Saturday, April 1, 2017

Lekha's dad's remembrance day.

It was Lekha's dad's first remembrance day as per the Malayalam calendar. Our day had begun at a quarter past 5 and we're ready by 6 when Anto had arrived at our gate, with his auto rickshaw as per last evening's understanding between us. We're at the Thiruvenkatachalapathy temple within 10 minutes and found that we're very early.

To while away the time, we'd entered the temple to have a 'darshan' of the deity and it was then we came to know about two things from the gentleman at the counter, where one bought the tickets for the various 'pujas'. He was inquisitive to know about us and after I'd answered his queries, he gave us the following information:-

    (a) the ceremony for the departed was always carried out after 7 o'clock, every morning.
    (b) the 'thil homam' was not carried out at this temple and that we'd have to visit the Mammiyoor
          Siva kshetram, after the ceremony.

The avuncular priest and the Master of ceremony greeted us with a warm nod of his head as I took a place at the first slot to his right and it was he who'd insisted that Lekha must go through the ceremony herself, offering her a plastic stool to sit and had three biscuit tins arranged together to make a makeshift table. Damn sweet of him and I, thus, was made an observer. An interesting observation was that there were eight of them and everyone had come to remember their dads! The whole process had taken about an hour and after taking leave of the priest, we'd set off for the Mammiyoor kshetram.

The 'thil homam' was registered and the receipt was deposited at the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Siva, at the Mammiyoor kshetram. Lord Vishnu, who sits beside, had gone into a short nap after his morning meal, his  sanctum sanctorum was closed and therefore, I couldn't see him as I went through the 'parikrama'! We headed home soon after.

An interesting thing had happened around lunch time. A jet black crow(The 'Bali kaaka' as we mallus call them) hovered over the food - soon after its placement, out in the courtyard - and flew off after feeding from the offering! Was that Lekha's dad's soul in attendance, pleased with his daughter's remembrance of him? She was pretty sure that it was and I didn't have the heart to pooh pooh her belief because I, really, do not know..........but I'd like to believe that she's right!

It was a quiet day, thereafter.


As I went through the paces of my evening walk, dark clouds had formed up in most parts of the sky over the temple town and was glad that there would be rains at night. How wrong I was because the night was warm without even a trace of rain, at least, till the time we hit the sack!

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