Monday, 15 August 2011
I faintly remember the 1st time I was in this city. It was during a school trip from Trichy to Kanyakumari. We were travelling in bus and i woke up in the middle of the night and asked sleepily
"which place is this?!"
somebody replied " I guess it is Madurai"
I put my eyes close to the window and tried hard to catch a glimpse of this city to which i have never been to and i didnt think at that point of time , that i would come again.
It was after 5 years after i finished school that i realised that i am going to be spending a major part of my life in this city also known as "The Athens of the East".
It was only when dad got transferred and we almost left madurai, that i realised how close this place was to me. I didnt really want to leave , and now that we are NOT actually moving out,it made me so happy and write this blog.
When i first moved into Madurai, I loathed it. I found it to be the most boring place on earth. My friends were bored too, complaining about how Madurai did not have any place to "hang out" .
Well, Madurai is much more than that. It is deep. It is original. It is innate. There are external influences, ofcourse, but the city still manages to retain its rawness, and that is why i fell in love with this place.
So what is so special about this place? There are many things in madurai (only in madurai) which are special.
The world famous meenakshi temple.
The ladies selling idli on the street.
Jasmine flowers(Madura malli) which are being air-lifted to London, France, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai everday.
Magnificent Nayak palace.
Jigarthanda - a drink you should never miss.
Murugan Idli kadai..(Idli tastes the best here)
Festivals - anything and everything in Madurai will be celebrated. Election results,exam results, cricket match , marriages, temple fest , anything u name, there are fireworks always..
Speaking of festivals, the best time to visit madurai is during "chithirai tiruvizha". It is a temple festival but Madurai is vibrant in its fullest form in this season , which comes in summer time. People from in and around Madurai come and celebrate and the city is full crowded for that whole week. People even stay in petrol bunks during this time during lack of space.
People of madurai are fun loving. They love entertainment. There is some exhibition or the other which keeps on happening in the city. Home needs, book fair, arts n crafts or fun exhibition anything...
Dir Maniratnam, Dir Bala, Dir Bharathiraja, Maestro Ilayaraja, the legendary MS Subulakshmi, T V Soundarrajan (founder of TVS), Lyricist vairamuthu, Actor vadivelu.. are some of the famous personalities from Madurai..(few that i know)
Well what can i say, i cant help but find everything about madurai special! What else did i miss? oh yeah.. the famous prema villas halwa (SHOULD NOT BE MISSED) , burma idiyappam too..
And the people here especially, they are hardworking , straight forward, adamant may be, and very strong in expressing both their love and hatred.
A small incident to explain this would be when i had gone with my friend to have some juice, i had kept some in my glass without finishing it. When the cleaning lady asked if she can clear it, i said yes coz i felt i cudnt have more.
The lady lifted the glass saw the juice inside and exclaimed "Innum padhi juice apdiyae iruku? en kudikala" (meaning u still have left half of the juice without drinking why?") I just smiled. It was like a mother asking her child. Its that connection u feel , the bonding, which i dont know if i will experience in any other place. Maybe yes Maybe no.
Madurai is a part of my life now. Have had many memorable moments in this beautiful city. My college life , class bunking and watching movies in theatres - mani impala, palanganatham jeyam (was my 1st theatre visit in madurai) , cinipriya, mapillai vinayagar, vetri, madhi, ambiga, devi kalaivani, jazz, thanga reegal, guru (saw avatar in tamil here :D ) , tamil jeya.. i guess ive been to all theatres in madurai.. i dont know what i have missed.. Madurai will always remain one of the best chapters of my life.
PS: Kadabavanam was what madurai was originally called.
And for ppl who think Maddur vada is from Madurai, NO IT IS NOT!