There I was, sitting on a steel bench, where I could see the full view of the ocean and waves can touch only my toes. I was sitting there looking at the ocean wondering what lay beyond the ocean and inside me.
Slowly cold spread through the bench i was sitting on and the stars started twinkling their eyes and slowly started playing hide and seek behind the clouds. Slowly the moon started shining above my head and I could feel the the breeze on my face growing colder and colder and suddenly the stars and the moon go hide behind the darkening clouds and darkness was surrounding me inside and out. The waves are trying to touch my toes for a long time.
Realising the dark, I stopped wondering what lay beyond and inside and started wondering what’s happening above. The moment I looked up a rain drop thudded on my eyes. The rain started to pouring down harder and harder and I felt the rain drenching my hair and droplets of water dripping from the tip of hair and from the tips of my fingers. I still haven’t moved an inch. I felt that rain was washing away my sins and sorrows.
I waited for the rain to do its job. When it has poured to its contend, it stopped raining. The deafening sounds of rain drops thudding on the water surface has finally stopped. The place was dark and silent but for the gentle and rhyming rhythm of the waves. I felt cleansed of all bad things. I can’t decipher if I am frozen to the cold bench or it was just an impulse. I felt pure. I wanted to leave, but something was still missing. I waited for it to find me, Then slowly, like a kid touching a puppy for the first time, a wave hesitantly touched the tips of my toes and ran away shyly.
I felt overwhelmed by the beauty of god and nature. I stood up turned around and started slowly towards the beach. My feet sinking in the soft beach sand for every step i took.
I reached the streets, it was flooded with light. I went to street surrounding me inside and out. Even though I was drenched and was freezing cold, I felt warmth spreading inside and out, making me glow inside and out.
ALL WAS WELL
In the remote town of Elavanasurkottai in Villuppuram District of Tamilnadu is one of the long forgotten temple built by Raja Raja Chozha which houses Lord Shiva who is called Ardhanarisvarar here with his consort Brahan Nayagi. The Temple might have been long forgotten, but it is significant and bears the years of wear and tear with a charm on its own.
There used to be a grand and massive fort in this area, thus giving the town the name. This Shiva temple is believed to be on top of once a small hill, but now the place is all flat and plain. To whom or which dynasty the fort belong to is unclear, though speculations are made on this regard. The fort itself is non existence in the area, but the temple still stands high and proud. This temple is also a house of many unique features apart from the obvious Chozha features which includes Yaazhi, a separate and big shrine for Chandikeshvarar, highly ornamented gopurams and the many inscription in almost every inch of the walls.
It is believed by the locals here that, once when Raja Raja Chozha came this way for hunting and found this Linga in the middle of the forest. He was immediately drawn to the shiva that seemed to be “suyambu” or that has been formed naturally, meaning it was not carved out or made by anyone. He immediately felt devoted to the Linga that he decided to build a temple around it.
This temple is built in Dravidian style, with the entrance gopuram is smaller than that of the main gopuram where the inner sanctum is situated. One of the peculiar thing about this temple is that the sanctum of the Lord Ardhanarisvarar is located on the first floor of the temple. Devotees who visit the temple has to go up a flight of stairs to reach the sanctum. The reason behind this is even more interesting: The Linga here is believed to be growing and the base of the Linga is at the ground level and the actual linga is at the first floor of the temple. There are also two praharas for the temple and unlike other temples where the praharas will be in concentric sequence, here it is in two levels: one in the ground floor and one in the first floor.
This temple also has another unique feature: a “suyambu” sculpture of Aadhi Shakthi, who by Hindu belief is the first power to have formed along side Aadhi Shiva who is the supreme and first power. This is a rare sight in any of the Shiva temple.
In this temple, Vishnu and Brahma are worshipped alongside which is almost non-existence in any other temple.
Unlike any other Shiva temple, the Nandi on the entrance and the Nandi in the sanctum faces away from Shiva, i.e., the Nandi is seen sitting having his back to the Lord Shiva, while in all other temple Nandi sits facing the Lord. The reason for this is either haven’t been found or have been lost in the lore. Either way the locals here seem to know little about the reason behind it.
There is also a shrine for an incarnation of Lord Shiva Baadhala Lingeshvarar who is believed to have appeared in front of a Malaiyaman Chief, Deivigan when he prayed the to the Lord before starting for a battle. The town in itself is said to have been donated by Sembianmadevi, grandmother of Raja Raja Chozhan and she donated this town and nearby lands to this temple.
This once majestic temple, even though maintained by the Government has still took the bad side of wear and tear through the centuries it has stood there.
Paths of Glory by Jefferey Archer is the Life story of George Herbert Leigh Mallory, an English mountaineer who lost his life in an attempt climb the Everest. The words of Archer take us on the cold and hard journey with Mallory.
The published story created a controversy in few places around the World, New Zealand in particular for major factual errors, which made the book less popular than Archer’s other works, but it didn’t stop to deliver the clichés of Archer. It had the overwhelming emotions spurting out of his words.
With Mallory in this book, we take many journeys through several summit including his historical journey to the top of Everest, the one that claimed his life and the one from which he never came back alive. Along with Mallory, we endured the cruel nights at the first base of the summit, breathless stumbles along the second base, gruelling days that were disappointing in more than one way and his final ascend and suffocated along with him in the thick layer of snow. The ending leaves us with the kind of emptiness that one will find when they fail at something that they have pushed their limits for. It didn’t make it any better to know that a living, breathing human being went through all those ordeals only to give it all up with his life. The fact also made the controversy much more understandable as the factual errors on Mallory’s life would tarnish the memory of him.
Keeping the factual errors aside, Archer didn’t disappoint in delivering an amazing story of an even amazing human being who died doing what he loved and creating history while doing so.