For Akka

अखण्डमण्डलाकारं व्याप्तं येन चराचरम् ।
तत्पदं दर्शितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ॥

Thursdays and Fridays lead to strange happenings in various gastro-intestinal tracts across the city. There are butterflies fluttering manically, before sinking- leaden- to cause more trouble. Why, you wonder? The answer lies in one word- at once terrifying, at once terrific- Akka.

The stately gates to B-45 house behind themselves a realm of magic and magnetism- and it is that potent combination that draws one to it- week after week, month after month, year after year.

Nearing B-45 one can hear the strains of a charismatic voice bringing to life the genius of a civilisation. The rhythms of the thatta kizhi offer faithful accompaniment. A gentle breeze blows, carrying with it the sweet notes of the wind chimes and-

'Shakuntala!'

No. this isn't Kanva's hermitage, nor is it a rehearsal to stage Abhigyana Shakuntalam. It's a summons for coffee, which is answered almost immediately with a davra tumbler.

Listen quietly, and one can hear the gurgle of the water-fountain… is it flowing to tha-ki-ta or does it sound like tha-ka-tha-ki-ta…

And is that… is that Moga barking in what sounds suspiciously like misram?

The fragrance of spicy sambar battles with the sweet scent of Shivaranjini agarbatti. Added to this olfactory smorgasbord is the unmistakable smell of camphor.

'Swamiye, sharanam ayyappa'

Climb eighteen arduous steps, and the devotee is lead to the God.

Climb twenty odd, and the shishya finds the Guru.

The ornate wooden doors are thrown open to offer a glimpse of the Empress herself- the piercing eyes, the glittering nose-pin, the striking bindi, the firm posture and the lustrous black hair are complemented by ready wit, deep insight and the warmth of a thousand suns.

Akka isn't a teacher, and NV isn't a dance class- Akka is a passport for an aesthetic journey through life.

Author's Note: This is a piece I was 'commissioned' to write by my classmates at my dance class. It's for our Guru's birthday- fourteenth of January.

This also marks my last piece for quite a while- I begin tenth grade tomorrow, at the end of which looms my first public examination. And in India, how well you do really does determine your life to a certain extent.

I might be spotted here, now and again, no promises.

So farewell, fellow wordsmiths. I wish you all the luck on your wordy enterprises. May you never run out of paper, and may your pens never run dry.

I hope to see you again by April, 2014!

For the last time for a bit- reviews, please?