) he didnt want to let go of the precious weekend crowd, c) My degeneration is complete with the expectation of a fast food version of pujas. It was very soothing to hear a Tamil song, and the bespectacled gentleman did carry the tune well. I idly wondered if the priest was thinking about that temple back home, with people thronging in the weekends and on special days, with the fragrance of fresh flowers and the noise and, of course, the paltry pay.

Someone I know just returned from Israel. So I braced myself for the mandatory photo viewing session. But she is a different kind of person, not one of those who completely lose perspective and go berserk whenever they are behind a lens. So I knew this was not going to be one of those ordeals - this is me in front of the best cafe in town, this is my husband in front of the same cafe, this is the two of us in front of the cafe... And I was in for a pleasant surprise. She had a whole collection of pictures of doors. I know some of you are shaking your heads - 'and you call that a pleasant surprise?'. But believe me, these doors were exquisite, vibrant, so colorful with so much character. These were doors from ordinary houses all over old Jerusalem. I was telling her about the intricate, sculpted wooden doors in our temples. I was so door-conscious for a week.
A very hot Monday morning, really bad traffic, drivers honking away madly, and then everyone stops even though it is green for a few silent inward moments as three serene ducks in the right order of height saunters across the road. Then yet another day of bugs and endless meetings and the mad rush for the release, and then among the dismal emails is an email from a friend with a link to a favourite song of the forgotten days. Thank God for those timely reminders.

April 30, 2002