Sri Gurubhyo Namah
Sri Ganapathaye Namah, Sri Subrahmanyaya Namah
Sri Matre Namah, Om Nama: Sivaya
It was my mother’s wish to see Chidambaram and that too in 2012. She had told me last year, that in 2012, we need to visit Chidambaram and I was also passively interested. Not that I was not interested to visit the holy place – rather this being one of the long pending plans from my end – just that the occasion was not presenting itself.
My ‘Prarabdham’ had put me in my present job in Hyderabad. Similar to our prior travels to Kumbakonam, arranging a trip to Chidambaram requires different planning including the official leaves and other requirements, and this was making me take a back foot to plan actively for it. (Clarification – By ‘Prarabdham’ I do not mean anything Bad – Just that the correct translatable word is not found in English).
The break came from The Lord at Tiruvarur in the following form – Prof. Seethalakshmi who was the guide to my music teacher – PrasannaLakshmi, called upon her to do a stage program in the ‘Sangeetha Aradhana’ on the occasion of The Music Trinity’s birth celebrations at Tiruvarur. This was to be followed by ‘Pancha Ratna Aalapana’ of Sri Tyagaraja – to be done by all artists present there. My teacher asked whether she could bring some of her disciples along with her, which were agreed upon by the organisers.
Lo! The gates were opened. My teacher told me about the same, along with some of her senior students, and the seed for the trip was sown. I asked whether we would be covering some other temples in and around as well, and the answer was on the affirmative. The general idea was that she also wanted to go to Tiruvannamalai and do the Giri Valam there along with a visit to Chidambaram on the way from Tiruvarur.
After some deliberations a rough final plan was made and the trip was charted out. We were to be joined by my Father and Mother from Kerala and parents of Saumya (Rishi’s teacher and a senior disciple of my teacher), Vanaja Aunty, her husband and grand daughter, Gomathy Aunty, Kona Lakshmi, her daughter, sister, sister’s son and mother, Ma’am’s nephew Aditya and son Krishna who were to join us at Tanjavur.
This description would sound out of sync with the general mood of the travel description but I thought it gives the background plan which the Lord has and the general drama or the ‘Samsaara Natya’ through which he drives us to the destination. Finally we were twenty excluding Saumya’s parents and including all the kids.
Some of them had to pay extra money to reach, some did not get the right tickets, where as somebody missed one means of travel and had to take physical strain to finally reach the location. But by the time me, Malini and Rishi reached Trichy, the party had already reached the destination and had visited Sri Rangam and Tiruvanaikkal (Jala Lingam).