Monday, January 15, 2007

Pongal o' 97, 05, 07

Catching up with Austin friends Sriraman, Shakuntala, and Rohit, I heard about the icy weather that has everyone holed up in their homes today. Reminded me of the ice storm in Texas on Pongal day, 1997:

boiling pots / sh
ivering cowboys
tamil nadu
harvest festiv
al
steaming
milk
pongal arom
a
vermilion and sugarcane

bright saris
festive
bullock carts
color

gaiety
warmth


texas
ice storm
frostbitten leaves

sleet on roads

skidding chevys

offices close
weather forecasts
bleak
drab
cold


Fast forward to Pongal 2005, my first in India after fifteen years of my US stay, and the last time Amma was able to celebrate it with kOlam, pongal and puja. We had just learned of her liver metastases over the new year, but she had taken the news very bravely.




Last year, Amma was too ill to celebrate Pongal and remained mostly bed-ridden.

Jan 15, 2007:
I was home most of the day, and took a walk in the evening to New Woodlands on Radhakrishnan Salai for an early dinner, around 6.45 pm. The flyover between Music Academy and Woodlands was all done up with lights, as was the gas station near Nilgiris. I walked back via TTK Road and Deivasigamani Street, past the vinAyaka temple outside Prof. SRJ's home, and the s'rInivAsa perumAL temple in Lakshmipuram.




Later at night, Aniruddh visited on his way back from the Book Fair: I dropped him back in Tiruvanmiyur and spent some time parked by the beach catching up with Ram, and listening to Bombay Jayashri's trayI - Tripura and the Trinity (2005, Rajalakshmi Audio). hiraNmayIm lakshmIm in lalitA and s'rI kamalAmbA in Ahiri are the most tranquil and soulful pieces in the collection.

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