Driving to Ramana Kendra, negotiating the turns of Luz Church Road, one knew that there was something afoot. The cars that were on the road seemed to be vibrating at a higher frequency, if you get what I mean. There was some electricity in the air. And then I realized…It is the Aruvathimoovar day – the evening of the procession of icons of the sixty three Saiva Saints – the Nayanmaars!
Ramana Kendra was a picture of peace. The Pradosham worship had concluded at 6 pm. Devotees had left. A one on one with Ramana. It was like being a lone sea gull in the vastness of sky. I basked in that ambience of grace and stepped out. And like the gull, I decided to dive into the ocean – of Aruvathimoovar!
Walked down the Sai Baba temple road. Density of people was very high and getting higher with every step. Hawkers on both sides of the road. Selling all kinds of stuff. “65 Rupees! 65 Rupees! Just 65 Rupees for a Saree!” screamed one hawker. Bangles, toys, eats, clothes…all sorts of stuff. A riot of colors. And as I moved closer to the Kapalishwara temple tank, I was in the ocean…Of people…People, people everywhere. The procession of icons was slowly making its way around the tank. Cops were doing the best they could. The first little chariot that I saw had the Goddess Kolavizhi Amman. Grand. The next one had Goddess Periyanayaki and Lord Valeeshwara…Many more to follow…The towers of Kapalee Temple and other nearby temples were all shimmering with festival lights. How is one to convey the atmosphere! You don’t see so many people in one place. It was like Kumbh Mela, a furnace of human energy. An ocean of joy. Thousands and thousands of microcosms, all doing a dance of bubbles, and moving as one large macrocosm of vibrance, resonant with the celestials. No longer is one just oneself.. One becomes the whole mass of people.
I look up at the heavens. The near-full moon looks down from up high, like Gods sentinel in the sky. All is swell in the world…