It was not easy. 9 p.m. on the clock and the temple is packed with streams of people, a yagna is in session and another is being prepared for 10.30 p.m. After all, it is Sivaratri night.
Anirudh has come here from Bangalore and his cousin from Chennai. Accompanying them is senior guru Adyar Lakshman, his brother and Lakshman's son, Baba Prasad.
Anirudh wanted to offer his anjali this evening and pushed for it. But it took time to navigate through the stream of devotees.
Dancing in the temple is special for all the dancers who are here for the dance festival and those who choose to be here quietly.
The swirling smoke got to the ageing Lakshman so we adjourned to a corner, and waited for the dancer. Hundreds of oil lamps had been lit all over the place and in the corridors rarely visited by the passing pilgrim.
Girish fought off the sweat and stuffiness and opened up with a Gopalakrishna Bharathi song and in seconds, the crowd parted and let Anirudh get into motion.
It was over in six minutes and the crowd swallowed us.
Down the corridor we met up with dancer Zakir Hussain, here for Sivaratri. In a week's time he is off to Dubai for a Indianised version of 'Cinderella'.