Friday, March 2, 2012

Madurai and the Gandhi Museum

 Madurai is a REAL city with a beating pulse.  It is known for the famous palace, temple, and Gandhi Museum.  I did not care much about the tourist destinations except for the Gandhi museum and the big temple. 

My love for museums continues on in Madurai.  I knew that I wanted the Gandhi museum to be my first stop as I knew I would be spending a lot of time there.   
I caught a ride from Abanyaburam where my host stays.  I went with a man dressed in traditional Indian wear with a  brief case and aviator sunglasses-adorable.  He originally stopped at the market and I got off the bike wanting to take a stroll through.  I figured he was going to be shopping so we parted ways and I planned on taking the bus the rest of the way.  After my market strolling, I see a man with aviator sunglasses and white traditional attire come up behind me and tell me to hop on.  I went through alleys and a couple kilometers away from the market-how this man managed to find me in the crowds and crowds of people-moments that are miraculous.
Arriving at the museum, I walk quickly up to the front-excited like a ten year old.  In front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue, there is a large group of kids for a field trip.  They ask to take pictures and at first it is cute, but throughout my experience they keep popping up and asking questions. 
Even with many constant interruptions, I was able to read almost every word of the museum’s layout.  Learning about the history of the British and the Indian independence was enlightening.  They say Gandhi failed in his mission, but he succeeded to spread awareness and challenged people to think differently about human beings.  I loved each and every moment of that museum, except for the Indians on cell phones and the kids being disruptive, but they that is life. 
This cute little chunk of love kept following me around the museum. I would be reading and occasionally I would see his head pop up and I would turn back and he would act like he was reading-it was pretty cute.  His name was Santosh. 

Self government, which is the desire and destiny of every human soul. 
1915- Gandhi era begins 
Satyagrahi-one who will always try to overcome evil by good, anger by love, untruth by truth, violence by non-violence
1942- Quit India 
1945-Freedom in sight end of British raj
Subhas Chandra Dose 
Indian independence league
Self realization and Gandhi’s books he followed: Quran, Upnishads, sayings of Zarathustra, and books of Leo Tolstoy  

“Things of fundamental importance to the people are not secured by reason alone, but purchased with suffering” 
Sitting outside I am approached by a young boy just shy 25 asking me the standard “Where are you from?” and “What are you doing?” I wanted to have some peace meditating near his memorial outside and mid meditation this kid interrupts me.  I ask him to just have a little bit of peace by myself and he says, “Okay.” I leave not expecting to see him and he is sitting outside the gate.  He asks where I am going and if I need some help getting around.  I except his help as the area is very confusing and a local knows best.  He gets to talking and says he is studying to be a fashion designer.  His nice manners and behavior is starting to grow on me so I do not mind having him around.  He asks if he can accompany to the temple and I accept and off we go into the incredible temple.

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