Aiyanars and Viral fevers!!

After a long stint with a viral fever and a couple of marriages and receptions (not for me!), it certainly tires one out to think of the trials one has to go through. The most interesting part of the last couple of weeks is the trip to Tuticorin and the marriage reception of Hari.

First the trip to Tuticorin. Not that tuticorin in itself is a good place, but we went to Thiruchendur, Eral and the Arunchunai katha Aiyyanar temple. It was raining all along and combined with bad roads, I am still recovering from the body pain it has caused. But the route was beautiful and with villages names like 'Thanneer panthal', the trip lent a wisp of poetic air also. The coastline of Thiruchendur has changed after the Tsunami but the temple remains the same. The seas have become rough and there is little resemblance of the beach that once was there. Eral has a temple on the banks of Tamirabarani (or a tributary of it, not sure) and it is a fascinating little temple. The most fantastic one is the Arunchunai Katha Aiyyanar temple in Ammanpuram beyond Thiruchendhur. Located in the midst of three 'sunais' or ponds, the temple houses the Arunchunai katha Aiyyanar. The sand is completely red in color and the surroundings exquisite. But the temple is crowded these days and on a sunday afternoon, the temple was brimming with people. There is a huge statue of the Aiyyanar mounted in a horse in the temple and a lot of other minor gods with names like 'Munnodi Murugan', 'Bairavan', 'Isakkiamman', 'periya natchi' etc are around. Aiyyannar worship in real terms is ancestor worship and what it means is that these are real people who lived a while ago and did something to merit being worshipped as gods. 'Arunchunai katha' is a clue but unfortunately, the real story is not known to many and I am still ignorant as to how the Aiyyanar saved the 'sunais' (although heard that the Aiyanar is actually a palayakar who saved the area from the foreigners and from religious conversions, not sure how he saved the 'sunais' yet). Here is a story on how he saved the sunai, but not sure how true this is. There is another temple for Karkuvel Aiyyanar (in Therimedu) which we couldn't visit for want of time. This is the family ancestor temple from my maternal side. Per my maternal grandfather and paternal grandfather, my ancestors were originally from these areas (therimedu and surroundings) and what it means is that my ancestors worshipped these same gods as I am doing today. And most of all, by exploring these areas with Sibi gives a totally new sense of learning about our roots together. There is still so much to read and know.

The marriage reception of one of my college mates happened and I went there in the hope of meeting some old friends. I did met a lot of them but there was absolutely no sense of happiness or a rush of adrenaline on seeing so many friends. Is it just that I dont treat them the same way as I used to do 8-9 years back or just that I have moved on with my life?. Puzzling.

Other than that the past 10-15 days is one of suffering from viral fever and taking heavy antibiotics and sleeping. Now am feeling a little OK. Sibi is doing fine and a gala time in his school children's day celebrations. He has grown a lot but Jeysri still stays at 21. Another puzzling thing!!!

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