I like Maargali. The water was very cold. I like cold hair. I like early morning. Fresh. It smells all jasmine when you go near any girl, particularly in Maargali, as they all wear jasmine. I don’t wear flowers. I don’t like. I feel uncomfortable when they go dying and dry. They look sad. I do like them when they are fresh. But I don’t know when is the right time to take it off so that they never go sad. Fresh cold hair, fresh jasmine, and early morning kombai street to temple are nice.
We, we means myself and Senthil, go to all temples in the morning. People say that the prayers and celebrations are relevant only to girls who are looking to get married in the near future. They go to temple and pray to God that their marriage happens soon and good. It is not relevant for us. But many children like us and men also go to temples. So we are also going. Father decided to send us to the temple so that we both will get the habit of getting up early in the morning. But, in his dictionary, early morning means 4am. I hate to wake up that early. But, since when we have started going to temples, I like it. We collect prasatham (food offered to God in the prayer ritual and then distributed to the worshippers) from several temples. We get sarkkaraip pongal (rice pudding) as prasatham in some temples, and in some other temples it is sundal (chick pea with desiccated coconut). It is not about the pongal or sundal, it is about me and him going together. He doesn’t come to me or with me like this otherwise. It feels nice seeing him coming to me as if I can take care of him.
Senthil also finished washing body and is ready. We both depart. We have a route. First we go to our temple first and then we go to chettiyar temple. Then we go to subramaniyar temple and we finish our day in kaamatchi amman temple. By now we know the prasatham time for all temples we visit. We don’t go to all temples in Kombai. We have to be home by 7am so that we can get ready and go to school. Senthil goes to collect his share of prasatham. “Akka, it is hot, it is hot”, he comes towards me running. I take prastham from him, and look at his palm. It is red. “Didn’t I tell you to keep that banana leaf? Where did you throw, look you are hurt now”. He did not even care. He is back to the crowd again. I look for banana leave and rush to him. “Take it, take it”. I shout”. He takes it. I watch him get more prasatham. He comes and stores it with me and goes back again. “Enough, Senthil, come, let us go”. We have finished for today. Mother asks us, “happy?” “Yes”, a big nod from me. Yes, we, brother and sister collecting prasatham together, are indeed happy. :-)
PS: Not very well written in my opinion. I wanted to write more on Maargali. also, wanted to mix the emotion along with the information on maargali poojais and jasmine fragrance through my eyes. It looks that the emotion stands out oddly without mixing with the rest of the text. I will rewrite this sometime later. But for now, this is what I could write sitting in office during a tea break. Bear with me please.