This Deepavali (Diwali) I missed my ancestral home at Poonjar. Not that I used to visit there often in the past. At most it was annual visit while growing up. But the 300 years old palace (some modern houses in Hyderabad may be larger than this erstwhile ‘palace’, nevertheless 😀) left an indelible mark within me.
A river flowing in front of your home, family temples of Ayyappa, Madurai Meenakshi and Sundareshwar next to it, a 100 years old school, a museum with old artefacts, temples dedicated to ancestors who died in battles, and most of all the ‘thevarappura’ (prayer room) and ‘sarpa kaavu’ (sacred groves considered to be the abode of snakes that are worshipped) next to the home…..I experience a simultaneity of past and present, heritage and spirituality, nature and beauty here. And along with it also comes memories of loss, neglect, history, politics.
It leaves a spark, a fire within me, warm and glowing as if it was moulded in the tapas of my ancestors and passed on to me. This Deepavali I reconnected to that fire and lit a lamp. And the light glows on, giving a glimpse of the path ahead.