Times may change and everything around you may completely disappear, but certain traditions are always maintained and they are the only hope for us to assure the fact that, something’s cannot be changed in life. I am talking about this specific festival that happens in Myalapore Arulmigu Kabaleeswarar Temple, the "Panguni Peruvizha". I being a hardcore Mylaporean, I always wanted to be in town to see this festival, but owing to my professional schedule, I just could not make it to this festival for almost 5 years, but this time, me being in INDIA, I wanted to take a day off and attend this great occasion.
I was born and brought up in this traditional place of Chennai and as you all know how a typical Brahmin Iyer would be called in colleges or schools, yes "Thair Saadham" and I am proud to be a part of that "Thair Saadham" community. I was always attracted towards this festival just because of this "Thaer", the way that mammoth structure is built and the way in which the entire Mylapore comes to pull that is something that fascinates me all the time, when I was young, say may be 24 or 25, I used to be a part of that "Thaer" pulling gang, though I am not masculine built, but I had that energy to pull it along with the other folks, the principle is simple, you get this crazy satisfaction, that you pulled this mammoth structure, but in reality you will just be a part to that humongous force.
This festival always happens during the start of peak summer and you will generally sweat like pig, imagine how you will be when you have to pull that big structure which is made up of just wood and iron. The wheels of this thaer will be of at least 10 foot in dia, and the "Vadam" (That's the thread people used to pull that structure) is completely made of "Coconut Strings" and that will be of 1 foot dia in thickness. The beautiful part of pulling this "thaer" is when people who are witnessing this great act from their terrace would pour buckets and buckets of water on you, and the people who are pulling that will actually ask for pouring water on them as their body would have been heated by the contraction of muscles inside their body. The feeling that you will get when they pour that chill water on you is beyond words for me to explain.
All the four mada streets will be jam packed on this day and there will be freebies which will be distributed all over the place, you can see people distributing Butter Milk, Pongal, Bisibelaa Bath, Curd Rice, Paanagam etc etc. People from all walks of life will meticulously stand in that queue and will get that, it’s not the factor of who is rich or who is poor, it’s just the fact of togetherness and unity. If you happen to see the coordination that the folks will exhibit in pulling that thaer, you will be stunned. Those folks will not be IIM's or IIT's or Project Managers from IT industry, but their coordination will be far beyond excellence, and I bet you folks, an IIM or an IITian or a Project Manager can never do this with ease as the way these folks do, it comes out of sheer experience.
This festival always brings in nostalgic memories for me. During my school days my granny used to carry me on her hip and then take me to this festival, even today I went along with my granny who is now 86 years old, but this time, I took care of her and showed her the "thaer" she might have lost her vision a bit, but still she wanted to see the thaer with that blurred vision. Again, I don’t think the next generations will see such granny's who have this tremendous experience and who guides folks like me; I am truly blessed in that way. I am so happy that I could make it for this grand show, and I will eagerly wait for the same time to come next year and if GOD blessed, I will come again and see that with my Granny