Aadi Velli and traffic jams

Tomorrow is Aadi Velli. For the non tamil readers, every friday (velli in Tamil) of the Tamil month of Aadi is supposed to be an auspicious day to pray to the local goddess Mariamman (and different mutations of that name). These temples are present in many street corners in Chennai.

On the Aadi velli day, the women of the locality assemble to cook Pongal for the goddess. Nothing wrong except that this is done on the road adjacent to the temple. The youth of the locality make this into a grand celebration with Pandals blocking half the road and the loud speakers blaring out devotional songs.

If there happens to be a temple on your route to office or home, you better take a diversion. There will be a traffic jam around the temple with the crowd blocking most of the road. And while you try to steer your vehicle out of the narrow street, there will be loud music that makes you almost go deaf. Not a pleasant experience.

Last Friday, the beach road in which I usually travel was blocked for the statue opening ceremony of Thespian Sivaji Ganesan. So I took a diversion to Triplicane and ended up amidst an Aadi Velli function. As I was inching my way out of the jam, I thought, “The rationalists block entire street off for opening a statue, the devotees block the road to celebrate the Goddess, what is a harried traveller, like me, to do?”

4 Comments so far

  1. Keerthivasan (unregistered) on July 27th, 2006 @ 4:40 pm

    LR Eeashwari paattu !

  2. AB (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 12:05 am

    Good post. You have connected different facets of Chennai .. Hero worship, God worship and traffic.

  3. Chenthil (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 6:10 pm

    Keerthi, of course. LR Easwari’s voice that shatters your ear drums.

    Thanks AB.

  4. DesiGirl (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 12:09 am

    I was in Chennai in 2003, during the infamous Aadi maasam. In fact, I had arrived the previous night, after spending a whole day in Heathrow cos my flight developed some probs and by the time I crawled home, I felt like I was dragged through a hedge backways. I was looking forward to spending loads of snoozetime, no more cooking / cleaning / dishwashing – imagine my shock when I was woken up at the ungodly hour (pun intended!) of 4.30 by LR Eswari!! She took about 10 years off my life then!

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