Srikanth had given me many pleasant surprises.
During his high school or Early college studies he used to go to churches on Sundays to teach children or for some such service. When it became a regular practice, I prepared myself mentally to receive a Theresakutty or Mary mol as an additional member in the family who would enquire, ‘appatchannu egg omelette veno or fish omeletto?’ ( you prefer egg omelette or fish omelette, dad?’ )
To my surprise, he brought home a wonderful girl who speaks our language and follow our customs. In fact a step further-no silk wear, no milk products !
On his first home coming after joining the Kanchi Engineering college, he said, ‘appa, I want a panchapatram and Mantrapushpam pusthakam. Panchapatram is the copper vessel we use for the Sandhya and Manthrapushpam is the title of a Sanskrit book of Vedic hymns.
I couldn’t believe my ear! My son asking for a Panchapatram!
My sons, who used to wake up on their cradles every morning hearing the sound of my pooja bell ringing, were least interested in religious rituals, then ( now the situation has changed, thanks to the influence of their better haves!😳)
I was therefore the happiest father when they agreed not only to sit for their wedding, in traditional wear but also go through the entire rituals happily. About that later, but why Panchapatram now?
Srikanth clarified that the first year students had to do Sandhya and learn some hymns, in his college under the aegis of the Kanchi Mutt.
Srikanth and Meena accompanied me to Perinkulam for the car festival. None of my children had visited our ancestral village except during their early days, when I would have taken them. I was therefore extremely happy. My young days , when I used to serve food along with my father, for the villagers attending the festival came to my mind. I can tell you, a unique joy it was to watch Sri. and Meena bending and serving food, fast, continuously, without spilling on the floor or they themselves slipping and falling, as it was a new experience for them. Even I could not bend and serve for more than about fifty people! Srikanth even could successfully tie the thick coir rope around the waist if the chariot, supported by my cousin! When they pulled the rope of the chariot along with me I was moved with emotion. My ancestors would have been really on cloud nine, seeing their progeny pulling the chariot of the god they had worshipped.