Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Chandrasekareswara Temple-Pudhu Gummidipoondi
The day started of with a roaring Chandra Travels van, which took us to the spot at around 8 AM. Courtesy the archaka, the temple was kept open. The Village President had promised at least 50 persons- man power but none were in sight. When called, he cited an excuse that he had a family function that day and so all village folks had gone there! What a start! Undaunted by the work, the enthusiastic bunch of volunteers, totaling 18 members, mostly the 'Samarpanam' volunteers, who are all software engineers, tried to test their hands with 'hardware' that day! Yes, by the word hardware, I mean sickles, crowbars, axes etc.! Cutting and chopping the compound of approx 10.000 square feet was almost cleaned within a span of 5 hours!! Half the work done, when we were wondering how the whole periphery would be covered before noon, there appeared a guy called 'Murugan' claiming to be a worker in a nearby factory and a friend of the Village President himself! He voluntarily took a sickle, started cutting off with gusto and his speed was such that the rear left half of the temple premises was cleaned by him single handedly!
He also helped members climb atop the roof of the temple and cut off deep rooted trees which were piercing into the limestone roof. Seeing him, our energy soared to greater height and the premises was cleaned as scheduled. Senior member V Sekar came with his friends and added luster to the idols available in the outside mandapam. Adding luster? Ya, yes, he applied til oil on all the vigrahas! He also tried to sort out all the flowering plants apart from the thorny weeds and bushes. He helped volunteers identify such plants add raise earthern bund around each plant.
As a dosha parihara for cutting trees, members were asked to water those flowering plants. The dry leaves and bushes were set fire and removed off. But after the pooja, our wait turned to agony- for a darshan of the deities. The pundit in charge of the temple was busy in handling the jostling village crowd, who have come from far off villages like Ponneri, for what? Do you think it is for the temple darshan? No, it is for soothsaying and dosha parihara, horoscope seeking etc. The pundit hardly entered the temple, even for a glimpse of the cleaning work going on!
When we forced him to spare a 10 minute break, he was in his best of moods scolding the officials, one of our volunteer and also the system, for keeping him like this, more like a beggar; he claimed his salary is due from 1990 and also the village EO hardly gives any money for the temple. HE also claimed that precious statues, around 38 in numbers are inside the sanctum sanctorum but most Sthri idols were devoid of a piece of cloth. There was a theft attempt also, we believe. So, the pundit hardly opens the main door! The 'forced' pooja was conducted to the beautiful Valli Devasena Sametha Subramaniya Swamy and to the Ambal at the outer mandap. Member PN Subramaniam, almost donated most of the tools cost, which has now become the property of our trust. The balance was shared by the members. Member V Sekar brought all pooja items and Vastrams for the deities. The next follow up would be with the E.O.of the said temple, along with the Village President. Our Author and President of the trust Dr.T.Satyamurthy had promised that he will chalk out a plan to face the officials and spell out the plan for permanent opening of this temple in near future.