Staying in an Agraharam has its own unique attractions and advantages, as I have discovered over the last five years. I ran away from Chennai fearing its grueling traffic, congestion, pollution, water logging, mosquitoes and many more things that threatened peace in my life. I moved to Tenkasi and that too to an Agraharam. Unlike many other Agraharams, the place where I stay had maintained their unique traditions, culture, and closeness among people. After several years, we feel we are living among friendly people. In most metropolitan places where we had lived, neither did we know our neighbors closely nor did they know us well. Agraharam is different. Here, everyone is known to everyone else. I can write pages together on living in an Agraharam. A few days back, a kovil yaanai (temple elephant) was brought inside our Agraharam. It was nice to see most residents seeking the blessing from the elephant in return for their offerings of rice, plantain fruits, jaggery etc. I was initially shy to come out of my house and watch the fun. Thanks to my wife and her persuasion, I stepped out. The elephant looked very majestic in a narrow Agraharam street. Her movements were elegant. She raised her trunk, accepted the offerings given by the people and remembered to bless by touching everyone’s head. I too sought its blessings. The incident rekindled my memories of my younger days at Tirunelveli Town. Every day the temple elephant used to pass through our streets after having a bath in the river. We all used to rush to see the elephant. I fondly remember a funny belief that elephant’s dung was good for cracks in our heels and so we used to wait to watch the elephant drop its dung so that we could step on it and stamp with our feet.