Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Visting Chennai for Abhi's Upanayanam

The preparation to visit Chennai for Abhi's Upanayanam began as early as a month before in order to beat the Deepavali holiday crowd. Reservations were made well in advance to ensure that all of us had a good travel to Chennai and back.

Amma and Jyothi Aunty left early on the 15th of Oct. Gopinath Uncle pulled along Soujanya, Pooja and Anna on the Shatabdi Express on the 19th of Oct. Kiran, Anu, Naveen, Sowmya, Dwarakanath Uncle, Geetha Aunty and myself took the Night train on the 20th of Oct.

Chennai this time, greeted with moderate heat and sultriness giving us all a lot of comfort. Delicate 'Bangaloreans' that we are, it was still hard for us to bear the humidity of the place.

We went straight to Paddu Aunty's house at Tambaram and got ready to hit the choultry after a quick bath. As expected, Abhi's Upanayanam had gotten over by 5:30 in the AM, so there was nothing much to be done at the Choultry, but to find a suitable location where air was in abundant supply. So we all found that beautiful spot somewhere on the 2nd floor and let ourselves loose to dissipate some heat.

While the most of the male tribe was horizontal, a few of the unlucky ones thought of a brilliant plan to have have lunch early and visit a few places before a few of us left back for Bangalore. Using all the networking skills of Naveena, we quickly arranged for a AC Tempo Traveller and in the mean time finalized the quick trip plan to cover Ashtalakshmi Temple @ Besant Nagar and the Marina Beach.

In the middle of things, we caught Abhi, Balaji Uncle and Paddu Aunty straying from their home range of the first floor and managed to take a few group snaps for posterity.

During the lunch hour, we witnessed the 'Post-Upanayananam' rituals of Abhi. The food was served and must say that it was Umm-mazing! By 3 PM, we had taken a small nap and all set to leave for the trip. So we packed our bags (well, we never unpacked in the first case!) and up we got loaded into the AC environs of the Tempo Traveller. We bade good-byes to Paddu Aunty, Balaji Uncle and Abhi and hit the road for the Ashtalakshmi temple.

We spent an hour or so at the Besant Nagar beach. The sun was shining hard, but the beach was pleasantly less populated, so out came the cameras for a whole lot of pictures. The setting was just perfect and all the pairs in the team wanted to be in front of the camera for once. Pooja had a whale of a time playing with the waves. The difficult part came when we had to pull her out of the beach to move on to the Ashtalakshmi Temple which is right on the shoreline.

The temple was neat, well maintained and visiting the 8 different Lakshmis was a breeze. There was no huge rush and we got ample time to go around the temple and spend some time there.

Once we came out of the temple, the male bastion latched onto a street-side bhelpuri-wallah and later the ladies joined the club. In my frank-est assessment, we made the Bhelpuri-wallah richer than the 'Ashtalakshmi' standing for eternity, inside the temple. Well, the Lakshmi is any ways the goddess of money, so she wont need it as much as the Bhelpuri-wallah!

We got back into our cab and next we left for the Marina Beach. The sun was almost going down and so we quickly took a few more snaps. A few "Shundals" later (Chennai's most renowned Beach-grub), we sat down on the off-white sands of the Marina, on a moon-less evening, surrounded by thousands of other visitors sitting bumper to bumper and watched the waves lash the beach.

Kiran, (Soujanya's maternal cousin), who has started working in Chennai a few weeks back, met us while we were leaving the beach. We pulled him along for a dinner with us. Later in the night, we had a sumptuous dinner at one of hotels near the Railway station.

We bade good-byes to Amma, Jyothi Aunty, Gopinath Uncle and Kiran (Souji's cousin) who would stay back at Chennai for a some more days and the rest of us (Anna, Soujanya, Pooja, Kiran, Naveen, Dwarakanath Uncle and Geetha Aunty) jumped into the train in our designated coaches on returned back to "Namma Bangalore" after a beautiful day @ Chennai.

Here are some photographs and videos that we took during our visit to Chennai.
Abhi's Upanayanam and Trip to Chennai

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At 10:04 AM, November 11, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Vinay

I just wanted to say a big Thank You to you. I have just been looking at all your lovely pictures of your trip to Dublin and Glendalough and Howth. Very nice photos, thanks for sharing them all and glad you had such a good time there. I will be traveling there next year. Best wishes to you!

Orlando,Florida, USA
November 10th 2009


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