I thought I would spend a boring weekend, but I got mail from Masanamuthu on 25 feb 2016 that BROKE THE MONOTANY. Since it was historical restoration of temple I asked my mom to join me. All set registered and selected and I was happy that I would be in the company of 22 like-minded souls plus without internet and social media which was a bonus.
On 27thmorning we started to Alandur metro station which was our pickup point. With few basic intros and we were all friends already. Then came the most awaited van from Tambaram, hopped on to the van and before we knew it, we were all on our way to Kanchipuram. Then came the breakfast, went to a nearby temple and saw a hero stone of a war hero of royal lineage which was laid there. It was already 9.30 am and we swiftly went to pick up Subash, one of our photographers who was waiting for us from 8.00 am. Yippe!!!! we met him, brought a few saplings to plant in a nearby farm. Finally, we reached KALAKATTUR, the DESTINATION.
Kalakattur is a beautiful place with huge acres of farms on one side and lake on the other side with cormorants, cattle egrets, pond herons and many other wonderful flocks of birds (feels and looks very cinematic). We walked in between these two scenes and at times me and Riaz (kutti payan :D) raced to get to the temple. First visited lord Shiva (Agneeshvaran) and wished him a hello, then “kalathula yeranginom” with steel brushes, masks, and lot of smiles :D :D :D . Next work was “Sunnambu sorandal”. Only then I came to know that this was a tenth century temple and it had the inscription of original name of Raja Raja Cholan i.e.“ARULMOZHIDEVAN”, and when the village officer asked the king to permit him to light a lamp for the kings welfare, the great Raja Rajan replied and asked him to light a lamp for peoples welfare instead of his. So thevillage officer ‘Kaadanmayinthan’ lit two lamps for the king and his people, that’s the history.
In between hard work and cleaning the temple we had some enlightening history classes from ‘Ananth and Ramesh’. I now feel why my history teacher thought about French revolutions and stuff instead of greatness of this soil. Guys plss be my History vatiyars. And again routine started withsunnambusoranding along with water wash to those beautiful walls which holds around 1,100 years of history with in between mokkais and energy from grapes and papayas, from Tharani ma. Credits to the spirit of Pranav and Riaz both kids who worked much more than what we did and also lifted our spirits.
Thanks to “Sasi Dharan” for identifying such a beautiful place, we all missed him this time. Now it was time for selfwash. Local akka asked us to make use of the nearby well, we ran through the paddy fields and jumped into it, swam and enjoyed the water. The most happiest person was “Bency”, our accountant who jumped and learnt swimming this day, Thanks to Manoj and Guna her swimming coaches. Finally with few photo sessions there we again headed back to temple for our lunch (Curd fried rice with potato fry (what could be better than this???) and garlic pickle :P), it was YUMMY. After a few more group pics bidding bye to the temple we headed to the farm.
On the way to farm we saw “Iyengar kulam” and the beautiful grown saplings which were planted 2 years back; Kudos to TEAM AINTHINAI for planting and the successful maintenance drives. At the farm we met Mr. Jayabalan, a man with full of info about plants and trees and siddha medicine. They are doing a great job by taking care of acres of field and preserving the nature and sustainability for future generations. Like the maharajas of yesteryears, he had also dug a Kulam in the farm. GREAT WORK IN PRESERVING NATURE. We had a chance to walk around the field, get some group pics and get to know many things about medicinal plants. Thanks to Arun Prasad and Subash for capturing all those moments.
What is a day without a dip that too after finding a kulam in the farm, so jumping into open water once more with all the energy. Finally before leaving the farm, planted the saplings we brought and left there with satisfaction. Thanks to the young champ and the lady in farm who made us tea, “Thirikadugam”, Sundal etc. for evening snacks.The day didn’t stop there, the van started towards Padappai, to join team Ainthinai for the plantation maintenance drive. Special thanks to each and everyone of that team for welcoming us with great spirit and for making BIRIYANI AND BBQ for dinner. With few chats we all ate dinner and camped there that night with the expectation of a wonderful morning. Woke up at day break and got a real luxurious place for refreshing ourselves in the nearby villa. After all that resting we started working with great josh around the 1500 teeny weeny saplings which would provide tons of fresh air and habitat for our future gens. We had tasty bananas, tea and methu vadai and masal vadai in between.Watering plants and forming human chain to achieve it was the best part. With all shouting for “Empty Buckets and Water Buckets”, and I was in the empty buckets team, that’s how we made sure that every plant there was watered and nurtured properly and of course with lots of smiles and lots of mokkais. Afterfinishing a water tank we had the Breakfast break and the menu was palaya sadam, with sambar onion, green chilliesandpickles bonus we got kachha mangoes too. Then Mom and team made lemon and nannari juice for energy backup. It was time for us to bid bye for the Padappai team.We boarded the van with heavy heart as they were still working on the saplings. Finally, with self intros in the van and a stop for tasty lassi we were dropped at Tambaram (into the traffic and concrete jungle) and then I realized that my first green event with CTC came to an end. BACK TO THE MONOTANY, Nature See u next weekend until then bye.
Masu, Manoj and Vinodh for organizing such an informative event
Bency for handling accounts
The photographers: Subash and Arun
Riaz and Pranav who showed great spirit
Spl Thanks to Parthiban, Siva and team for the food and combining us with u guys