Tuesday, January 11, 2005

From Manhattan to Mumbai to Madurai

Originally uploaded by lools.

It's almost mid-January and I'm still travelling in India. This past weekend, I took a trip down south with my parents to Madurai to visit my hometown and spend some time with my grandma who has been living here for the past 60 odd years. We arrived by the overnight Tuticorin Express from Bangalore City to Madurai Junction. My favourite part of the journey was waking up in Dindigul to the sounds of "tea, coffee, bajji" chanted by a young teenage vendor at 6 am in our A/C sleeper compartment!

Madurai, with more than 2500 years of history, is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu both historically and mythologically. It was once a forest but the Pandava kings built a temple upon spotting the god Indra worshipping there. A city was built around the temple and just when the city was about to be named, Lord Shiva made his appearance. Drops of nectar from his hair fell on the town so the city was named Madurai, the nectar city as Mathhuram means nectar in Tamil.

Madurai is home to my mother and I was born here in the TVS hospital but have never actually lived here. I have visited every year since I was five and I must say that little has changed since the 70s! My mom and I made our annual piligrimage to the famous Hajeemoosa clothing store to get good quality sarees at throw away prices.


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