The wonder in ones life are never miracles.. it is the faith and self belief that one has in himself.. this is just not a statement that I make reading from books.. it is my first hand experience with my Dad..!
My Dad ever since my rememberence on the day of his salary , we have 3 different Piggy bank, (which was made of baked clay) that used to be placed on the pooja shelf... and very sincerely he would put in Rs5-00 in each. At times I would ask my Mom for what that was being done ?... she would explain to me that it is meant for God , that will be offered at the temple when we visit the respective temple..( one for Tirupathi, one for Palani and other one for Amman temple at our native place...)
There was another belief that whenever we as a whole family begin our journey anywhere my Granny and Dad would offer a small prayer and put some money in that piggy bank..!It was forbidden for any of us to even touch it.. and by chance even if any of us while cleaning the Pooja stand and the things out there had been moved , it will be mentioned to our Dad...!( To do that there used to ritual like we had to take bath and it should not be on Tuesday or Friday... it used to be such fun..)
It was after Chandra's marriage my Dad proposed that we would take on a pilgrimage to "TRIPATHI", there was a long pending offering to the temple and the Piggy bank to the temple had gone to 3 units... Well you can imagine.. the sense of joy and adventure for us.. On our way we had a transit at our Uncles' house in Madras, also my Granny's request was to visit her younger son ....Well we ( Dad, Mom, Granny, Jaya, Bala, Raja & me..) we had our itenary booked and reserved in Train and upon reaching Tripathi station, it was really frightening in a new place with people talking different language, incomprehensible.. but yet strangely. enjoyable..
Well for my Dad with so much in his hand.. as kids we never had any idea of the financial crunch or budget within which we had to play around or the obvious limits.. The limit known to us.. when we want something which would be forwarded by Mom, if she refuses to go ahead, then it is no for us.. which we had accepted.
Upon reaching the Meltirupathi.. the journey to it was nonetheless frightening with the passengers relating the accidents that had happened, time to to time Granny chanting."Ezhu Gundalawada, Thirupathimlayane, Venkatachalapthye..." it was really quite shivering and numbing in that chilly winterly night traveling uphill in an almost dilepated transport that emits all sorts of strange sounds while the driver negotiating on the curves , or over taking a vehicle or giving way for an on coming vehicle.. it was quite an experience..I was holding my Mom tight and in fact never had the courage to peep over the steep ravines ... it was a different experience...
While we reached Dad had 2 cottage booked.. the place was cold and we all were shivering... we had dumped all our luggage at the cottage and had a wash and we all headed to the temple.. my Granny was narrating her previous experience... that it was quite laborious.. and long queuing and it had taken.. 10 hrs.. for her to get darshan of the Lord..!
You know , one more habit of my Dad was that he used to be a real walker,, and always he would be ahead of all of us, then look back at us with a scornful look for not keeping abreast with him and that used to be one common subject of argument with my Mom...then as we went to the shrine it was incidentally too quick and we hardly waited at any point and you can say just because of my Granny, who could not walk for long, we did rest for a while for couple of times.. we did have a reasonable long time on the trot to the devasthanam...You know with we being kids.. and with our Granny we were almost drained with no energy to go out anymore, Dad had made some arrangements for the next morning.. We all had our head tonsured....!!!!then Bala suggested that we could buy special darshan ticket that was costing Rs100-00 per person and we had enough money that had been collected in the piggy bank... my Dad was so upset.. he just grimly told Bala to do what he was told to.. and stop giving advices.. we all were surprised and my Mom was also worried that it might be another long day in he queue considering the narration by my Granny... my Dad said, "Look , I had this money collected with only thought of putting that in the Hundi... If the lord wishes to make us endure such things by going in the queue, then we should.. but I will not use that money for anything else.. so there is no room for any discussion.. so better all move fast and do not think of the option of buying ticket for special darshan...!!!"
We having our head clean shaven and have taken cold water bath.., the early morning chilly breeze.., we had a cup of hot coffee and we had began the day in anticipation of a long day in the queue.. The early morning Suprabatham was so soothening and as we approached the shrine.. you will not believe.. it was so empty that we went on... not believing our eyes.. and my Granny in excitement began chanting again...we had reached the devasthanam such a pleasant quite dharshan without any hustle or bustle.. that was quite unbelievable.. we came around and had all the offerings into the Hundi... went along and had the hot "Laddoo" prasadham which was given free those days..we all had one and as we came back and we could not believe our eyes.. the same track that we had crossed over few minutes ago was so crowded that the volunteers were stating that the group would be getting the dharshan only by that evening ... so you can imagine how long the queue would have grown to... then my dad turned to us and said.. " Look, I had faith, and belief, that has what happened. Bala was quite..and Granny was all out to relate the contrast in her experience..of her visit... there when I saw the real sense of ones faith and self confidence...well demonstrated ..
I also wish to mention that this clipping of the Pooja that I have added to this blog is called " NIJAROOPA POOJA" This has unique effect on devotees... I really shiver to my bones, for, my life took a strange twist consequent to my trip to Tirupathi during my business stint ...Well also this filming is a 50 years old rare collection from the archives as it was banned to film the pooja rituals exposing the idols... and particularly.. if you wish to get this darshan physically you have to book the slot now you will be blessed after 27 years.. that is the waiting list numbering...!