Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tirumala Darshan



I am back from Tirumala. For the first time, I have visited the place alone. I usually had visited Tirumala with my family. Being the last kid of the family, I have always got best (or should I say, otherwise) treatment during the trips. They would say:

Mom: He likes Poori-Masala. Have you got it?
Dad: Keep him safe. He might be missedesp. when you cross bookshops....
....

But this time, I was alone. I have to care of myself. (None was there to get me Poori set, atleast:-)). It all started like this. It was a long week end. I wanted to go somewhere. But, where? I had planned to visit Trichy and surroundings. I had almost a list of 12 places to visit. In fact, I had arranged place to stay in Trichy. But, then the Plan had changed drastically on the last day. Somehow, the thoughts of Tirumala filled my mind.

I had been planning, for a long time, to visit Tirumala. But, the plan was never implemented in the past 1 year. The plans were always interrupted:

1) Once I have started and went to the Bus stand. But somehow my mind had changed. Something was seriously stopping me from going to Tirumala. I was back home.
2) Next time, when I planned tovisit the place, a defect was raised in my task. The specific task,which had the defect, was tested for period of 6 months. I was shocked over the defect. The trip was cancelled.
3) Then, I planned carefully so I do not get any last minute surprises. I had planned to visit the place by Saturday evening. I was taking rest by Saturday morning. Suddenly, I felt tired by Saturday afternoon. I did not do any work from the morning. But still, I felt tired. I could not even open my eyes.When I woke up, the time was about 11 PM. So, again, my plan was cancelled.

There is a saying, 'You can reach Tirumala only if HE permits you.' I strongly believe the saying. But I was very upset. Why am I being stopped? Sajjan, my colleague, just laughed over the issue. 'You have the bus for every 30 minutes. Go and Get in. Who would stop you?' Yes. That was my thought, until all my last minute cancellations.

The stage was totally different by this time. I had no plans to visit the place. But, the last day did all the changes.As a fact, on Friday, When I came back from home, I was actually tired.But It all seemed to be a real magic. Something was pushing me to get ready. My mind was filled with Tirumala that I could not think of staying in Chennai. Tirumala is also called as 'Ganda Malai'(MagnetHill) No doubt. It was pulling me. I started to Tirumala.

When I reached to Tirupathi, the question aroused. How should I reach Tirumala?Should I walk or use the bus? I knew I am tired. But again, something stopped me from moving near the buses. I felt really like someone kicking my back to move to Alipiri. I started the walk from Alipiri. It was totally different walk this time.

Now, back home, I remember the Old days. The days, in which, I traveled along with my family. There was a walk which was filled with laughter due to the mimicry of my TrichyUncles. There was a walk which was just a race between me and one of my relatives, Sindhu. (No doubt that she had won the race) There was a walk which was more or less a 'Food Mela' with all the stuff like Lemon Soda,Chips, Mixture, Mineral Water, Mango, Milk Kowa, Bhel Puri, etc. There was a walk in which I discussed all the technical stuff, from Java to Quantum Computing, with my brother. But, this time, it was The Lord who filled my mind from the first step to the last. I just could not stop thinking about him. Even, if I move my mind away from Lord, it came back to him in a few seconds. I really enjoyed the experience.

Then when I reached the top, then the thought came to me. I have got the ticket atAlipiri. The Darshan was scheduled by 9:00 PM. But where would I stay until 9? I did not know a single place in Tirumala. Also, I could not hire a cottage for a single person. One of my friends, Mouli, had told me that Pilgrims complex had facilities to stay. But where is it? Then,I saw the Amman Temple. The temple was considered as the entry point toTirumala. I went and prayed in the temple. I was murmuring. 'Oh Mother!I do not know any place here. You are responsible for me until my stay.You have to help me until I go back.' Something told me that my prayer was sincere. After the prayer, I turned right. I saw the board 'Madhava Pilgrims Amenities Complex'. With a smile, I went inside…

I got a locker and dumped my bag in it. After my ablutions (The toilets werevery clean. TTD has to be greatly appreciated), I wanted to take rest.But, I felt the complex was quiet noisy. So, I came out. There were several mandapams for the pilgrimages to take rest. I found one before the complex. It was filled with some 3 tamil familes. Otherwise, it was very calm. Also, the other side was a park. The silent place and the cool air gave me some sleep.

The only problem in Tirumala was food.I could not find a good hotel in Tirumala. The tolerable one was Coffee House. I had my lunch. Just explored the town for some time. After rest,I was ready for darshan. I joined the queue by 6:30 PM. We were soon moved to the Devotee Cages. The same old Mahabaratha serial.The only change was that it was telecasted in Tamil. Anyway, I enjoyed it. TheKids faced the real problem with the crowd, sweat, etc. Their parents had a real difficult time to keep them silent.

Now the gates were opened. We all rushed towards the gate. The queue was fast moving.Better than expected. Finally, I reached the temple. I was just in front of the 'Kodi Maram'. Usually, the devotees were not allowed near it.(Not unless you are Abhishek Bachan or Aishwarya Rai) I gave a deep sigh. I could not touch it.

Before my thoughts would leave my mind,one of the securities came outside. He shouted something to his colleagues. It sounded like 'The rush is heavy. Let us split the queue'.He opened the block near the 'Kodi Maram'. He diverted some of the crowd through it. Aha..I am near the 'Kodi maram' and 'Bali Peet'. I prayed them and entered the inner area. I reached in front of Him. I could see the face which filled my mind for the past 24 hours. There was a old lady who was shouting to stop pushing her. She started shouting like someone was killing her. I could not tolerate. I moved and gave way to her. When she entered the place, her husband also tried to move fast. In the commotion, all his money was dropped from his pocket. The guards were busy collecting them. Both me and the old lady had an excellent,undisturbed darshan for about 10 - 15 seconds.

Then I came outside.They gave us some 'Sweet Pongal'. The temple prasadams have a specialtaste. Esp., when you take the Hot Pongal by 11:30. After darshan, it is time for 'Back Home'. When I came outside, the bus was readily waiting to Chennai. When I am moving down the hill, I saw through the window,the silent valley of forest, the silent sky, beautiful moon, glittering stars, smooth breeze, etc. We do miss a lot in our daily life.

By3:30 AM, I am back to home. Later, my brother asked me 'Why did you go alone?' I answered him like 'It was a long weekend. People left to their home towns....'. It was a half truth. Of course, people went to their home towns. But, even if not, I doubt whether I would invite them for the trip. I feel the pilgrimages like this should better be taken alone. The mind stays relaxed, focused only if you are alone. You stay calm. You can not speak to anyone. You start focusing on The Lord. That is the reason for pilgrimage. Right... So, It is better to have the pilgrimages alone..

Anyway, it was a great trip. Somehow, this trip has given some unknown confidence in me. It’s like someone telling in my ears, 'Go ahead Kid. I am always there to help you.' Let the Almighty guide my path.......

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was really a great description. I felt as if I was going through each of the actions.

Anonymous said...

hey sarangan
finally u have managed to go to tirumala
great man

Nice to read
Really i felt i were there

ashok said...

hey..
its not the wonder ...
its a real fact that only HE permits ..we can..
nice that he permits u at last..
i wait for my turn...
greets!

Baranidharan said...

To hear the voice inside you need shut the sound from outside. Going alone helped you a lot in 100% pilgrimmage trip...

Sarangan Rajamanickam said...

Thanks for the comments Sajjan

Sarangan Rajamanickam said...

Ashok, I hope certainly you will get your turn soon...

Sarangan Rajamanickam said...

Well said Barani anna! When the sound from outside is shut, the inner voice is well heard...