And once the storm is over,
you won’t remember how you made it through,
how you managed to survive.
You won’t even be sure,
whether the storm is really over.
But one thing is certain.
When you come out of the storm,
you won’t be the same person who walked in.
That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami.
Has this ever happened to you?
You recognise the point where you are standing and yet you feel lost. Alone. Aloof. Confused. There is darkness all around and it swells you up like there’s no tomorrow. You look towards nature for peace and comfort but the clouds weep and the waves roar. You look deeper, searching for that silver lining they all talk about but all you get is an angry lash by the breeze - it whips your face. So hard as if, the entire being is going to be cracked into two. You can’t figure out a thing, the road seems broken, you don’t know where it’s leading and where it’s taking you, it’s difficult to trust your own footsteps.
Has this ever happened to you? What do you do then amid all the chaos? How do you quench your thirst for peace?
This has happened to me.
Even before I read the board, I feel the landscape: The troubled waters of the blue green ocean, the complementing sky and an enduring horizon marked by a growling wind.
|Can you feel the landscape?|
A short curve from the main road to here had changed the scene from concrete to marine and it looked like I was finally at a place which I could call mine for some time at least. It was a good relief to have some respite from the rains so that wandering around would be easier.
|Welcome to Villoondi Teertham!|
This is Villoondi Teertham, says the board in green, the same place where Lord Rama had shot an arrow to quench the thirst of His beloved, Goddess Sita with the sweet nectar that flowed. A well containing sweet water stands in the centre of a long bridge that takes you to the center of the ocean – as testimony to the token of His love.
|A board tells the history of Villoondi Teertham.|
Soon, I hear sweet music lingering from the ringing of temple bells. It distracts my attention. I turn around the board to see a quaint little temple standing by the edge of the sea cliff. Its walls are peeling; there is a Nandi bull seated outside. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is perhaps standing here since decades. It’s dark inside but right in front of the Nandi bull, I can see the ShivLingam in black stone. I bow my head in prayer; as I get a glimpse of the tiny yellow light of the diya swirling in ecstasy. It is time for the Lord’s afternoon arti.
|Shiva temple at Villoondi Teertham at Rameshwaram.|
The lilt of the arti hasn’t yet died down, but it’s getting fainter and fainter with each step that I take towards the mythical ‘well’ converging right in the heart of the ocean.
|This well is said to contain sweet water.|
I gaze down through a wired maze into the well that has been here since the age of the Ramayana, born out of a sacred bow that was hit by Lord Rama. It’s deep; a pale of water dangles loosely above the surface of the calm placid water.
|Water... all still, contented and placid.|
What strikes me is the contrasting natures of the water: inside and outside. Out in the big wild world, the waters look uncomfortable playing in the sea today.
|Raging furious water of the sea.|
The sky is broken in rapture and the seas are wild in rage. I take a few moments for myself, admiring the daunting beauty in the darkness all around, winds brush my hair.
I recognise the point where I am standing, this is Villoondi Teertham in Rameshwaram and yet, yet I feel lost. Why this storm, this maddening chaos all around that is gripping me, my mind, my body with every minute that it rises: It’s terribly cloudy day so there has to be a silver lining somewhere atleast as they say, I counter... but where?
|Where do you think is the silver lining in the storm?|
For all the time I stood there, I searched and searched for the silver lining but found none. She was still elusive even as I tracked my steps back to my car. But deep within my heart, I knew, she is there. Somewhere. And that she will come. Maybe not now, but when she had to... maybe not today when I wanted to, but... in her own time and in her own way. Someday.
How to get there?
Address: Thangachi madam, Rameswaram - 623526, Tamilnadu, Thangachimadam, Tamil Nadu 623526.
Other Posts From Rameshwaram:
DAY 1: How to reach, where to stay in Rameshwaram | DAY 2: Ramnathaswamy Temple Darshan, Agni Teertham, Sunset boat ride | DAY 3: Places to see / Teerthas of Rameshwaram: Gandhamadana Parvatham (Rama Padam), Ghost Town: Dhanushkodi, Rama Teertham, Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple, Lakshmana Teertham. EXTRAS: Rameshwaram Food Guide, Sweeping Healers of Rameshwaram Sea.