What is this life if full of care,
we have no time to stand and stare!!!
Life today has become so fast paced. It is almost like those high speed rollercoaster rides at the theme park in town. We are running around all the time - school children, working women and men, homemakers, senior citizens - all of us in a hurry all of the time!!! And when we are not running around we are busy setting our alarm clocks and popping vitamins and calciums down our throats. All this to stay one step ahead in this rat race called survival!!!
Mayavaram (or Mayiladuthurai as it is called now) is a small town in Nagapattinam district. It is located in the historic Thanjavur area on the banks of the infamous Cauvery!!!
My trip to Mayavaram and a couple of nearby villages was a wonderful experience. Truly refreshing and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of Chennai. What follows is an account of this trip, quite clearly one of my favourite trips!!!
We took a bus to Mayavaram on Friday night. The bus was headed to a place called Karaikudi. We reached Mayavaram at around 4.15 am after a six hour journey. The bus ride was quite comfortable. The lodge where we were to put up was 5 minutes away by walk from where we got off. We dragged ourselves and our luggage to the lodge. Sleepwalking with a twist, I should add!!! To our surprise - the lodge was shut!!! We were amused and irritated at the same time. I have always been the urban pampered customer variety enjoying the pleasures of 24X7 services and the like - and now this kind of reception at an unearthly hour!!! This was my first brush with life in a non-metro. We finally knocked our way into the lodge and managed to catch up with some sleep.
The drive was simply enchanting. It took us around 30 minutes to get to the temple. The roads were good. There were some rough patches, but on the whole were a pleasure to drive on. The journey through the countryside was refreshing in every sense. The green pastures on both sides looked like soft green carpets spread all over. Goats of all sizes were running around the place. Young girls with stacks of hay on their heads were walking along the roads. We passed by some sugarcane fields in full harvest. Coconut trees laced the roads on some stretches. There was this sweet pleasant fragrance of freshness in the wind that blew against our faces as our car zipped by the fields and villages.
We reached the temple after a while. It's a really small and simple temple compared to the fanfare that bigger temples like the ones at Tirupati, Sabarimala and Vaishnodevi attract. We were the only devotees for the day. You have to actually inform the temple priests in advance that you would be visiting. The head priest was getting all the arrangements done for the abhishekam. We finished offering our prayers to Lord Ayyanar, had our prasadam and spent some time inside the temple premises. The temple has a stone elephant and mahout on one side. This elephant has always been my star attraction at the temple right from when I was a kid. I was so happy to be there again and took a couple of pictures too.
There is a small pond just outside the temple. The water in the pond had a soothing blue-green colour and a constant shimmer with the sunrays reflecting on it. There was nothing more to it, yet it looked so beautiful, so serene. I took my time to stand and stare - at the pristine waters, at the refreshing green trees and at the clear blue skies. Davies and his poem crossed my mind! I continued to stand and stare - this time with a smile on my face!!!