Thursday, April 27, 2006

Trip down a memory lane

That Lord Balaji (popularly known as visa devudu) of Chilkur, a village around 25 kms off Hyderabad, had fulfilled most of what I had prayed for, it was pay-back time. And so, I set off at 12 noon to the Chilkur temple on my Suzuki Samurai, knowing very well what lay ahead.

First off, I was still getting back to driving on the left side of the road. Next, as no satellite captures the coordinates of such remote parts, you have to rely on age old methods like stopping by the roadside tea shops to get driving directions. I was a bit surprised that nothing enroute had changed, and that the faint images of Golkonda fort, AP police academy, Engineering colleges that are perennially under construction and the beautiful stretch of gulmohar-tree lined road were enough to lead me to the temple. So it was truly a trip down a memory lane than an act of Google maps or map quest!!

The abode of visa devudu was the same, except that it bore signs of not being able to escape the clutches of commercialization. The task of going around the temple 540 times (pradakshinas) was no easy thing for me, given the merciless heat, the scalding floors and the crowd. Managed only a part of it and may be I have to go 3 or 4 days in a row to complete it. This time around, I noticed that they issue cards that look something like cricket score cards, on which you record the number of pradakshinas you have finished!!!


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