Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When I became a drop...

March 10. I saw the hand of a clock pointing to 3 in the morning after years. Didn't find it difficult to take bath in cold water at 4 as Kerala was sizzling in the summer sun and global warming effect being literally felt.

Was ready with all essential things to offer pongala to Attukal Devi by 5. While boarding a bus at 5.15 along with my aunts and cousin, I was thrilled as it was after five years that I got the opportunity to make the offering, being one among 25 lakh women who made Ananthapuri a boiling pot.

Chanting ‘Sarvamangala mangalye...’, we reached Statue junction where we alighted and headed to Gandhari Amman Kovil road. After finding a comfortable place near the temple, we went and bought bricks to make the hearth. Everything settled, we sat waiting for the muhurat of lighting of the pongala hearth in the Attukal Temple to light ours.

My cousin and I chanted Lalithasahasranama during the time. Sitting idle after the chanting made us sleepy. The muhurat for lighting the hearth was 10.30. We lit our hearths with the fire which was brought from temple and thus began our offering.

Unlike my earlier experiences when smoke made me cry all the time, I felt the divine blessings more this time. I was least affected by smoke and heat. A group of some 5-6 women of a family, who were sitting opposite to us were offering in 101 pots, heightened my devotion.

When rice began boiling in the earthen pots, jaggery was mixed with it symbolizing the win of good over evil. After the pongala was ready, we had idli, sambar and chutney offered by a family who stayed in a house on the same street.

Then began the wait for the nivedyam (offering of pongala to the goddess) which was scheduled for 2.45 pm. Soon after the nivedyam, we saw women flooding the streets with heavy bags of prasadam balanced on their head, with faces beaming with satisfaction.

I too joined the bunch on the way back, highly pleased with the opportunity that came my way to be a drop in the ocean of devotion.


Jennifer said...

Nice yamini. What an experience, sounds like it was not only memorable, but humbling!
I have linked your post to mine on Attukal Pongala. If you find time, do take a peek!
Thanks for sharing!!

Debby said...

Nice! For me it's a peek into a beautiful culture. I loved reading in detail how the whole event went about. I mean the narrative is so good :P

raindrops said...

@Jennifer, thanks for linking my post to yours. I have read yours too. I think it is more detailed than mine :)
Debby, delighted to know that u enjoyed it.

meerasworld said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
meerasworld said...

i love ponkala i made it here at home:)instead of sarkara,i used dark brown sugar and it came out real good!!

Raji said...

had a great feeling ammini... :)
all the best for ur journey!!!