Last week we were in Tirupparankundram, not specifically to worship Lord Muruga but to celebrate a marriage.
Tirupparankundram is three miles southeast of historic, bustle-filled Madurai. It is one of the Aru Padai Veedugal or six sacred places selected by Lord Subrahmanya for his abode.
Lord Murugan or Karttikeya or Subrahmanya or Skanda has a Thousand Names. And a thousand temples confined to Tamil Nadu and Srilanka, Malaysia, Maldives..only wherever Tamils congregate unlike his popular elder brother, Ganesh or Pillaiyar as we call him. Why?
Tirupparankundram is built in a cave in a hill and no one seems to be quite sure of its age. The idols are cut into the rock face. The tank outside is surrounded by a grand rock on two sides making a nice view. Muruga married his Northern wife, Devyani, daughter of Indra here and so this temple is considered very auspicious for weddings.
The day we were there, the temple was packed – with newly married couples and their families - weddings were going on in every available space. It was rather nice to see young happiness all over. The happiness of a wedding does spill over to watchers.
The wedding we attended was in a hall close by. It went off very smoothly without hitches. Two factors contributed to the lack of confusion. One was that the bride was a Bengali and her bewildered family could hardly add their views to the proceedings. Second was that my cousin sister (groom's mother) had quarelled with her immediate family, so they were politely around but not feeling good enough to hand out contrary instructions. :-)
But the discordant note was actually the entertainment laid on. A variety entertainment group (of 'Vijay tv pugal") tried attracting an indifferent audience with old jokes, songs, dances , acts in various costumes. It was sad to see them saying 'come on clap for us'. I do think we shouldn't get singers/dancers etc to perform during weddings. It is so insulting to them when people hardly pay them any attention.
Family weddings are fun when we have the time to stay overnight and really interact. But when we spend hours travelling to the destination, make a token attendance and then rush back then it all seems pointless.
My sis has a new rule. Attend only the weddings of people whom you have seen something of outside social functions. Applying this rule, I should have to give a great many family wedding a miss.