Monday, December 27, 2010
Mandala pooja at Lord Aiyappa temple, Anant Nagar
Vehicles are running on the road, spreading dust, making noise, with feeble sound of iron heard from the surroundings. The man wearing spectacles is cleaning the lamp that is among the others arranged in a row. Amma and Anjali are preparing the thread to place in the lamp. There are few women who are helping them in this work done as a part of devotion for the lord. The door has goddess Lakshmi emblazoned, and a huge kodimaram could be seen few feet in its front. I can feel the smell of roses that are decorated at the base of the lamps. We are at the Aiyappa swami temple in Anant nagar, Nagpur on occasion of Mandala pooja. Amma said that she wishes to stay a complete day in the temple and serve the god in helping others arrange for the Mandala pooja celebrations. I have dedicated 3 weeks for my parents and this day at temple is part of Amma's wish.
I saw my aunt, grandmother and uncle at the temple. It has been a year since we met and most of them have aged. This grandmother is the sister of my Grandfather (My Fathers Father) and she lives with her daughter in Nagpur. Women were sitting on the veranda and when we went towards them the grandmother asked a women sitting beside her to get up indicating my sister to sit. The woman’s face was worth watching. There were girls on one side of the temple. Nagpur’s new generation malayalees no longer resemble the south Indians and I can hardly compare them against any Keralite with most of them speaking broken Malayalam words. I bet I am not going to marry any girl here, and if there’s a choice why not to try a north Indian :)
The entrance to the temple has gone big, constructed 100 times higher than the highest man in India. It has three golden tomb shaped structures at the top that are gold plated. It is 4.30 pm and people started pouring oil into the small lamps around the temple. I also helped them and saw some women joining the group. I understand it is time to leave working and start managing. I started to help them understand how oil is to be poured and how the cotton should be placed ;)
We need to wait until 6.30 pm for the celebrations to begin. Amma says that people will start to enter after 5 pm but I expect no colorful miracles that could keep me engaged. (swamiye saranam aiyappa) :) I have never waited so long in temple and I do not believe that it is a women's job. Although it is no fun but it is ... Yes kind of boring, except the times when people are there. We managed the boring time with few cups of coffee to keep us awake. I am busy writing this article on my mobile while amma and others are placing the cotton inside the oil poured in the lamps.
By 6 Pm people started to come and soon the temple was open for the pooja. We joined the queue and were soon able to see the lord. By 6.30 Pm we left the temple for the home.
This day 12/27/2010, Monday was spent in Lord Aiyappa’s temple. “Swamiye sharanam aiyappa”