Showing posts from February, 2008

Annanad temple festival- the pachyderms

The number of elephants that take part in a temple festival depends on that temple's resources and means. Thus while the Trissur Pooram draws nearly 40 elephants over a period of three days, Annanad's small Veluppilly temple has this year been able to afford seven elephants, real progress from the 5 seen last year.. The elephants travel from their homes on foot or by truck.
Each elephant has a distinct identity:
Mangalaamkunnu Ayyappan
Ithithaanam Guruvayoorappan
Thiruvaanikkaavu Raajagopaal
Kiran Naaraayanankutty
Unnippilly Kaalidasan
Madhurappuram Kannan
Pallathaamkulangara Gireesan

Of late, the elephants wear their names proudly around their neck (I can now identify Gireesan, once I see the nameplate when I chance upon him at another temple :) ). The pachyderms are dear in so many ways...their seemingly infinite patience, their majestic sounding names, their trained kneel-down obeisance to the diety...
The noble giants look extra-royal when they are readied for the ceremonies with s…

Annanad Uthram Vilakku - Melam

At the Uthram Vilakku festival of the Annanad Veluppilly temple, the melam consisted of Chenda, talam, kuzhal and kombu. I tried to capture samples of the ambience...

Hands of ardent percussion music fans 'accompany' the artistes... do the pachyderm's ears, it seemed to me.

Annanad Uthram Vilakku witnessed

I had promised to write about the Annanad temple festival that took place on Feb 23 at the Ayyappa temple in Annanad.
Veluppilly Ambalam, is "a shrine dedicated to Sri Dharma Shastha as ‘Balarupam’ which is unique of its kind – is a place of incredible divinity. The rarity of the idol in ‘Balarupam’ in Kerala attracts multitudes of pilgrims to the temple"
That weekend was a veritable learning experience. Lessons ranged from 'Para Nirakkal' to 'Patience and tolerance of elephants'.
The temple's morning poojas commence as usual, the special feature is the public's offering of grains (husked and unhusked rice, puffed rice & flattened rice), flowers, sesame, turmeric, coins, and jaggery to the diety. Besides these, the devotees contribute towards the fireworks that are an exciting feature of the festivities.
In brief the festival consists of special poojas, traditional music, glorification of the diety mounted on elephants, sample and main fireworks, a…

Annanad temple festival, Chalakudy, Kerala

Annanad (please zoom out on the map to the right to see the location) is a village 2 km west from NH-47 (Salem-Kanyakumari National Highway) at Muringoor, south of Chalakudy in central Kerala. Sri Dharmasastha is the diety at the Veluppilly temple, and as with every Kerala temple, here too an annual temple festival is celebrated with traditional fervour. This year, the D-day falls on 23 Feb - the day of 'Uthram' star of the Kumbham lunar month (Feb-Mar). As I look forward to attending the festival after a very long wait, I hear a nostalgic localite trying to put into words childhood impressions of his village's grand day. "A micro-miniature version of the Trissur Pooram festival", he tries to explain. "Those days (in the 70's and 80's), there were huge trees in the space in front of the temple, including a (jokingly christened) 'Almaa' (a banyan and a mango tree with intertwined branches), and another 'Maaplaa' (a mango tree and a jac…

"When in doubt, press..."

A long time ago (early 1990's actually - I look back on it as a previous avatar, in another century) while serving in the Air Force, my duties included the development of an EDP (how archaic that sounds now!) cell at a maintenance base. After all, I was a fresh engineering graduate exposed to computing as part of course work.
Luckily, several of the working staff were good hands at developing computer-based systems for routine documentation and materials management using available resources (DOS, Foxpro, 386s and 486's and a primitive LAN).
Understandably, quite a few personnel, experts & geniuses at fighter aircraft systems and military tactics, had never seen a computer, nor could they tell hardware from software. But eagerness to learn was evident; many soon overcame initial awe and went on to accept and use all kinds of ware. One colleague summed up his understanding of how the machines functioned, and how one could possibly master that management tool: "When in d…

Wordless Wednesday: Shades in my garden

WW, thanks!