That Blessing In Disguise

That Blessing In Disguise

Somehow the trip materialized, our tickets got confirmed. We went. Had a glorious time. Visited some old haunts. En route to our destination on day 3, we landed at the Tadbund Hanuman Temple. My eyes brimmed with tears, thinking of that December back in 1996 when we visited it every morning at 5.45 am. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, I would eagerly wait for the tamarind rice prasadam. As waves of nostalgia hit me, I thought, what a blessing in disguise that I could bring Vidur here to walk in your footsteps, on a Tuesday. Yes, we enjoyed the tamarind rice.

 

So….anyway…

Catch me stopping a post at a 100 words! So, as we made our way towards T’s Mom’s house, we took the route via Tadbund. I simply had to show Vidur the Sri Tadbund Veeranjaneya Swamy temple, Mi. I told him about how we’d be up at 4.30 am, bathe and set off to the Hanuman Temple. If it was Saturday, we’d pick those “hanuman leaves” (arka leaves) and carry a bunch of those and hand them over to the Pujari.

vidya sury blessing in disguise

I loved the betel leaf garlands too! We would then do forty pradakshanams with a namaskaram at the end of each one. Then we would watch the first “deeparadhanai” of the day and return home.  I would open up my damp hair and you would light a sambrani and invert a basket over it. I would sit near it after switching on MTV Classics and eat breakfast watching Danny McGill work his own magic. If he featured I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that I could rest assured that the program would only have four songs in the half hour it aired. Then I would dress for work and leave at 8 am. Some days I’d be home for lunch and sometimes not.

Beautiful morning rituals of our own making.

Oh you should see the temple now, Mi. Security at the entrance – body scanner before we enter. Bag checking. I loved that camel in front of the deity – it is now covered in silver. And absolutely no photography inside. How I wish I had taken pictures of all the framed paintings on the walls! Vidur was simply fascinated and looked at each one with great interest. And looking at them through his eyes, I could once again appreciate them. Some of the pictures looked so much like his sketches. I did not trust myself to speak, for I knew no words would come out – I felt too choked with emotion.

When we passed the Rama Sita sanctum – I remembered how we gifted the vastram – you laughed when I chose a multi-colored silk cloth for it because I thought it would look lovely on the marble statues. The Shiva sanctum looks more posh now. My biggest grievance was the actual Hanuman sanctum – can you believe we can’t touch the rock? They’ve grilled off that portion. I fondly remembered how I loved hugging that rock, practically lying on it.

From the back entrance, we went to the theertham (which tasted just the way I remembered) and prasadam counter. There was a row of people standing there, chanting Rama’s name and encouraging us to do it as we received the…….tamarind rice! I was so delighted. It tasted just the way I remembered. I felt truly blessed. We bought a calendar with the photo of the deity.

hanuman blessing in disguise vidya sury

Feeling blessed and accompanied by a most satisfied Vidur, we proceeded to T’s Mom’s house via AWHO Sector C. That Silk village road looks very different. The whole place is amazingly crowded, Mi. So many new shops. The part from DP to AWHO is unrecognizable. I had to look for the once prominent gate. We went in and I was stunned by the transformation! There is a proper park in the play area and opposite it on the right, is a temple! The office looks organized. I was sad to hear that our dear Arjun Rao does not live in Sector C anymore and is now bedridden. Santhanam has sold his house and gone away. I showed Vidur C-6 and N-5 and felt so emotional as I was flooded with memories of another day. Oh, Rohnak supermarket is still there!

As we continued to our destination, I took the route via Gunrock to Kharkhana and felt a little soothed to see that area looked the same. Naturally – it is Defence land. Once we hit the main road, it felt like pandemonium. The once rather deserted road is now a hub of activity. We visited Satya and had a most wonderful time. I felt sad we didn’t go to the Sai baba temple but we were already running late. We returned to Shnu’s place at almost 3.15, with only under two hours to leave for the station again. Somehow I managed to see Fauz on the way to the station – and of course, somehow we did make it in time.

Yes, this trip was a blessing in disguise. Designed to make me happy.

I can’t help smiling, thinking about how everyone thought my not wanting to marry was because of my devotion to Hanuman. What a crock.



29 thoughts on “That Blessing In Disguise”

  • Vidya!! I have gooseflesh right now. I walked with you and Vidur through the temple. I can so relate it to it. Some places remind us more of the people we spent times with and then watching the same expressions that you might have felt on your son’s face- priceless. These memories of happier times often keep us going and in other times, prevent us from going forward too.. Too good. And I am soo glad you didn’t stop at 100 words 😀 😀 😛

  • Enjoyed this trip with you! It is sad how the world has so much security to get passed, but I guess those are the times we live in.
    (I like your “Did you smile today?” box!)

  • Hi Vidya! 100 words…as if! 🙂 I was trying to imagine where you were, but as it is all so unfamiliar to me I found my mind imagining my own places of youth, walking through with my mother and now trying to do it with my sons. Many people and places are long gone, and I wonder how could I show or explain the essence of what that time felt like, since none of the people are left to give it the same flavor? Or does it somehow linger anyway? Love to you and Vidur 🙂

    • 😀 Julie, I went to Hyderabad for three days to attend a wedding reception. And as I consider it my spiritual hometown (I schooled,college-d and worked there), having Vidur with me was glorious. Also, I’ve had the best years of my life there. Long story – and one I will save for when you get here. We can chat while we dig into those …um….bakery goods. The best part of the trip was taking Vidur to show him all our favorite places – I thought I would burst when I took him to our old colony. So many memories. I am so grateful that Vidur loves to listen to all that. Hugs. SO glad you are here. Now….waiting for when you physically get here!

  • Ah what memories and in all old familiar places for me too! How much that area has changed, hasn’t it? Apparently Cinderella is not what it used to be too. But I still love it all – the best place for long walks!

    • I barely saw Cinderella! I remember how your Mom sent goodies the first time we met! 🙂 I also missed seeing Bajrang. But then my mind was going nuts trying to take it all in, even though our autorickshaw was thoughtfully crawling along the road. Sigh. I also barely identified the road going up to Sector A.

      When I visit next time, I have to walk through the area. 😀

      • Bajrang was there the last time I visited and there’s another sweet shop too! It’s all too posh for me! 😉

  • Vidya..you have this way of transporting us to a different place and a different emotion… I love such trips with you.. I can so relate with the feeling of nostalgia and association with a particular place.. I feel everytime you back to that place you also go back in time and relive the moments..and in this case it was even better as you lived them with Vidur ..making him a part of that memory.

  • You make me smile w/ your passion, excitement, and fire about life!

    Love you more than 12 black panthers sipping water from Lake Victoria in the afternoon. Xxxx

    Merry Christmas, dear.

  • It’s nostalgia to take kids to the places that once held our interest.
    I get angry when we are not allowed to touch the idols and take blessings.

  • Enjoyed that walk with Vidur and you. I absolutely love the way you include your mother your life… In a most happy positive way. Things have changed over the years isn’t it? Security at temples is just so sad.

  • That was so vivid and nostalgic, Vidya… your words created such a powerful images. Some places are so magical, remembering about them or visiting them is so wonderful and memories come back like it was just yesterday!

  • Lovely post, and just like most of the other commenters have already said it was almost like we were all walking beside you on this trip of yours. Awesome post, as usual, Vidya 😀

  • Came in through shilpa’s Google+ link. The name tadbund anjaneya caught my attention. We live there. So, all familiar names. Sikh village, gunrock, AWHO. Since, you mention some familiar names. Do you know kartic, mala, nandini, Ram? etc.,

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