A recent visit to Madurai – a vivacious South
Indian town, reawakens my pleasant
This vibrant town teems with life and
vitality; juxtaposing both tradition
and the contemporary way of life.
I am awakened at about three in the morning by the sharp jingle of the tinker bells tied around the bulls’ neck as they trudge rhythmically along the narrow tar road drawing cartloads of fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables. The cart men sip aromatic coffee as they direct their carts to preplanned destinations. The women are engaged in decorating the front portion of their homes with multicolored kolam – in South Indian Tamil language, referring to designs or patterns that are drawn on the ground. The town folks awaken at unearthly hours to recommence the day’s labor in the fertile agricultural fields. I decided to enjoy the first early daylight walk in the coolness of the morning. As I walk along, nature unfurls it’s inconceivable mysteries in awesome splendor. Is there anything more gorgeous than the golden rising sun and the sounds of the nightingale – the kuyil? Quite magically they involuntarily activate my visual, olfactory, auditory and tactile senses. The pleasurable warm rays infiltrate the depths of my heart creating an extraordinary enchantment. I realize that my soul is in perfect synchrony with nature.
Who is the author of this marvelous creation? As the shining sun peeks from beyond the horizon, I take the liberty to walk through the cool cucumber fields and the mango groves. Many small rivulets water these fertile fields. My hands gently brush along the melon creepers as I jauntily skip past through the vast sections of the field. The proud rows of mango trees seem to show off their green young fruit; only needing to wait a little longer to be plucked and pickled in fancy brown clay jars. Later during the day, as the sweltering warmth of the sun augments, I resign to my grandma’s home at the sound of the whirring automobiles. It is Sunday morning when I notice the birds peering curiously at the sound of the chiming church bell. The evergreen neem trees on the streets are filled with drooping olive like green fruits. My grandma is waiting for me to return from my minuscule slice of adventure. I cannot wait to taste her freshly steamed, super soft, hot round rice cakes – (idlis), lentil curry and coconut chutney served on banana leaves.
The Vaigai river is brimming
with ebullient fish while
herds of buffaloes sway lazily.