Friday, January 22, 2010

The Madurai trip - Part I


The Madurai trip was lovely and a refreshing change for Jillu and me. For Jillu, it was a big taataa, lots of new people to meet and new experiences.

Rayil Snegam
We started on Sat night by train and as luck would have it, there was a boy, couple of years elder to her, in the adjacent seat. She immediately started "Anna, Annaa" and proceeded to sit next to him. We had to really restrain her as the family were having their dinner. The moment they finished, she immediately started chanting "Anna, Anna" and she went and sat next to him much to the amusement of all. The boy's shyness and reluctance to indulger her was no barrier to her and she kept asking him to wear his "kullaa" (the monkey cap that protects the ears from the chill) which he did not want to do at all. The boy fell asleep soon after and I put an excited Jillu to sleep quoting the "Annaa" as an example :). In the morning, the first thing that Jillu looked for was for her new found "Annaa" friend. Jillu's attempts continued from last night and the "Anna" chose to overcome his shyness and really start playing with her just when it was time to bid good bye and alight from the train

Rickshaw ride
Sun morning, after breakfast, we headed out to the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Our hotel was pretty close to the temple, so we started walking through the streets. Half way through, one of the rickshaw-wallas came to us and bargained for a ride to the rest of the distance to the temple. I think he saw us a fair chance as we had a toddler walking along with us. We were not really keen, but found it very hard to say No to the guy. So Jillu and me got in to the rickshaw with Jillu's dad walking along with the rickshaw fellow (Jillu's dad generally feels real bad about the rickshaw wallas pulling our weight, so didn't get in. I felt the same, but had no option as we could not leave Jillu alone).I forget the last time I ever was in a rickshaw. Must be those days when I was studying in 2nd or 3rd std, when I used to accompany my grand ma for the matinee show. This brings back a lot of lovely memories :)

The Elephant tale
Inside the temple, there was a surprise waiting for us ! Yes, none other than the elephant :). All of us were equally thrilled to see the big and gigantic elephant. Jillu's dad took her near to the elephant, and as is the custom, kept the change in the elephant's trunk to get his blessings. The elephant then placed his trunk gently on top of Jillu's head and blessed her. Jillu got scared by the encounter and started saying "Yanai venaam". The entire time that we were inside the temple, she kept saying "Yanai venaam" and then suddenly when we returned to the same spot, she wanted to see the elephant again. And that's when she noticed that there were a few drops of water (tears???) near to the elephant's eyes.


I hadn't noticed it. We then proceeded to the "Aayiram kaal mandapam" and were walking inside when
she told her dad "Yannai azhardhu" (The elephant is crying)

Jillu's dad : Yanai yen azhardhu ? (why is the elephant crying?)
Jillu : Jillu adichitaa (Jillu beat the elephant)
Jillu's dad  : ???

Jillu : Sorry, Yanai sollanum. Yanai Paakanum (I have to say sorry to the elephant. Take me to the elephant) and this request went on and on and on till we again went inside the temple to show her the elephant.

And in front of the elephant, I told her (going along with her story :) ) , "Ok Jillu, ippo sorry sollu" (Ok, Now say sorry)

Jillu :"Sorry, Yanai" (Sorry, elephant)
Silence...
Me : "Yanai yenna sollithu? Its OK sollithaa?" (What did the elephant say? did it say Ok?)
Jillu : Its ok yanai sollalaama ? (Shall we say "Its okay" to the elephant)
Me : Yanai should say that, not you :)

And then back at the hotel, she was so excited that she actually spoke to both her grand mas over the phone (the current phone phase is aversion). With bright sparkling eyes wide open, she excitedly shouted over the phone "Yanai Jillu thalai mela 'dop' pannithu"
Me : Yedhaala 'dop' pannithu?
Jillu : thumbikkaiyaala

Dum Dum Dum - Kalyaanam
In the evening, it was time for the reception. We reached there well ahead of time for the engagement function that generally happens the day before the wedding. And she had a lovely time here as well. She was generally running behind any of the "kuttis" that she could spot and I in turn was running behind her to make sure that she was safe.

And then the "Nadhaswaram" started. From previous visits to the temple, I knew that Jillu was entralled by the "Molam" and "Pepe" (Nadhaswaram). The first time that she heard (and watched them playing) the music in a temple, she just froze then and there in front of them and after a couple of minutes, just simply sat down at the exact spot that she was standing on and refused to leave from the place. I was expecting the same thing to happen again and I was right. The only difference was that this time, after watching them from a distance for a while, she went and sat near to the guy playing the "molam". I almost called her back, but restrained  myslef just to see what would happen. She sat there watching them play and they in turn watched her indulgently as they had been doing all along right from the beginning. And, much to my surprise and her delight, When there was a brief lull in the proceedings and there was no need for the music, the drummer actually gave Jillu the stick so that she could do "Dum Dum Dum". It was no nice of him to indulge the small girl. And she took it from him with no hesitation and drummed on..."Dum, DOOM, DOM, DUNG"..

And so, it came as no surprise that she would go back to them every now and then to see if she could get a chance to go at it again :). And she got the chance twice :)
And then it was time to head back to the hotel.

To be continued...

3 comments:

A journey called Life said...

nice account.. her marvelling at the elephant, getting scared, saying sorry- all of it.. loved the train scene too..

the first time chotu heard the mela- taalam, he stood transfixed too.. and refused to move so could relate to that..

will wait for the rest of the 'paguthis'

MindfulMeanderer said...

Thanks for dropping by! :) just came by to say hello.

Lavanya Sriram said...

@AJCL : yeah, all of them were new experiences for Jillu :). And chotu did that as well? Amazing..

@Shruti : Thank you :) and you are always welcome.