Tiruvaiyaru Tyagaraja aradhana 2021 - A lifetime experience

– Sudha Ragunathan

Certain things in life, while they begin as a one-off activity, become a part of yourself and your life by design. That is what my annual visit to Tiruvaiyaru has become — a design and strong pattern that shines through over three decades of my life.

Winding up the Margazhi schedule is always a rush as the Pongal season of concerts then begin. Making a wedge and fitting in the Tiruvaiyaru pilgrimage has been a game of tic-tac-toe and always an exercise where I have to let go some invitations, work around the committed ones and ensure that come what may, I set my feet on the sands of this holy space by the banks of the serenely flowing Cauvery. And then once the Tyagaraja aradhana is over, it’s back to the grind and travel and performances!

This year, the situation has been entirely different, naturally, with the pandemic throwing all schedules, plans, and life itself completely out of gear! As the months of lockdown and the yoyo swinging between ‘not so safe’ and ‘fairly safe’ situations were weighing on my mind each day, I also kept wondering how the aradhana would take place this time. Your heart wants to be there but your head reminds you of reality. But when the heart wills, the universe too conspires, is it not? What was usually a hurried trip each year, turned out to be a completely relaxed, beautiful and a lifetime experience for me this year… read more