Monday, March 25, 2013

Sunday evening; Mylapore turns into a mela zone

We went back to the mada veedhis on Sunday evening.
Mylapore had changed in 8 hours ; it was now a village festival zone.

The local Nadar sangham had erected a pandal alongside the Chitrakulam on its north side for its free food distribution on Monday. On its edge, two men circulated printed post cards - they were on a campaign to ask the chief minister to shut down liquor shops.

Tired, sweaty policemen and women chatted in small groups, contended that though East Mada Veedhi was packed with bodies, life flowed smoothly.

By now, hawkers had created another row of stalls on both sides of the road - snacks, toys, pottus, plastic, merry-go-rounds. . .Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan had shut its gates and even the watchman had gone home.

Finding a spot to stay put was difficult - the street sides were littered with leftover food, paper plates and cups and promo handbills and a putrid smell spread around us.

 We took a position at the Vanniyar Sangham hall opposite the Rasi store and stared at the scenes at the base of the there that was now parked in its shed, now open.

Hundreds of people elbowed others, raised their plate of flowers and coconuts and inched forward to the ther to get the little boys on top to make their offering to the Lord. This was pure chaos but the little boys did a great job swiftly.

A couple raised their baby with both their hands, and inched towards the chariot, hoping the boys would pick it up and take it closer to the Lord. It coudn't happen in that swaying mass of bodies.

Behind the chariot, three queues of people climbed up from the western side to make offerings. A team of nadaswaram artistes snaked its way into the temple for the evening concert.

As dusk fell, the crowds increased. But there was a certain order all around the temple zone.
And for children this was a different Sunday - out on the veedhis.

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