I bid goodbye ironically with a. “See you next time “. After 10 years we met and here we are now looking forward for the next time .
Then it hit me.
Although colonization, globalization and tourism have taught us to bide farewell, in the lines of “Farewell”, “Good bye” , “Hasta la vista “ or “See ya “ , for generations we used to say “Api gihilla ennam” (roughly translated in the lines of until we meet again) at the point of parting.
The more I ponder about it , more beautiful this phrase sounds in my head .
It gives out the meaning (atleast to me) that everything in life is a journey and all journeys eventually come a full circle. Until then, to kindle the love , the friendship and the memory. And a hint of sadness , hopefulness & everything in between.
Then again , you should not expect anything lesser from a culture where pilgrimage was an intricate aspect. People wrote their last wills and travelled to Sri pada, and climbed the uncountable steps to reach the uda maluwa . They braved the chill to see the sun rise from the Indian ocean.
Others walked for months , Pada Yathra, from Wanni to Kathiragrama , all in the honor of the Merciful Murugan . Forest tracks where muddy water fills the puddles : the places where wild elephants walked heavy. The smell of the leopard hangs still fresh . And they travel chanting Haro Hara , and leaving their lives in the hand of the deity they travel to honour.
Picture this . The dawn is just breaking outside and a lone bird has begun the day with his solo. A man stops at the front door on his way out , turn back and tell their loved ones whom they leave behind , “ mama gihilla ennam” .
To me that is pure Zen.