Tag Archives: Ayyappa Deeksha

deeksha, muggu and dosas…

Morning walks are always enlightening, trying to find new routes, little angles i have not yet explored. The earlier i go the better, these were all taken around 6.30/7.00am…

A group of Ayyappa Deekshas getting close to the end of their period of abstinence, coming back from Temple:

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…and early morning is the best time to catch the muggu drawings freshly done, in this house a mother and daughter were both busy making their muggus. The father called me over seeing my camera and asked me to photograph them, the daughter did not want to be photographed…just her work…and as she was less experienced than her mum, she was still working from a notebook of patterns. Most households have these books and during festive periods the newspapers also produce patterns to be copied…

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…and taking a shortcut towards Gannavaram in another small village near ours they are, in impromptu Indian style, selling breakfasts of dosas and idlis (delicious crepes and fluffy steamed “cakes” both served with coconut chutney -my fave- or a sicy broth known as sambar) and savory spicy donuts…it’s all good…

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the red barber…

I photographed him last year, a young barber who plies his trade from a tiny hut at the edge of Buddavaram* just outside the orphanage, i hope do a series of photographs on him and his clients this year if he lets me…The inside is papered red and bathes him and his customers in a glorious red light… His black clothes mean he is following a Ayyappa Deeksha** (see also Bhavani Deeksha previous post for similar religious behaviour, the devotees clad entirely in red). Anyway he gets a post to himself because he looks rather splendid…

The Red Barber’s Hut – a genius use of a small space…

* Buddavaram means “Wednesday” in the language of Andhra Pradesh, Telugu

** Ayyappa Deeksha is an offering on the part of an individual as part of the Hindu religion, there are many many rules but what it boils down to is that the devotee must live a very austere life for 41 days preceding a visit to the Temple. During this time, the mind is made to withdraw from the worldly objects and is slowly directed towards Ayyappa.

The black clothes symbolise a mind withdrawn from all material  objects. The black cloth suggests devotee is dead to the world of perceptions, emotions and thoughts and he is immersed in the thought of Ayyappa.