/* My native place Vedaranyam doesn’t have world class hotels or shopping malls or big theatres. But when you go back after giving it a visit, these things will hardly stand against the million photographs you’d have shot and the animated memories you’d have. Beauty isn’t in Luxury. It is rather in simplicity. */
In every one of our lives there’s someplace where we wish to go when we face adversity, sorrow or heartbreak. It can be a terrace, a personal room, a friend’s place or a bathroom. Also, it can easily be your native place.
I have friends who are Chennai
(read city) natives. This post is to inform them of the fun of village life. I love Chennai and my native in the same way as I love both poetry and prose. I write this post with the intention of highlighting the happiness of village life.
I’m in the land where the soil is still visible,
A land where sparrows still live to sing,
A place where spirituality hasn’t died yet,
A region where salt runs the stove thrice a day,
Where the neighbour is treated a fellow human,
Where Children still have to come out to play,
Where movies are the same, theatres are different,
Where Channels are the same, Televisions are different.
No Watsapp, its Ok, We’ve got gossip!
No Electricity, its Ok, We have the wind!
No English, its Ok, we speak what comes naturally!
No Internet, Thank God, We aren’t monitored!
No Malls, Thank God, The purse is safe!
Family. Nature. HappYness: The price we pay for civilisation?
Cliched childhood Flashback:
Vacations, Festivals and even two day holidays, I utilised to visit my native. As Abdul Kalam
mentions a change in landscapes as he travels by the train (Wings of Fire), there is a stark landscape difference which is noticeable even when you are 50 km away and into my native by bus. My native was a ‘village’ some five years or so ago and is now a ‘Municipality’. But it still fits in the stereotypical ‘village’ image of Kollywood
films. So that’s still a village for me.
There is this classification of Fantasy Fiction, namely, the ‘Wainscot’ (A fantasy place which co-exists with the real world) which best describes how I see my native.
My native is my parallel world. A World a lot of people aren’t aware of.
You’d possibly know my native from the History books (Vedaranyam
, the second Salt Satyagraha
Site) or the Geography books (close to Point Calimere
, a sanctuary) or even the Tamil books (Thayumanavar
was born here). You’ll often hear this name if you happen to tune into a news channel whenever a depression is formed in the Bay of Bengal
WE (if you are studious, you aren’t part of the ‘WE’) often ignore, or worse, hate things our syllabus books say. But there isn’t many a thing in Vedaranyam that you’ll actually hate.
Since I always went to my native on holidays, I never associate it with studies (or anything else that I hate for that matter). I’d leave the very day the school closes and only come back the morning the school reopens. The first day I’m there, I’d count: x days more for School. X would seem very large. That is hardly the case when you are enjoying your heart out. Remember, Time is always your enemy (And so is the part of the brain that perceives time). When you are bored out of your wits, you think time runs slow. When you’re enjoying your heart out, time seems to be running too fast. (This was an exam hall thought. I had a lot of time to spare but the invigilator didn’t let me out and also forced me to take an additional sheet. Merciless 😦 ).
Time Demolition zone, my native is. How much ever time I give it, it churns it into seconds. I mostly remember it for two of my friends, Hari and Shyam, a brother, Parthiban and the 14 year old local thief Abhi**th and our combined adventures. Cricket, Temples, Functions, Long chats over the local government school and its teachers, the Sea visits, Music, Dancing (I don’t do that and you know that), the silly 1-day breakups, the movies at ‘The Addicted theatre’ and last and nowhere near the least, Hide and Seek at night. (I guess you did a face palm for this one).
People who visit my native come primarily for its ‘Lord Shiva‘ Temple and the adjoining Kodiakkadu (in Kodiakkarai).
What Kodiakkarai does to children and the children-at-heart
Some miles from my native is Kodiakkarai, wild life sanctuary and a stunning beauty. The road that lead to it is a vista that you’ll never see elsewhere. On either side, in the beginning of the journey, are salt dunes, that’ll be exported to the metropolis. The deeper you get into Kodiakkarai, the more striking it is. Getting yourself a ticket for entering into the Sanctuary is the best thing you can do for your current day. A Highly camera friendly region it is. Deer, monkeys, horses and occasional wolves is what you’ll see once you are inside the sanctuary.
For the secular ones and the Christians is Velankanni, miles before Vedaranyam. Velankanni is well known in Christian circles for the St. Mary’s Church it houses.
An interesting anecdote
: Tsunami struck India
on December 26th
, 2004. The Velankkanni church is only 325 feet from the Sea. Pilgrims were attending ‘mass’ there because, and most surprisingly, December 26th
was a Sunday. Water did not enter the shrine and all praying people lived to tell the tale
What you’ll like or find, if you happen to visit my native on a holiday, I don’t know except for the fact that you’ll see me running by the road, cricket bat in hand on the South Street amongst a bunch of happy people.