I made a vow two years ago that if I got pregnant, I will pay a visit to Velangani with our baby. My wish came true when we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl on October 19th last year. Looking back, there’s nothing I would trade with the joy of being a mother. I’ve felt on top of the world many times since.
Though it was such a short trip, it was a wonderful and enjoyable road trip. Everything went on smoothly with no hiccups. A big thanks to my cousin Senthilkumar for planning a memorable trip for us. Svadhi was an easy traveler – the breastfeeding was a savior for me! Svadhi was captivated with her face-to-face encounter with a sheep (now she remembers how a sheep bleats), cow and elephant. She had a ball of a time with Anirudh (Senthil’s son) during the car ride. He was our entertainer throughout the road trip. We made occasional pit-stops for chaya (tea), fritters, and coconut water along the way. We’ll cherish the memories of this trip for many years to come.
- Day 1: Our journey started from Thiruchi heading down south to Tanjavur and spent a night at Tanjavur.
- Day 2: We continued our journey heading to Pondicherry where we stopped for a night’s rest.
- Day 3: We visited the Aurobindo ashram where you are to remain silent. The aura emanating from the whole place is magnificent. The moment I stepped inside the ashram, I went into a meditative state. Then, we went to Auroville (a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and realize human unity) and visited the Matrimandir (a place for trying to find one’s consciousness). From Pondicherry, we drove down to Velangani. By the time we reached Velangani, it was dark. Svadhi was fast asleep. We carried her to the Annai Velangani church. I felt a huge relief that we made it safely to our destination to fulfill our vow. The church is beautiful, exuding such beautiful aura it’s impossible not to notice it.
- Day 4: Svadhi’s birthday! We went for the early morning mass and sat in silence in the church after everyone left. We said our thanks and counted our blessings. We then donated food for 100 homeless people. We left Velangani feeling fulfilled – a priceless feeling. A charitable act leaves you feeling humble – it is so addictive – you just want to give more – knowing deep down that you’ve made a difference. We left Velangani after lunch heading to Thiruchi to stay a night there and catch the morning flight the next day.
- Day 5: Flight back home.
A trip to India leaves many humbled. Along our road-trip, we witnessed poverty and realized we have so much to be thankful for. Being an observer of the extent of poverty is one thing, but to imagine living in that deplorable condition is unthinkable. It was truly a humbling experience for Alfred and I.