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.