Tirumala, for me, is perhaps the most serene, divine, and optimistic place. Do you know why? It is because I have many memories of Tirupati associated with my Dad. It is a family tradition to visit Tirumala’s Lord Venkateshwara Temple every year and this had been going on even before I was born. My earliest memory of Tirumala as a toddler is my Dad carrying me around and showing me all the surrounding places. Even after I’d grown up a little, he would still lift me in his arms because Tirumala is a heavily crowded place and it’s fairly easy to get lost. He would take me shopping there and I remember there were new toys coming in every time we visited. You guys already know I have a massive sweet tooth! I was so fond of the Tirupati special Kova (An incredibly tasty sweet made out of milk. Check it out when you go there next time). It is so tasty that I can gorge on it and never get bored! My Dad loved it as much as I do.
My dad once postponed buying me things and I teased him about this all the time! We would travel all the way from Bangalore to Tirupati and then finally Tirumala. Once when I’d ask him to buy me something in Bangalore he was like “Why here. I’ll buy you this in Tirupati”. When we reached Tirupati he said “We are anyway heading to the temple. Let’s buy it there”. When we finally reached Tirumala he says “Oh you should’ve reminded me this in Bangalore” 😶 I needed to get my way and I started nagging my dad. I pestered him throughout the journey. My dad got tired of it and eventually bought me what I wanted immediately just to keep my mouth closed. This incident came in handy whenever I had to get things done. All I had to do is remind my Dad about it. 🤣
I have a feeling that I’m visiting my Dad whenever I visit Tirumala. The Holy idol reminds me of my father and brings tears to my eyes when I look at it. I communicate with the Lord as if it were my Dad. When I leave the place, I realize I have to wait for another year to see him. This makes me upset. I also have another sentiment. Whenever I buy a new vehicle, I make sure to drive up the Tirumala hill. I feel as though I’d shown the vehicle to my father. I’ve also climbed the steps twice with my brother and the feeling is unexplainable. I’m so emotionally attached to this place and I’m eagerly waiting for the Coronavirus to go away just so I can see my Dad, sorry God.