Pazhani Padayatra Experiences
Sorry for the delay in posting the same though I wish I could have posted it a week before. Some or the other way I was engaged with other activities and hence the delay.
Overall it was a good experience as I had gone for the padayatra after 7 years break/gap! Fact not to be denied was the 7 years of IT life has contributed a lot in terms of health, stamina etc., . I used to do a good amount of physical activties, push ups etc., but for about 2 years could not do anything of that sort due to the present lifestyle!
The day before the yatra, I had stayed in office till 2 AM due to a release and reached home only at 3 AM. Due to lack of sleep and travel, had a good fever! :(. Had met the doctor and put 2 injections and then only started the yatra.
During the course of time though it seemed to be okay, I had been having a backpain and cold. So did NOT drink the tender coconut which is very essential and will be available aplenty. I remember a decade back when we used to go for the pilgrimage, on an average we used to drink 2 tender coconuts per day. Sadly, this time out of 5 days walk we had only one. Just one! :(.
Had been managing with few paracetamol, crocin etc., On the last day, looked like there was a blood clot on my left thigh due to which I could not really bear the pain and walk further. It was about 125 kms I had walked and rest 35 kms I was unable to. Hence, I went by bus, which was never the case in our history!
My brother had managed to come by walk and reached on time.
Differences I had seen over these years
1. Earlier the distributions (food, eatables, snacks etc.,) will just be available only on the initial 2 days and nothing would be available for the rest of the journey. Hence, we used to preserve the food whatever we get without bothering the weight and manage with that for the rest of the journey. Otherwise survival was difficult :). These years until pazhani there were more free meals (annadhanams), distributions which was a good sign I felt. It facilitates the people by all means! Lot more people are giving much more to boss (thalaivar @ pazhani!) !! Vaazhga Valamudan!
2. Earlier these were no medical camps and aids provided. I remember in the year 2000 or so, the medical camps started operating. Now, there were good number of medical camps available for doing a good service for the devotees. They used to apply the Turpantine Oil (White colour fluid) on the legs with which it smoothens the nerves and veins! Much appreciated and wonderful service!! May god bless them all abundantly!
3. Worst part was the roads which were newly made, due to which pretty small stones were the obstacles for the efficient walking and it was more painful! :(. Earlier one or the other places it used to be. But this time every day we had such kinda roads for about 8 to 10 kms! Almost every diety was scolding the entire TN government for having done such a nasty roads on this time. Everyone knows that this is the time people go for walk! Either they would have put the roads few months back or they would have applied good amount of Tar which would have helped the stones to get settled down! Neither they did and the ultimate sufferers were the devotees!
Not to wonder, after reaching the target place (Iraakkaala Madam for our Nagarathars, which is very close the adivaaram), I had seen many such people who had broken the journey in the middle and came by bus all because of the road condition! Pathetic!
4. Out of all these years, we had a very great and wonderful dharshan of Lord Muruga this time. We could reach on time and had seen the Raaja Alangaaram (King style), Thanga Ratham (Golden Chariot) and also before going to Pallaiyarai we had seen the God just 2 feet in front of us! This was the first time we got a chance to see our boss this way!
My brother had walked non stop 35 kms and reached Pazhani on time within 10 hrs. We have a calculation of 4 Kms per hour by walk. Average, 15 mts per km. It was all a bear foot walk.
During the yatra and even after returning I had got a nice scoldings from my brother, mom on the way I live my life and the fastings I have! Too much and I could not digest :). However as exactly my brother said, “A very good lesson learnt” and the boss teaches such lessons in a little hard way, so that we will never forget!!
5. For the first time, I was out of internet, email, sms, phone calls, status, delivery, release, issues etc,. Totally disconnected and hence saved the purpose of the trip! We intentionally did NOT carry any such devices. Also we follow the rituals and norms in a rigid way.
Few of them are :
- We never look at our face in the mirror (as it may deviate the intention of the yatra)
- We never lead any luxury life by all means — not even applying shampoo, combing hair etc.,
- We never have any callback (status update.. he he he ) to house members
- As Pazhani is a hill and we do fast (religious fasting and NOT refraining from having food), we never climb any temple which is on a hill. The very first hill temple will/should be Pazhani.
- Though we take bath every day, we used to wear the same set of clothes for all the daysjust to reflect the life what Lord Muruga has, as he has gone out of anger because of the Wisdom Fruit (Gnaana Pazham) with his brother Lord Ganesha and he maintains a bachelor and kinda sanyasi life. Only after reaching Pazhani, we will wear a new set of clothes.
Overall, it was a very pleasant experience! Let us see how far the next year’s yatra goes!!
Another factor was, the stamina and health can’t be prepared over night!