The sights and sounds of home always ring in your ear. But when you are away for a while and get back, the sights and sounds are indeed pronounced.
For when you hear them, you know that you have missed them ! My travels took me home. To Madurai. Of course, it held some sounds and of course, some sights !
For instance, Auto-rickshaws still have this ‘blow horn’ !
Pressed with a certain stylish movement of the hand, there emerges a carefree hoot that could get a deaf year to perk. Ordinary auto rickshaw drivers will of course, think of themselves to share a gene pool with a music maestro and hoot their way through traffic! The mind rushes back to physics lessons, where the distinct between ‘sound’ and ‘noise’ were taught !
Regulars at this blog would have read many a post about the Meenakshi Amman temple at Madurai, which is a regular fixture during each visit. This time was no different.
There are tourists. Foreign tourists. Speaking Italian. Perhaps it was French. Well, it wasn’t English, for sure. And then Marathi speaking rural folk. All walking about in awe. Interspersed with endless chatter and click of mega pixel laden cameras.
The spirit of travel, wonder, discovery and joy awes. Always. Aware that native places have tourists as well. And the natives who call some other place as ‘home’ always come back. And some of them look in awe and wonder. Tourists at their own home.
The roads around the temple are silent of traffic. Paved and cleared. Quite different from earlier times that were punctuated with traffic. Today, there are electric vehicles that run and boards that announce the fare. While the mind rushes to spot spelling errors on this notice board….. Go ahead and spot them too…
And just as you spot them, say a prayer of thanks. The vehicles not being allowed here means that the Gods have been spared of soot from mega horse powered cars and the mini orchestra horns they sport !
Women carrying a basket load on their heads is as common as a paan-spit stain in a government building.
Pushcarts and door delivery boys reigns common here in Mumbai. But these women, with their gait and ease of movement, are an inseparable part of small town living.
Lifting ten odd kilos on the head and walking about 20 odd kilometers a day, is no small feat. Think of doing it day in and day out. Now, think of that feeding the family. Well, if you didn’t swallow hard… perhaps you should try lifting a basket and walking. And try doing five meters
The waistlines of Madurai folks are built in the street corners. Street corners lined with roadside stores that churn out the best tasting vadas !
Deep fried, hot and piping. Served with some coconut chutney on a banyan leaf, they are a riot of a delight to parched taste buds. Of course, they get straight to the hip !
So what ! Home grown hips can indeed be the next rage in town !