The Mystique of ‘M’
Curiosity, tinged with spiritual fervour, propelled M to her. Alone, he reached Kanyakumari, which is not very far from Thiruvananthapuram, by bus. Now the problem was to meet Maayi Ma. “Where would you look for one who doesn’t have a permanent abode?” M was wondering, when a young man accosted him and said, :If you want to meet Maayi Ma, she is near the entrance to the Devi Temple on the beach.” Lest he should miss her, M almost ran towards the spot, climbing over a wall, hopping over the rocky beach. And there she was. A woman who looked to be in her sixties. She was stark-naked. Her facial features had something of a Bengali in them; or at least, that was what M surmised.
She sat on a rock, a circle of street dogs forming, as it were, a security ring around her. The dogs snarled at him when he drew closer. He stopped in his tracks. Maayi Ma looked at him; her whole face broke into a beatific smile, her eyes twinkle with an ageless light. As she motioned M to come near her, she sent the dogs scampering away by apparently scolding them in a language that sounded like Bengali. The dogs moved away and sat at a distance, still maintaining a sort of vigil on the stranger.