Madurai,down south in Tamizh Nadu is a unique place.Wonderful temple which mesmerises visitors to this place, is unique.The lanes and by lanes to the temple are so full of people ,literally all 24 hours.The blaring music from each tea shop competing with that of the next shop renders music,if it can still be called that,at a decibel which can never be imagined by normal music lovers.But still the appreciating nods of people enjoying the tea sitting right in front of the speakers is a sight by itself !
Walking out of the station our Vijay entered the lanes to find a lodge for his stay.He liked a place ,where lot of flower vendors had displayed their flowers in a KOODAI (basket).The fragrance was just enchanting.For a moment his thoughts flashed across to his girl friend,in Madras.In the evening ,when he returned after work, he ran to the elderly vendor and asked her for the price of the flowers,lovely madura malli (jasmine).She answered it was Rs 5 for 1000..He never heard of jasmine sold by numbers.He thought he heard it wrong.When she repeated it again ,he wondered how they would count it and how long they would take to count it.With twentyfive rupees, in his pocket,he thought he would buy 4000 flowers and told her so.
VIJAY..AATHA,please pack 1000 in one and 3000 in a seperate pack.Please sprinkle sufficient water so that it lasts till morning.
AATHA..Enna thambi(what brother)ammakum pondati kuma(is it for your mother and wife)
VIJAY..Illa aatha,1000 saami padathukkum,3000 ennoda avalukkum(1000 for Gods photograph and 3000 for my girl)
AATHA...Idha paarupa ..saami ku 1000 maam,avalukku 3000..Koduthu vechava pa ava(look at this !!1000 for God and 3000 for the girl.She is so lucky pa.)
VIJAY..yes aatha,she is so beautiful and the madurai jasmine will look so nice on her curly hair.
Sprinkling just sufficient water ,she packed it and gave it to him.
That was the begining of a long story.Everytime he visited Madurai he used to buy the malli(jasmine ) from AATHA and take it to Chennai.His career path took an exponential growth and his visits to Madurai dropped.But whenever he came to madurai, wherever he stayed ,the visit to buy 4000 malli from aatha was a must.His marriage , birth of his two kids was all updated .Aatha was also becoming old but happiness in meeting an old customer was writ on her wrinkled but cheerful face.
One day vijay made his usual visit to the area where he used to buy the malli.In front of the koodai(basket)was a little girl.As he was enquiring about Aatha,she walked down.
AATHA..Enna Thambi Bayundhuteengala(What Brother,You got worried ,Is it ).
Saying this ,she asked the little girl to move and started counting the Mallis.
AATHA..enna thambi romba naal aachu indha pakkam vandhu (what brother its ages since you came this side)
VIJAY..aamam aatha(yes aatha)
AATHA..4000 poothane thambi(4000 jasmine isnt it brother )
VIJAY..Aatha 2000 poo podhum(2000 jasmine enough)
AATHA..En thambi..(Why brother )
VIJAY..Padathula 1000 poo ku mela vekka mudiyadhu AATHA(the photograph cannot accomodate more than 1000)
AATHAS TEARS WET THE FLOWERS ,THAT DAY