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    A unique show unites poetry and food, with some of Andal’s famous verses in focus.

    At the onset of the cultural month of Margazhi, it is fitting to dwell on Andal’s poetic masterpieces—the Thiruppavai and Nachiyar Tirumozhi.

    Celebrating the essence of the season and various symbolic aspects, the upcoming event has been specially curated by noted TV show host and food traveller Rakesh Raghunathan of Puliyogare Travels, and the city-based author-historian Pradeep Chakravarthy.

    The event, titled Akkaraadisil and Andal—The Poetry in Food, aims to portray a visual trip to the historical temple town of Srivilliputhur.

    “This will be combined not only with an enchanting recital of some of the verses that have specific references to food, but I will sing a few pasurams (hymns) too,” shares Raghunathan, who has been a Carnatic vocalist for the past 15 years.

    Verse the party

    Andal’s literary works serve as a token of her unwavering devotion to Lord Vishnu, while certain verses of the Nachiyar Tirumozhi have direct references to food. In her bid to romanticise, worship and offer prayers to the Lord, there are mentions of her divine offerings—sometimes food garlands to preparing the famed Akkaraadisil dish and more, if the Lord agrees to take her hand in marriage. The event aims to capture these imaginative verses, explaining the importance of this auspicious season, by looking at the various celebrations carried out with recitals of the Thiruppavai.

    Go the extra meal

    “Chennai is the hub of enthusiastic celebrations. This, combined with my personal ongoing research of temple inscriptions of recipes from yore, inspired me to spread the theme to an audience that is equally fascinated. Both Pradeep and I draw many parallels from these poetic verses to modern life, so can the participants,” says Raghunathan.

    The event will culminate with a lively demonstration of a classic Akkaraadisil whose authentic recipe has been shared by priests along with a tasteful sampling of more typical temple delicacies and prasadhams.

    Entry free. At The Park. December 17, 9.30 am onwards. Details: puliyogartravels@gmail.com

    — Preeti GT

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