Tuesday, September 04, 2007

the feet

chintitArtha prada charaNAravindam mukundam

The baby feet which would originate in the maakkolam at the front door and lead inward into the home.

While most such representations were impressionistic at best - essentially triangles with squiggles for soles on one side and tiny circles for toes on the other - the ones Amma would draw were much more realistic, down to the relative size of the child's toes. Gokulashtami was easily one of my favorite festivals, and the day would invariably find the entire family singing or playing kritis on kRShNa.

nalina patra nayanam vaTa patra shayanam
nava champaka nAsikam atisIsumabhAsakam
natEndrAdi lOka pAlakam mRgamada tilakam

Tuesday was a busy day at work, with unplanned events such as a meeting with an officer from the IAS who was kind enough invite us over to a work-discussion on the holiday, and last-minute editing and cheque-signing in preparation for our trip to Salem/Yercaud.

Just before leaving the office, I recalled that the lady from the house next door - our office is located in a residential area - had sought a donation for the kumbhAbhiShEka of the little Pillaiyar who sits on the wall separating the two gates.

So I went over with my donation, only to be greeted by the sight of exquisite feet leading into all the rooms of their home. The lady was very nice, and offered me sweet and savory seedais, and showed me the puja shelves in her kitchen.

navatulasi vanamAlam nAradAdi munijAlam
kuvalayAdi paripAlam guruguhanuti gOpAlam

Then, back home and in the midst of preparations for my five-day trip to Yercaud, I went over to my neighbour's apartment to leave some money for the flower-seller whose monthly wages I haven't yet managed to give as our timings haven't overlapped in the last month. There too, lovely kolams, leading up to a nice kRShNa idol in the living room. Aunty (Sujatha's mom) gave me some paayasam, and walked me to the door. There she remarked nostalgically "I remember your Amma's kolams on all festival days".

So someone else did remember, too...

chEtas shrI bAlakRShNam bhaja rE rE

- blogging from Yercaud express
- many thanks to Sangeetha Jambunathan for allowing me to link to photos of her mom's kolam

1 comment:

footnotz said...

I thought of you on the Janmashtami y'day.. Hope you had a nice day and not just a nostalgic one!