Okay, okay, no excuses for the looooooooooong silence... just hope that I am more regular from now on
So what takes me here ? And whats this new life all about. May be the long awaited haircut ? Or may be the "Major servicing" done to Chetak, at his 110,000 miles ? (Tell 'im miles to go before u sleep) ..
Or the fact that from tomorrow onwars, my focus will be on my PhD proposal , something long overdue ? Or may the spiritual rejuvenation, the recharge that I got from the Mandala Puja at SSVT on Monday ?
So those gives me the fodder for the rest of todays write up
"Aurite" , lemme go one by one .. Lots of push and pull before I finally decided to give chetak for servicing.. He became mine with 87,600 miles on Nov 4, 2003 (it was almost my self-b'day gift, just like my 100$ camera was this year ..) .. And its been 2 years now, a little over 20,000 miles.. proudly enuf, I can say, I wud have driven only one forth to one third of it alone.. The number of people other than me that he carried, varied from one to four, but yeah, there was most of the times the balancing weight :-)
Anyways, so after having kept Chetak at Doley's , I took a walk, the old town of Takoma Park, looking into the the shops selling antiques, and other interesting items before I stopped for some breakfast and a cup of tea, over the New York Times at "Savory" - introduced to me by Karen Lukas, who sponsored be a nice cup of chai-tea the other day, after we had a walk-n-talk about the Rajasthani musicians .... Walk I did more, and made the full circle back to Doley's and lo, there's a "barber shop" right behind.. How did I miss it all these years ?
Never mind, "No: 5" I told the fellow there, pointing to one of those 100 heads on the "haricutters guide" pasted up against that little portion of the wall, which did not have a mirror . "And a shave too", feeling too lazy to do it myself- haven't had one for days, giving me a Mallu "Bhu Ji" look. Specs removed, I was in my dream world with eyes wide open.. the only thing I noticed was that the fellow was putting major fight on my beard
27 mins and 39 secs, I open my eyes.. errrr.. put my specs back on, and what I saw fitted on top of my forehead, did not look anywhere close to what I tthought. Wait, there is something even more funny... I turned around quickly and took a better look at "No:5"... Nope, it ain't there in the picture I pointed to, but is there in the mirror image of what was supposed to be me...
I had two narrow strips of beard-lines on the rear end of my cheeks all the way to a wider strip on my chin ...The rest of the portion was carefully shaved off.. Now I know what our man was doing while he was so carefully at it !! I was in split personality now. The fellow on the mirror wanted to shout, and the fellow in front of the mirror wanted to laugh ! and I so missed my camera !!
Leave aside my PhD stuff to my tech blog, and jump onto the Ayyappa Puja... My cousin and family had come, just another reason for me to be in the temple.. Its more the atmosphere, the "sharanam vili ", the collective energy that pulls me there every year
And may be... may be it gives me some nostalgic memories of the time when I actualy went to Sabarimala with my Father ... How I miss my parents, its been 2 and half years...
As always, the whole affair did not dissappoint me.... Those little things that I noticed---everytime the devotee crowd goes a bit haywire and starts talking among themselves, the "Guruswamy" would give a loud "Swaamiyeeeeeiii" and there goes all the throats in unison "Sranamayyappa" ......... The energy and the ability to stand the cold and to walk in the icecold concrete floor and the thorn filled grass area barefoot, seemed to be inversely proportional to age.. The teenagers looked baffled and "why am I doing this", the younger ones where doing it , but with a bit of struggle, but the older ones, the ones u wud not expect to be able to walk, where in the forefront, shouting the chants at the top of their voice and never showing signs of tiredness... GRACE, I believe ..
Reminds me of the day I stood from 1 am onwards as one of the first at the outer doors of Guruvayur temple , hoping to run the almost 100m long half Pradakshina as soon as the temple opened at 4 am or so and get inside the inner sanctum, BEFORE ANYONE ELSE and be the first devotee to see the Lord that day... But my once-in- a-life -time chance was stolen away by a man in his fifties, who ran incredibly faster that I could imagine.......
Whats life without those sweet defeats !!