Clash of the Titans
Updated: Mar 18, 2019
When one travels India would understand how vast and hugely diversified that not a single human can recite all the God's name it would hold and with millions of God's in every corner there is a festival and with every festival there is a tale to be heard.
Leaving the city lights and noise and moving towards rural part of Tamil Nadu you will be surrounded by 1000's of people screaming, dancing, drumming, yelling, fighting, biting, eating, drinking... It does sound like a rave party but it would leave you mesmerized. That's how a festival happens in a rural part, Its not just a day where everyone gathers to celebrate the festival rather they gather for the story that festival is forged upon.
And some of those are extremely unique and you might even find relevance with other religions, But in India its more of regional and then its tied up with the race. Mayana Kollai loosely translates to 'pillaging of the graveyard', One of the prime festivals of Dravidian Race. Celebrated during the month of February or March, a day before or after Maha Shivaratiri.
Vermilion & Turmeric spread all over one can't differentiate the gender of those who are dressed up as fierce God's and Goddess's, With no age restriction even little children become the Titans.
Behind the Scene
The story revolves around some of the usual suspects, On the Good roles we have Parvathi aka Shakthi aka Angalaamman, Shiva , Brahma & Vishnu. On the Evil side there is Brahma (yeap dual role), Sundaran & Sandobi.
Sandobi and Sundaran are two demon who's usual time-pass was to terrorize the gods and men like the villains of Indian Cinema who don't have any other task other than teasing the heroin and the hero as usual as no other job than to save the heroin. Only here things took a different turn.
During this terrorizing period Shakthi, Wife of Shiva is a formless goddess takes a rebirth as Parvati. Brahma, being the top brass performed yagna for protection against the demons. Of this Yagna an Apsara (2nd Heroin) appears, She was such an enthralling beauty (no item songs here), attracted by her beauty the Brahma started following her and so did both the demons .
When a damsel is in distress there is always a Prince, and in here she ventures into Kailash seeking refuge from Lord Shiva. While Brahma & Shiva both has 5 heads, This was mistook by Parvathi and fell at his feet of Brahma in an act of submission. See this is a classic case of Mistaken Identity, But Shiva got angered by this and cuts of 1 of the 5 heads of Brahma.
Shiva always had anger issues, No matter what the usual hippie crowd say he is a cool god with grass all the time, But the anger had him cursed. The curse was the 5th head which was be-headed from Brahma would be struck on Shiva's right hand there by restricting him to eat for eons. This leaves him to roam the world begging for food and sleeping in graveyards.
Parvathi then approaches Vishnu The god of truth, Seeking his help. Vishnu on hearing Parvathi's plight lays out a strategy to create a pond name 'Agni Kula Theertham' in a graveyard and orchestrate a pooja offering the best of spinach, chicken blood and meat as food, Later it was told to be thrown on the graveyard. When done the demon's heard would come down from Shiva's hand and feast on the food, while Shiva is cleansed with in the pond which will remove him from the curse. While Shiva was saved from the curse, The demon head of Brahma had no other place to go and gets hold of Parvathi.
Parvathi invokes Sakthi's power and unleashes in the form of a cosmic dance, The sheer scale of ferocity can be seen in the way in which she crushes the Demon's head under her foot. Thus saving her husband Shiva & herself, She was named as Angalaamman and the posture of her dance is called Angara Rubam which presides in all temples that has been dedicated to her.
The above has been witnessed in a small town called Maelmalayanur, 20km from Gingee. Temperature soaring to 39* and with such a story happening in front of you, I never needed shots of JD. The drums & the folks religious love took me also into a trance state to dance along and jump crazy in the graveyard. And everyone around offering you food & liquor, Too much to take in a day.
Until the next crazy beard grown...