Friday, 1 February 2008
A TEMPLE WITH A MUSICAL HISTORY, AND A VISIT TO THE PAST
One of the few temples that Dr JB and Bhama had not visited during their many trips is the Sri Venkatesa Perumal Temple in Varahur. This is the temple where another great composer Sri Narayana Theertha Swami had composed and sung the Sri Krishna Leela Tarangini, about 300 years ago.
The temple is on an immaculately clean street and seems to blend in with the houses. When we reached the temple abhishekham was going on, and young boys were reciting their Veda lessons. It is said that a boar led the Swami to this place and hence it is called Varahur.
Varahur is right next door to Thirukaattupalli and Ranganthapuram, my mother-in-law’s native place – all separated by barely a few miles. Having heard her talk of all these places had sharpened my interest.
The greenery of the area simply takes your breath away.
At Ranganathapuram, which my husband has visited in his student days, we looked round for his grandfather’s house, though we knew that the cousin who looked after it was away. And we found it. It looked a bit ramshackle, since nobody lives there anymore, and was locked. But we could see it was really a large house, taking up the space of three doorways on the street. The street itself looked abandoned.
Once upon a time, when my husband’s grandfather lived there, he owned a lot of land, which were then left to his sons. Over the years the acres have dwindled.
But I can imagine a time when there would have been green fields everywhere and children coming home from school at Thirukaattupalli, the nearest town, and playing and calling out to one another.
I have been recently reading my mother-in-law’s autobiography again, which she wrote for her family, and the chapters came alive for me there.