Madras ‘Nalla’ Madras!

I was in Chennai last week for a few days.The temperatures were soaring and so were the tempers and yet people seemed to go about their routines as usual. Only the occasional visitors to Chennai keep fretting and fuming complaining about the weather. The local Chennaites appear to take it in the stride and keep their cool. Do they? My sister would disagree and point out: Don’t you see how people converse with each other in Chennai? A simple question will never be given a straight answer. It will be answered with a counter question. For instance if you asked a question: can you do this job for me, you’re likely to get an answer such as: ‘Do you think I’m Vetti(idle)doing nothing else and waiting to take orders from you?’ The answer is never a simple yes or no. Could this be attributed to the harsh weather conditions they live in?

The harsh summer months – May and June – are also packed with a number of marriage celebrations. It amazes me to see that women wear rich silk sarees in such a weather and still manage to greet each other cheerfully. The men,of course get away wearing minimal dress. An old Chennaite was once asked by a north indian: What, sir, is the difference between summer and winter in Chennai? He quipped: Very simple. In Summer we do not wear a baniyan(Men’s vest) and in peak winter we take out from our wardrobe all our baniyans!

During my short trip to Chennai and Tiruchi last week, I attended a marriage in our family and my grand son’s first birth day. Tiruchi is as bad or even worse than Chennai for summer heat. In spite of heat, a trip to Tiruchi is never complete without a visit to the famous Srirangam temple and a few other temples nearby. Here I had a unique opportunity to witness what faith can do to human beings. Let me narrate the incident:

Can faith move mountains? The answer is yes and no depending on who you are asking. When I asked a friend of mine who is a non-believer, he said: When you can move a mountain with present day technologies, why invoke faith? I shot back: When you can move a mountain with faith why worry about technologies? The point of my answer was that one can counter one logic with another. There is a place for logic in life and there is a place for faith too. A convincing answer to my question came from an eighty plus year old man(my father-in-law)who climbed all 80 steps of a certain temple for the purpose of having ‘darshan’ of the presiding deity. You may ask what made his climb especially noteworthy? Besides his old age, he has a condition of ankle and knee-joint which makes him limp while walking. Summer heat can only make it worse. Braving all these handicaps – old age, weak knees and ankles and summer heat – he managed to climb all 80 steps with a little help from a couple of youngsters who tried to keep him steady as he climbed step by step! His grit and determination had to be seen to be believed. He walked his way to the top with a stick in hand against heavy odds. How did a man, who is otherwise averse to walking, accomplish this amazing feat? There is no other explanation other than faith. I could see faith at work all the way!
Even a guy who talks about technology has faith in a sense. He has faith in technology.

Published in: on June 13, 2015 at 11:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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