The duration i spent in Srirangam during my school and college days are still fresh in my mind. It was one of the best time where i felt closer to the abode of Lord Ranganatha and connected to my origins.
I still remember, Maargazhi month for me (December-Jan) was interesting for 5 reasons.
1. Mortal: Aroma of early morning Ven Pongal and Chakkara Pongal (2 South Indian delicacies) – Both at home and in the temple (I am a foodie – so everything else takes lesser importance than food)
2. Immortal: Early morning walk to the temple to see the Lord and listen to Thiruppavai and the regular chant of sriman narayana charanao. Getting his Darshan is what i miss a lot even today. (Having spent more than 8 years in Srirangam itself is a boon). The first Divya Desams of the main 108 Divya Desams,
3. Very Mortal: The misty mornings with a mild cold weather where mere mortals like us can see pavadai chattai davani clad young girls lining up for recitals of Thiruppaavai and we in our bicycles having our hearts skip a random beat at an adolescent age when you dont know life decisions are not to be made at that point of time.
4. Mortal but Immortal: All this is when we are cycling away to early morning 6 AM tution for Chemistry Classes to be on time to avoid sitting in the staircase and not getting a regular glimpse of the blackboard in our chemistry vadhyar (sir) house (first floor) and stepping on the staircase rail from time to time and making notes (Mind you those great souls took as low as Rs.15 as the tution fees and considered it as a service instead of a money making business and have shaped the future of many people!)
5. High degree Mortal: The group of Iyer and Iyengar Mamas marching towards their favorite hotels (mamis coffee becoming questionable in credibility) in the early misty mornings (restaurants are called that way in south India) to have the early morning brew of coffee (Dispose the current Baristas! – They stand no comparison to the coffee served in these hotels!). And the way we used to avoid them en route to our classes…they would catch hold of us to gossip which will make us loose our place in chemistry class for blackboard visibility
And last but not least the Panneer Soda from the main shop before raja gopuram while returning home from all the tution classes attended for the day.
Finishing this with the actual essence of the month – Thiruppaavai
திருப்பாவை – ஆண்டாள் பாசுரம்
நாமும் நம் பாவைக்கு ,
கேளீரோ பாற்கடலுள் ,
பரமானடி பாடி ,
ஆன்றநயும் கைகாட்டி ,
Vaiyathu Vaazhveergaall ! Naamum Namm Pavaikku..
Seiyyum Kirisaigall Keylleero Paarkadallul..
Neyyunnom Paalunnom Naatkaaley Neeradi..
Mayitezhudhom Malaritu Naamudiyom..
Seyyaadhana Seiyom Theekuralai Sendrodhom!.
Iyyamum Pichaiyum Aandhanaiyum Kaikaati! Uyyumaarenni Ugandhelor EmPavai..
Since i am not a big religious literate i am referring to a website which can give you the meaning of the above:
Meaning available in Srivaishnavam Website link Meaning of Thiruppavai 2 Pasuram