Tuesday, January 11, 2011

India Days 9 and 10- Thiruvannamalai

On Day 9 I flew freakin' early in the morning from Delhi to Chennai, and then hopped in a rented car for a 4 hour drive to Thiruvannamalai to visit my friend S's family -- her grandparents live there and her mom and bro and sis in law were also visiting. I felt so honored to be asked to visit!

This is short, as I have limited internet time, but... TV malai, as S's family calls it, was Spec.Tac.Cu.Lar.

things I remember, no particular order--
  • drinking fresh green coconuts, just picked from the tree in S's grandparents garden (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • eating fresh hot dosai
  • visiting the ashram of Ramana Maharshi... I have no words for the peace that descended as the devotees chanted...
  • Visiting the main temple and being blessed by a baby (girl) elephant! (it involves giving a coin in return for a gentle thump on the head!!!)
  • having S's tata (grandfather) show us around the temple, telling us the history, and even get us the opportunity for special pooja of the main deity as well as of the goddess
  • playing with S's 1.5 year old daughter
  • getting a (mild) electric shock - (Note: Be VERY careful when removing your phone from being charged!!!)
  • the gorgeous Arunachal Mountain
  • walking to the little temples next to S's grandparents' place and learning about her family's guru...
  • Taking time with D and S to hang out in S's grandfather's study... a timeless place that elicits thinking and contemplation, while staring out at the beauty of Arunachala
  • being blessed by S's grandmother and mother
  • the l-o-n-g car ride back to Chennai with little M and S, singing songs to little M to pass the time! :-)
  • The lovely dinner with S and big M in Chennai (even it was North Indian!!!)

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