I finally get up and get changed. Not that I had any interest in getting ready. I put on some casual pants and a shirt that I didn’t care much for. The thundered roared outside. I didn’t use to like rain much – but ever since my very first Chopda Pujan at Sri Mariamman Temple, I have a new found respect for rain. Mariamman – or Mother Mari – is the Rain Mother. She is a pre-Vedic Tamil folk goddess. In agricultural societies, abundance was contingent on adequate rainfall. Without rain, crops cannot grow healthy and strong.
Beginnings and endings are two sides of the same coin. As Shradh ends, Navratri begins. As the ancestors return to Pitru Loka, Hindus begin their worship of the Goddess Durga. During Navratri (nine nights), devotees venerate the divine femininity which gives birth to all creation. She is ‘Ma’, the Universal Mother. The festival is celebrated in the bright half of the Hindu calendar month Ashvin.
One footstep led to the next and before I knew it, I was in front of Sri Mariamman Temple. I felt a strange indescribable sense of deja vu as I gazed at the gopuram of Singapore’s oldest Hindu Temple. I have been here before. I know this place. Its soul reverberates with mine as though the two were one and the same.