Friday, November 26, 2010

Vaigai Flows Again

One Legend has it that if you keep your hand on the river bed, water flows through your hand, which translates in tamil as "Kai Vai" and when you read it in reverse it is "Vaikai". But, there many such stories to symbolize the river which has been struggling a lot for its survival. However, the stories have survived thousands of years. It is also believed that Vaigai branched off into two near Madurai and ran on either side of the city like a garland. One branch is the current river while the other known as Krittamala which is now a small canal near the Koodal Azhagar temple.



As a kid, I've seen Vaigai flowing majestically under the bridges and through the coconut and plantain groves. I even remember the days when most villagers in its bank used to start their day with a dip in the river. Going by the lines of Ilango in Silappathikaram, I used to believe that she is a perennial river. So over-powering was the urbanization, sand quarrying and inter-state politics that, she has remained a bed of sand all these years deceiving Ilango's lines. Even when there was rain or the annual festival, it would only be a glimpse of the thin streams meandering through the bed of sand.


Last week when I was in Madurai it was a surprise to see her flow freely under the bridges, through the groves, filling the canals and ponds, no matter what gets in the way. Instead of the old bed of sand with the sun beating down, she was flowing freely for a change. I also chanced to drive along her flow through Sholavandhaan, Thiruvedagam, Kuruvithurai... It was an awesome experience watching her flow. Wish it rains more!


Let it rain like how Bharathi would want.

திக்குகள் எட்டும் சிதறி,
திக்குகள் எட்டும் சிதறி சிதறி
பக்க மலைகள் உடைந்து வெள்ளம்,
பாயுது பாயுது பாயுது; பாயுது பாயுது பாயுது;
அண்டம் சாயுது சாயுது சாயுது - பைகொண்டு
தக்கை அடிக்குது காற்று; தக்கை அடிக்குது காற்று,
வெட்டி அடிக்குது மின்னல் - கடல்
வீரத் திரைகொண்டு விண்ணை இடிக்குது
கொட்டி இடிக்குது மேகம்; கொட்டி இடிக்குது மேகம்;
கூ கூவென்று விண்ணை குடையுது காற்று.
தாளம்கொட்டி கணைக்குது வானம்;
தாளம்கொட்டி கணைக்குது வானம்,
எட்டு திசையும் இடியால்
மழை எங்கனம் வந்ததடா தம்பி வீரா!
மழை எங்கனம் வந்ததடா தம்பி வீரா!

6 comments:

Anand said...

Machaan, Intha kathai ellam ezhuthu ennai mattum Madurai-ku kootikitu pogatha..:)

Anand said...

Machaan, Intha kathai ellam ezhuthu ennai mattum Madurai-ku kootikitu pogatha..:)

மணிகண்டன் said...

Good one ! I am happy that i have made you write again.Thanks.

vishesh said...

I have the river a couple of times and yes, was surprised how dry it was...

Kavi said...

Great pictures ! it must be a sight to see in person !!!

Thanks for sharing !!

:)

Meoww said...

Oh! Man, i miss the River, the temple, and the city, jigardhanda and the kothuparota...

Lovely post with wonderful pics of the Vaigai.