This is the second Kumbabhishegam I'm attending, the first one was at my sister's village temple...It was a wonderful experience. Just like in a story or film...the village, temple, instant shops, crowds , santhai (fair), etc. A memorable one.
The current one was in Singapore...It was the kumbabhishegam of the Murugan temple at Jurong East. It was pretty crowded. We thought there was a queue and got down at the end of the queue so that we can join it, while my bro-in-law went to park the car...he couldn't find a place to park, since there were road blocks everywhere (and u thought this was an Indian trait? )
It had rained the previous night and hence the grass near the pavement was muddy and slushy...There was no place on the pavement as people were standing there to watch the kumbabhishegam...We had to walk in the slush to get near the temple and we had removed our shoes in the car itself :( There was no queue and the crowd was not moving and to top it all the sun was shining to glory...
The kumbabhishegam was finally done and the Pooja and Mudhal mariyathai started...Then they announced that the temple would be opened shortly for dharshan....and no one knew where was a queue or entrance, since the normal entrance was blocked. Suddenly there was a mad rush in the crowd and all started moving to a side road near the temple. This road had been divided horizontally using barricades and each block had a group of people waiting. Each block was opened randomly and the people there allowed into the temple. So whenever a block was opened, there was a mad rush to that block!!! Think each block was representing one of the temples in Singapore and they were calling each temple one by one...but the best thing was that no one knew which block belonged to which temple and people were just rushing from one block to the other!!! Since we had the kids with us, we thought it was best to wait in one block until it was opened...It was more than an hour and the block was not opened. Then a small fight started between the volunteers monitoring the barricade and those inside the block...since it was looking like the barricades would not be opened anytime soon and the kids could take it no more, we decided to return and come back to the temple in the evening.
Good thing that we returned...since within 1/2 hr it started pouring. (That's Singapore for u....there's thunder showers and sun alternating with no warning!!!). Evening we returned to the temple and this time the crowd was limited to the temple premises. Again there was no queue and the crowd was not moving as there was some pooja going on inside. We waited outside the temple for about 1/2 hr and then inside the temple for 1/2hr and finally managed to get dharshan!!!
Here, I have to mention about the temple managements arrangement for annadhanam and distribution of theertham from the kumbabhishegam....there was an organized queue for the annadhanam (atlast some orderliness!!!) and the management had poured the theertham into small bottles and there was a group distributing this to each family...this was particularly good, since we were really disappointed that we couldn't enter the temple in the morning to receive the theertham.
Now, doesn't the whole episode sound like something happening in India? :))