If you are someone who goes out of the home to observe things, especially in Tamil Nadu in January and February, it would be hard to miss the scores of people clad in yellow and red walking barefoot. They are not casually strolling. Their walk seems to have a purpose. They walk calmly on the side of the road. They are objective personified. They seem to be on a mission.

On my run today, ditching my pace target, I chatted with two young men. They said they are making a journey by walking one way from Thuvarankurichi to Samayapuram. It is a distance of 75 km. They know of other groups that undertake journeys of 200-300 kilometers. 

I asked them why they undertook their journey. “It’s to test our faith and fortitude”, they said. Some of them do this to be granted a desire, such as a child or relief from a disease. 

They take a break in the afternoon. They make food wherever possible or get food from temples or government based food centers aka Anna Koodam. 

Samayapuram, near Trichy is their destination, home of the Goddess Mari Amman. She is a popular goddess that is known to grant wishes to her ardent devotees.

It was a pleasure to listen to other folks’ journeys. Most of us tend to get carried away on our own.