Wednesday, August 03, 2005

ஆடிப்பதினெட்டு – ஆடிப்பெருக்கு

Today is aadippadhinettu [18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi]. This is the second most important day in the lives of the Kaveri delta people, after the harvest festival of Pongal.
The relevance of this date and its impact on the society has been waning for the past 3-4 decades, from when the dominance of agriculture on the economy started declining.

Aadi padhinettu, is traditionally the day when sowing begins for the annual crop of paddy. It is when the monsoon on the western ghats have peaked, and in the “pre-karnataka” times, it was when Kaveri was in full spate.

Hopes, dreams, et al gets converted into prayers, on this day. Mother Kaveri is the deciding parameter in whatever decision is taken later in the year, be it buying a cow, or getting a bigger piece of land, making some jewellery, sending children to school, getting daughters married, and what not! If she fails, or if she overflows, it is end of story for us.

I remember, early in 90s we flock to Chinthamani Padithurai or Amma Mandapam, and some of us adorn Her with manjal, kumkumam, new bangles and flowers. It would be a great sight to stand over the Kaveri paalam, and look down on the west. She would look like a huge golden saree[thanks to the setting sun] with red double side border[thanks to vermilion from CP and AM]!! The newly wedded of that year, preserve their marriage garlands and offer it to Kaveri to keep it in safe custody and bless them with success prosperity and peace throughout their lives.

Kalandha saadham is the neivedhyam for her that day. Akkaravadisal, Puliyanjadham, thengaisadham, elumichambazha saadham, with karuvadam, poricha appalam, more molagai, all in Her name.

Baloon, peepee, kalar kannadi, pori kadalai, all are default in the shopping basket!! By abt 6.25 all of us go on the kaveri paalam and turn eastwards facing the railway line. Brave youths board the 6.30pm office train at TiruchyTown Station and climb to the roofs of the compartments and as the train passes over the river, they keep diving one by one from that height, and the one with a clean dive will get a huge round of applause from us. ;)

What great days they were!!

The last Adi18 I was at home was in 2001. I cannot forget that day, it fell on Aadi Vellikizhamai, I went to Tiruvanaikovil to have Akilandeshwari darshan. While returning, on the bridge, what I had was the most painful sight.

The mother, after feeding her children for thousands of years, got all her milk dried up. I parked my vehicle, got out on to the bridge, cried aloud. [I don’t know how and why I did that, I hadn’t done for a long long time then].
Was it because
she lay bare, like a desert, without a drop of water or
she lay bare watching her children cry around her or
she lay bare hoping to show some water to those who were digging deep to see some water to offer the manjal, kumkumam. [All those less hopefuls just strewed then on the sand] or
I am going away from here in a couple of weeks, to go out and look for greener pastures or
the thought that I am abandoning my mother when she is no more productive?

This year, after a long time, we have had a nice monsoon, but still there seems to be no water from Mettur on Aadi perukku. Though late, let us pray for the water to reach in time for the crop raising this season. Hoping for better rains thorugh the years to follow, and the Mother to get back to form and feed her children like usual.

Flash news: Updated on Aadi 18, 2005, 16:45 GMT
Report from Trichy says, there has been water flowing through Kaveri, after a gap of abt 5 years. The chaps who used to jump from trains have got old now, and the young chaps dont know how to do it, so that part was missing. But they were jumping from the bridge on to the river. And more importantly, there has been a huuuuge crowd visiting the river today, and trafic remained blocked for hours around the area. People flocked in thousands of cars[yes, the automobile cars, not the carts], this being the first real aadi 18 since the neo-economy-driven-propsperity hit Trichy.
சுடச்சுட மாலைமலர் ரிபோர்ட்


At Wed Aug 03, 08:28:00 AM CDT, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

TJ - thanks for blogging me too - I did my BE at REC - Trichy and I know the beauty of the Kavery river - the bridge that goes above it - the beauty of Tiruvanaikovil temple - the chakra pongal prasadam - the paneer soda outside the temple - the good tandoori food in raghunath - the puffs at bangalore iyengar bakery in Chathiram bus stand!! missing those days :(

At Wed Aug 03, 01:23:00 PM CDT, Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

TJ - This post personally touches me a lot as I know the importance of Adi 18, having experienced the air of festivity both at Srirangam and at Kumbakonam.

Do you remember the small cars (sapparams) that kids used to play with on this day? That was the only thing missing in your post.

On reading that you broke down on seeing barren Cauvery, I too broke down for I am emotionally attached to Cauvery and I make it a point not to go anywhere near Cauvery bridge when its barren.

thanks for this post.

At Wed Aug 03, 05:39:00 PM CDT, Blogger RS said...

I had been to Trichy in May and was really sorry to see the dry river bed and even more sorry to see all the arable lands becoming housing colonies.

At Wed Aug 03, 07:52:00 PM CDT, Blogger ranganathan said...


அது சரி, தயிர் சாதம் பத்தி மூச்சே விடலையே?
மூச்சு விடாம சாப்டுடீங்களோ?

உண்மைதான்.......அகண்ட காவிரியைப் பாத்தவன் வறண்ட காவிரியைப் பாத்தா மனம் விட்டு அழுவான்!

At Wed Aug 03, 08:31:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good post... thanks.

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At Wed Aug 03, 11:20:00 PM CDT, Blogger Nithya Swaminathan said...

Awesome post...:-) The only memories of Aadi-18 for us is the kalandha sadham... and I too ventured into that territory this time...

Naanga complete Madras vaasi... so I have no clue what it is to actually be in the Kaveri during Aadi-18...

Very poignant towards the end..:( Lets hope TN gets more water... oru pakkam ppl dying coz of floods n rains... oru pakkam thanni illama saagarom!! what a sad state!:(

At Thu Aug 04, 12:48:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


nice post
on a tangent the number 18 set me thinking on the significance of this in Sanathana Dharma,
18 days war- Mahabharataha
18 chapters-Gita
18 parvas- the text of Mahabharataha
18 siddha purushaas
18 steps- Sabaimala
and now aadiperukku- 18th day of AADI

At Thu Aug 04, 03:42:00 AM CDT, Blogger ioiio said...

Sorry Naan Coovum dhaan paarthurukken.. Anga as u may know adhula kulikka mudiyaaadhu...

At Thu Aug 04, 04:39:00 AM CDT, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

iioo - infact I have seen those slum people swimming in the koovam - yuck!! paavam - what to do!!

At Thu Aug 04, 05:19:00 AM CDT, Blogger Kavitha said...

Reminds me of my days on the banks of thamiraparani :)

At Thu Aug 04, 05:30:00 AM CDT, Blogger WA said...

Wonderful post TJ. Enakkum ioiio maadhiri coovum nadhikarai dhaan theriyum. Sounds lovely & very nostalgic

At Thu Aug 04, 08:31:00 AM CDT, Blogger sen said...

I didn't have a clue what adi 18 was till now.Thanxs for enlightening this city boy and sharing your green memories with everyone.

At Thu Aug 04, 09:42:00 AM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

You got the nice parts of Trichy! Bingo me too a RECTian!!

Yes, the sapparams, and along with that the kids used to carry Undiyals bigger than themselves for collection ;)

Hmm, Trichy is one of the few cities in TN left with some ground water, and building apartments on them seem to be a greedy option than agriculture. I remember the mambazhachalai thathachariar thenna thoppu with has become a concrete jungle in less than 5 yrs.

aamamlla, thayir sadham andha listlaye illa..
Adhu ennana, ThayirSadham is taken for granted in the meal, like drinking water, adhnaala dhaan enakku thonaliyo?

Kalandha saadham eppadi vandhirundhadhu? Kalakiyachaa?[literally as well :p]

umm, that was a nice list for 18!

@ioiio, arjuna
Koovum endra punniya nadhi ya potri paadi oru padhigam podanumpaa.. When coming from trichy to chennai, the gabbu in the saidapet bridge would wake me up to get down at Tambaram!

Even in T.parani, aadi 18 is celebrated rite?

@WA and Senthil,
Definitely once Adi 18,trichyla paaruga. that too in an year like this when monsoon has ont failed. It would be a thrilling xperience!

At Thu Aug 04, 10:16:00 AM CDT, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

nan oru chennai vasi inga, aadi 18 patthi onnum teriyadu, enakku aadi na discount sale than

ida patthi sonnathuku nandri

At Thu Aug 04, 10:53:00 AM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

aadi thallupadinu, aadi pona sarakka thalli viduvaangha.. andha time la shoppingkku strict TADA dhaan ;)

At Thu Aug 04, 11:14:00 AM CDT, Blogger Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

Moving post TJ. Water is found more in bottels than in river beds ! We need to pay for something that nature gives us for free.

At Thu Aug 04, 11:18:00 AM CDT, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

nathan - you are my age and you are rectian - dont tell me you passed out in 2000? :)

At Thu Aug 04, 01:20:00 PM CDT, Blogger brihaspati said...

Nice and original post. I have been a Madras slicker all my life but Aadi-Perukku was still significant in our house.

Ofcourse, it did not involve Kaveri but we sure had a lot of Kalanda Sadam :) Freshly made puli sadam (or should I use my lingustic affectation and say pulinjadam? ) , thengai sadam and bagala baath.. hmm Yummy.

At Thu Aug 04, 11:01:00 PM CDT, Blogger Ram.C said...

nice to hear that kaveri has more water at the appropriate time

At Thu Aug 04, 11:15:00 PM CDT, Blogger Priya said...

Awesome post tj! Trichy is my birthplace but never knew much about it and kaveri.. Only heard from parents!!
ennaku indha post romba pidichudhu

At Fri Aug 05, 12:07:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

super post TJ..
Nan srirangam vasi though we r from madras I was there in the 1st divyasesam for 21 years..
yesterday I had called my mom and she said today is adi 18 and I made puliotharai,thengasadam,avial,thayir sadam...felt nostalgic reading the post...super post...felt that I was watching everything live...
ya heard from folks back home that kaveri has lot of water great to hear that...
good post

At Fri Aug 05, 03:39:00 AM CDT, Blogger Sudha Narayanan said...

really nice post! na madras, adhunaala idhellam miss panniten.. edho mylapore la ennalaam cultural practise follow panna mudiyumo, adha kandippa pannuvom..
and, in blr, whenever i open the tap and feel the cauvery water on my hands, the thought of "i wish this water cud go to namma tamil nadu" comes automatically..
once again.. very nice post! :)

At Fri Aug 05, 04:25:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jayan said...

I heard that Karnataka has opened up water just beacuse of dangerous levels that could lead to a flood in the adjoining districts.

At Fri Aug 05, 05:42:00 AM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

We need to pay for what the nature gives us free! And you know, in Tirunelveli governemnt has agreed to give water at 13p/ltr, for softdrink companies who well sell it at not less than 12Rs. Pathetic :(

Kalandha saadham is one of the best parts of Aadi18. Btw, did you notice that kalandhasadham is the chief dish both on aadi18 and Kanu[maatu pongal], the traditional start and end of the crop season.

Yeah, i was infact very happy to know that, after a lot of years, we again have appreciable water in Kaveri.

Neengalum Trichy dhaana, vaanga vaanga. Trichy and Kaveriya pathi therinjukka! therinjukka romba interstinga irukkum...

Thanks for visiting, and yeah, i too was feeling very nostalgic abt it. :)

welcome to the blog,
Naanum bangalore la irundha bodhu vayitherichala irukkum, road la appadiye kaveri thanni odanju odinde irukku. Garden city la garden maintain panrein pervazhinu evlo thanni waste panranga, while people are dying thirsty in TN. :(

karnataka does that always, it is very firm on the policy that, water will be given to TN only when it becomes surplus, which is unacceptable. Both states have equal rights on the water, unlike what Kar thinks.

At Sat Aug 06, 10:23:00 PM CDT, Blogger Random Access said...

Beautiful post. Lovely description. I had no clue about such a significance to this date, though I have heard about it. I am quite sad people are losing out on getting to know about our rich heritage and culture. Thanks and keep our ignorant souls updated on many such things :)

Random Access
The search has just begun !!!

At Sat Aug 06, 10:40:00 PM CDT, Blogger krishna said...

nice account tj..

relished it..:)

i was taken back to those days when I and my cousins used to play cricket in the sands of cauvery ..That was a small village called Allur in the banks of cauvery..

At Mon Aug 08, 05:48:00 AM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

Thanks, your comment is very encouraging.

alluraa? namba nanbargal niraya peru irukkanga anga!

At Mon Aug 08, 10:11:00 AM CDT, Blogger krishna said...

oh appadiya..did u know any of these guys??

Suresh aka Sriram.


At Mon Aug 15, 04:00:00 PM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

I know a guy by name Sriram, but i dont know if he was aka Suresh. He was telugu brahmin..


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