It was a wee bit early in the morning. 4.30 am is not a time I dare to take my bike out.
And when I had decided the previous night that I would go to see the gods the next morning, I had to do a little bit of preparation. To leave home at 4.30 am I had set alarm to get up at 4, take bath and of course have the earning morning filter coffee!
All for capturing a glimpse of the Rishabha vahanam procession of Sri Kapaleeswara. Rishabha Vahanam starts off at late night around 11.30 pm and after going around the Mada street, the procession reaches the temple the next day morning.
Then why go at 4.30 am, why not the previous night? That was for the special part of the procession when Kapali dances to the tunes of the English Note (Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar's) followed by 'For he is a jolly good fellow' both played on the band and not on the nadaswaram!
Yes, it is a special occasion. You need to wait once the Gods reach the 16 pillar mandapam in front of the eastern gopuram of Kapali temple. The five 'Sivan Kovil Samis' - pillaiyar, swami, ambal, subramanyar and chandikeswarar - assemble at the mandapam. Siva (Kapali) at the centre, the other gods do a pradakshinam (clockwise around the deity) and get back to the temple after special arti and upacharam - welcome rituals.
Kapaleeswara stays back. The muscled men who carry the god on their shoulders arrive after a tea break. The band troupe is signalled to take position in front of the God.
The music begins. The English note floats. The men sway to the tunes. Kapali enjoys the dance.
Then He is carried inside the temple in a fast pace, as though a child runs back home after a long tour!
Here is the short video clip.
Perhaps the men were too tired, as it was already hot in March. This year the song and dance did not have the vigour of merriment but were carried out as a ritual.
Still it was special and now enjoy the clip!