Madurai Check-list

Over the years, I have developed a certain protocol. Every time I go to Madurai, I have a checklist. This is how it goes:

  1. Touch my forehead to ensure that there is a bouttu, an adhesive bindi that will not run colour in the heat of the city
  2. Check my neck to ensure that it carries a mangalsutra, proof of marriage
  3. Check right arm for bangles
  4. Check feet for anklets
  5. Rummage through my purse for back-up bindis – – mine are notorious for falling off; I lose about two a day
  6. Check suitcase to ensure a sari a day, cotton and simple

This March, feeling quite proud of having made the entire checklist, I flew to Chennai and then caught the over-night train to Madurai. It is Day Two of my trip, I am making the rounds of saying ‘hello’ to various members of the Aravind family. Their warmth and friendship has over the years made me feel very much a part of the Aravind clan. 

Of course, being family means younger generations are always gently reprimanded by the older generation. Earlier visits have had me straightening out saris, tying up hair, putting clips that will just-not-stay into my slippery hair, etc. This time, I am confident that I will pass with flying colours. So what happens? Sure enough, on Day Two, my sense of pride gets firmly pricked. Dinner at one of the aunts house. She takes one look at me and says, “but where are your toe-rings?”!


4 thoughts on “Madurai Check-list

  1. Anita says:


    I wake up on my birthday morning and find that you are blogging! What a gift this is to me, who loves your words and wisdom.

    Will keep dropping by! Hope all is well with you.


    • pavimehta says:

      Hi Anita — Happy Birthday! Hope you are well and that the year ahead is full of good things. Thanks for your note — the blog is a fun way for Suchi (whose post this is) and I to share the journey of the book with our extended family!
      Big hug,

  2. Neeti says:

    Oh Suchi that’s hilarious …

    And what a beautiful blog! Thank you both for sharing your experiences and your wisdom.


  3. Ratna says:

    Suchi, you look like a nice Tamil ponnu as it is in the sari and pottu. never mind the toe rings. These Tam Brhams will never be happy!

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