There are autorickshaws. Tempos. Cars. Bikes. Et el. Most sport saffron. We drive fast. And the sea of orange whizzes by. Or rather we whizz by. The orange seems to be an unending sea.
Curiosity gets the better of us. We stop at a bridge. And enquire, part in sign language and part in Hindi. The pilgrims are only too happy to talk. And they talk about the month of Shravan. And a pilgrimage.
And as we speak, many more just walk by. And i wonder, if walking comes naturally to India! My mind races to the pilgrimage of Sabarimala. Palani. Velankanni. Shirdi. All have thousands of people walking many many kilometers. And most times without footwear.
With all that, i wonder if Keep Walking was a slogan that Johny Walker picked up from India and its scriptures. And at that moment, i decide to keep my grand discovery hush hush. i don’t want some lofty custodian of moral values find one more reason to stage a protest or disrupt parliament ! Sigh !
And just a few hours back, we witness a ceremony. By the 400 year old fort. Someone has passed away. And the 14th day rituals are on. At least, that’s what a local tells us. Its a simple, sombre ceremony.
And the fort just looks on. Stoically. Perhaps its seen one too many of such ceremonies. After all 400 years is no small time.
Just a while earlier than that, we spot this banner. Narial Purnima is the coconut festival. Where coconuts are offered to the sea God.
Mehendi is at 10.00 am. And then something called ‘Mass Drawing’ at 11.30 am. And ofcourse, there seems to be an interesting event called ‘mummy’s dance’ ! (with an apostrophe). And because theres nothing else mentioned there, the Mummy’s dance perhaps goes on till 6.00 PM.
Hmm. Seems to be an interesting festival. I am sure there must be something that i am unable to get here. We try talking to the local fishermen. We discover the importance and profoundness of the festival for them. They speak of coconuts, puja and the sea God.
I prod them some more, about ‘Mehendi’, ‘Mass Drawing’ and ‘Mummy’s dance’. All i receive is a stoic silence.
And since then, i have rued the fact,that i didn’t get to see the ‘Mehendi’, ‘Mass Drawing’ and ‘Mummy’s dance’. Yes, the same ones that were sponsored by the tourism department.