It is a hot day. Sitting in the little rickety yellow auto, my hair takes on a life of its own. I try to hold it back with both hands as I catch glimpses of the beautiful city flying past.
It is the best part of the day. The sun is warming up, still warm and yellow and not yet the giant blaze it gets to be in the afternoon.I am on my favourite road in the whole of Madras.I remember stubbornly calling it that even after it was officially renamed Chennai.The road leads on, and then turns to meet the Ocean.Today it is not the beach we are going to. It is a place where I have always wanted to go, but until recently did not know how. For the Theosophical society is now open to the public and after living in Chennai for more than a decade it is now that opportunity comes knocking, although at only certain times of the day.
|At the entrance of the Theosophical Society|
Older than the city itself, the 'Aalamaram', is the 450 year old Banyan, rooted and stretching out in the center of this 200 acre woodland, which was acquired by Annie Besant in 1908, after she took over as president of the Theosophical Society. Flanked by the Adyar estuary on one side and the sea on the other, this area of green is a veritable oasis in the midst of a busy city in a hurry to get ahead of itself.
It is a beautiful day. There are not many people around. We wait for the fellowship to assemble and then walk in.
|In honour and memory of its founders...|
A stromg advocate of democracy and recognizing the right to self determination, once in India she joined the Indian National Congress and launched the home rule movement.
|In honour of Annie Besant..|
|The creeping money plant..|
|The nucleus of the Big Banyan..or is it?|
|The truth of the center and the center of the truth..|
Around the banyan, there are loads of benches. We walk around and try and figure out where the tree starts and where it ends.
|Brightly coloured Bougainvillea flowers..|
Other trees stare out at us in all corners, some full of fruit, some merry with flowers.
We see every shape and every colour. Brightly coloured insects crawl through the undergrowth.
|One of the millions of tiny inhabitants of this place..|
|The great banyan..|
|Test the roots..|
|The winding coconut|