Lost Magic

Koodaravalli !!!

As a kid in the Nineties, all I knew about it was that it’s an event which had a musical name. It also meant that I get to wake up early by five, take a cold bath, and get ready to travel in our (t)rusty old ambassador. Soon, the fully loaded ambassador will start and travel through the winding dark roads with tall trees on either side, to the distant town to reach the temple where my mom sponsors the koodaravalli pooja to the deity every year.

The temple with its huge gopuram and large doors were a sight that awed me as a kid. While the pooja went on, I used to run in the long corridors within the temple complex, playing hide and seek with the idols there. Once the pooja was over, the akka at the temple will pack for us, the tasty offerings made for the pooja, and I couldn’t wait to get back home and feast on them.

If it was my lucky day, the temple would have been crowded, we would come back home late in the morning and I would get a day off from school.

It’s 2023, and my mom still sponsors the pooja every year. This year I joined her for the temple pooja.

I haven’t been to this temple for a long long time. If I remember correctly, I had stopped the koodaravalli temple visits from the time I was away in college. My college education was done and dusted, and I have been home for almost a decade now, and yet, the koodaravalli temple visits never happened for me.

Coming back here was like revisiting pages from an old journal diary.

From my last memory as a kid, and now, I noticed a few things.

Koodaravalli still sounds like music to me.

I still do not know what the function is for. I am pretty sure I have been told what its for, multiple times and yet.. (I am not exactly the religious kind, I consider myself an Agnostic, whose thoughts align a bit with Buddhism.)

It is not ‘that dark’ at 6 AM in this part of the country.

There were no winding roads to the temple. Maybe they existed before, but it was all straight paved and tarred roads now.

The tall trees were no more, and brick and mortar buildings lined the road on either side.

The distant town was a ten minute car drive from my home.

The temple was small…. Quite small compared to my childhood memories. The gopuram and the wooden doors were not as massive as in my memories. The long corridors from my memories were nowhere to be seen, and I could walk around the temple corridors in less than half a minute.

The temple was small compared to the house where I had lived all these years. As a kid, It would have taken me more time to come around my house, than coming around the temple. And yet, Little me, in some way, had associated all these wonderful ‘larger than life’ experiences with the yearly koodaravalli temple visit.

I said to my mom ‘Everything looks so small compared to what I had in my memories’ for which she quipped ‘That’s because you are quite big now’ •`_´•

The offerings prepared by akka were as tasty as ever, thankfully.

While coming back home, I couldn’t help but wonder,

Sometime during growing up, adults definitively loose touch with the magic we possessed during our childhood.

Maybe, that magic was childhood.

And the only way an adult can experience that magic again, albeit for a short time, is to look at the world along with a child, through their eyes.

Cover Image: Photo by Ruvim