I’m back in Madurai, the ancient temple city where I grew up. It feels like a small town now after the massive, 8-million, sprawling city of Chennai. I’m on my way to spend a 10-day holiday season in the hills where I used to attend boarding school, visiting a favorite retired teacher from that school.
Here is Madurai, it’s still the same crazy traffic as Chennai with old, narrow streets- but the air is cleaner and the neighborhoods are quiet. Took a lovely walk early this morning – women were decorating their house entrances with colorful “kolams”, perhaps more elaborate than usual for the month of celebration. These traditional chalk drawings have become more colorful over the years and each woman gets to be creative.
I love the passionate colors that people choose in India- for clothing, for houses, for decorations, and for worshiping God. Homes are unabashedly colorful- purple, pink and everything in between.
It’s a holy season this month- a time to worship all the gods- called Margari (phonetic pronunciation). Women sit by the side of the road weaving flower garlands for folks to buy and take to the temple for worship. It’s a happy time! And perhaps everyone is happy that the weather is so much cooler this time of year.