Editor’s Note: In India we have many rituals and customs. Even when it comes to prayers and the place of worship. And, at times, some can surely lead to a few smiles. Here’s one such that our member rathisrini relates to us. Share yours too here.
I am sure by now people who have been reading my post would have found out that Paddy is my paternal aunt. I was named Bharathi by her and my whole family is a die hard fan of the evergreen Poet.
Before I start a small intro about Paddy. I am sure by now many in Il would have know that Paddy is a multifaceted personality. There is one more thing that I would love to add – she is also a wonderful dancer and has always been a lead performer in her school and College dance programmes (Savithri Vidyasala and Seethalakshmi Ramasamy College Trichy). She choreographed various dance ballets for Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan school. So every action of her while talking will have a touch of dance.(keep this in mind while reading what is to follow)
Both Paddy and attim are very good in planning trips. As usual it was a family trip to all places in and around Kumbakonam, This time I had the privilege to join them. We went by Rockfort and got down at Kumbakonam. Attim had arranged for lodging and transport with the ARC Lodge at Kumbakonam. So when we came out the van was waiting for us. The persons who all travelled were attai, attim, her daughter Krithika, sons Karthik and Bharani, grandson Adithya and myself. The first day we started by visiting Vaideeswaran Temple, where attim had arranged for elaborate pooja and abhishekam..
After that we went to Sirkazhi and had a wonderful darshan of Thoniappar and Sattanathar. All my cousins had already seen the temple and this temple was added only because I had not seen the temple. So before entering the Thoniapper Sannidhanam, my cousin Karthik closed my eyes and led me to the temple and I was speechless and spellbound. We went around to some seven temples that are in and around that place and came back to the hotel. The next day was to start with Thiruvalanchuzhi, followed by Swamimalai and some temples.
After finishing, these temples, next in the agenda was the famous Patteswaram Vanadurgai temple, where the two sons were to perform Angapradakshinam. (This was a venduthal of Paddy). The youngest of the three Children, Bharani used to be really chubby and he was then in I year college (or may be still younger). All the three children have taken to their father for their height and are pretty tall. So the next day started and at Swamimalai, (which happens to be attai’s kuladeivam) abhishekam and special poojas were done and by the time we came out of the temple it was 10 in the morning. The month being May, it was too hot and we all had cool drink and ate some prasadams given in the temple. All along my attim was issuing warning to Bharani, asking him not to eat anything as he was to do angapradakshanam. Karthik did not drink or eat anything, but Bharani was feeling a bit hungry and he ate some of the prasadam and guava that we had bought. While travelling towards, Vanadurgai temple, Paddy told attim we will first visit Tirumanenjeri temple as that would close by 12 noon whereas vanadurgai temple will be open the whole day. So on the way we went to this beautiful temple and had a wonderful darshan of the beautiful kalyanasundara kollam of the Lord Shiva and ma Parvathy. It was almost 11.20 am now and Sun was having his day. When we reached Vanadurgai temple it was exactly 12 noon.
Earlier the temple was not fully constructed, and when we went the construction was half way through and they had raised Compound wall all along. The archakar when attai went and told him that her sons were to perform angapradakshinam was really taken aback (The space between the sannanidhanam and compound is approximately 5 to 5and half feet in distance and my cousins height is Karthik is 6 foot and Bharani is 5’11”) Then he asked the two to go take bath and come in drenched and perform the same. The boys obediently did what was said and started rolling. But lo! even when half the way was done Karthik was finding it too difficult and was having a tough time. He had just returned from Hyderabad after an official visit and sleepless nights during his project had their toll on him. Bharani was quick (actually through out we were all scared and attim was actually constantly reminding him about angapradhakshinam). Paddy, Krithika, Adhitya, attim and myself were sitting near the sannidhanam. Now comes the climax, after finishing angapradhakshinam (one round) Bharani was about to get up and Paddy sitting in the opposite direction told “Bharani ezhunthukathe”, and in a wonderful dance posture showing three fingers like trishulakaha said “onu illai moonu”.
We were all taken aback for she never uttered a word earlier that they were to roll round the temple three times. Poor boys, started rolling over again. After finishing the third time, Bharani sat in front of all of us and humbly told paddy, “amma, neenga vendikaratha pathi engaluku onum illa, ana from next time please consult us before such venduthal” and my god, we all started laughing like anything. The best part of this was the way Paddy showed her fingers, sitting and as though she was demonstrating a dance. After the whole trip, I was saying this to almost all in the family and to this date we have hearty laugh when we think of this incident.