The evening walk around the neighborhood didn’t appeal suddenly. I thought I’d take a train to Thirumylai and walk around there. Not a cardio workout certainly but one that appealed to the senses.

Last Sunday, we’d driven through Mylapore and were stopped by the rows of brilliantly coloured mud and paper machie dolls being sold on the road for the Navarathri kolu .  I  bought two large ‘bommais’  for a friend at Ooty who is now into ‘kolus’, letting myself think about actually transporting them  later.

I went back today and it was good wandering about looking at all the stalls, the shops selling ‘devotional items’ by the hundreds, plastics, fancy goods, the silk shops and of course  the eateries, all around the huge tank of the temple , which is quite obscured by all the activity around . I wound up at the Kapalaeaswar temple of course.

There is something about an ancient temple which resonates with a note within oneself. The palpable faith of hundreds of people is moving. Today was a good day, with no special connotations, which meant it wasn’t too crowded. Just lots of people around checking in with Kapalaeswar and Karpagambal.

There was one old lady with a walker, maneuvering the steps with difficulty and determination. She gave me a sweet smile after she’d negotiated one doorway. And it struck me then that temples are one of the best ways to feel socially connected when one is isolated in old age. One can come in here and look at different people and feel the life force. There are kids playing, old men sitting around or praying,  some people in silent meditation, some chanting slokams with desperation, women chatting or tying flowers, lots of people resting eating the prasadam . One can sit in peace within or just be an observer. Or talk with someone. Or gaze at the lit up gopurams. One can eat the ‘annadhanam’ too and skip making dinner.:-)

I can imagine it. After a good afternoon siesta, a nice  cup of kaapi and then freshening up before setting off to the temple. Spending some time connecting with God and people. Better than Facebook probably. And then going home to Tv and dinner and a book and sleep.

It strikes me that my list of things I’d like to have in my old age keeps growing. Right now it includes a flat where someone else takes care of water and electricity and security, a walkable area with shops and other conveniences nearby,  a public swimming pool (optional:-), not too much noise, a river or the sea somewhere close…. But top of my list really is  adequate money and terrific health.


4 thoughts on “Mylapore

  1. How nice that you enjoyed Mylapore.

    Once upon a time social networking was done at temples – people met one another here – a place nobody could stop women from going to! – exchanged news and gossip, took their constitutionals around the sanctum and called it the pradakshinam. So people got their exercise and social exchanges simultaneously.

    I like your desire for a flat with amenities taken care of VERY much. But good health of course takes precedence!

  2. A post that would not have got you the Miss World award – after all one does not talk about adequate money as a need, just social service – but that is reality. A nice honest post.
    And I like the description about the temple. Probably the younger generation that is addicted to Facebook, will still need social networking sites in their old age. Or would they then resort to temple visits as they grow old?

  3. So rightly said Raji. All the prostrations and pradakshinam did people good.
    In the early days of marriage, I used to be cloistered within the walls of my in-laws house for weeks on end. And the only outing was ‘to the temple’.

    For the first time, Im living in a flat for a fairly long period. And discovering all the advantages. Someone else is even taking care of having the tank cleaned. Bliss :-))People like you and me who live in independent houses appreciate some responsibility being taken off all the more.

  4. Radha :-)) I wouldn’t have got the Ms. World even at 20 with the right answers.
    Money is always important isn’t it, though we make it invisible.

    I don’t know if temple visits everyday would be soothing but routines do appeal as we grow older. Like people were once addicted to cigarettes and only later, were they considered not so good and so with tv maybe Facebook too will be considered a ‘bad addiction’ at some point.

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