The Lady At The Temple
There are huge stone slabs all around, one can sit and spend time watching the various temple activities. The devotees around the pools for purification and cleansing, devotees doing their pradakshinas, some of them around the small shops in the complex purchasing the ritual items for worship are all a sight to see… so common yet so different.
It was during one of the pradakshinas I was taking around the Devarajaswamy Temple, Kanchipuram I came across this sight of an old lady filling lamps with ghee(Indian clarified butter). She was pouring ghee in to the lamps with so much of concentration and devotion, I stood still watching her just like my daughters were. It looked such an interesting activity that I found myself wanting to do the same thing.
Initially the lady was hesitant to look at me and I was equally hesitant to take her shots. Then a ten rupee note broke the ice between us. She paused at her work and posed for me. Each lamp sells for five rupees she said, as I continued taking her shots. They would be purchased by the devotees who would light them and offer them in thanksgiving to the deity of the temple. All the while my mind was calculating: the lamp, the wick, ghee together will surely cost more than five rupees, then, what is her profit? Labor charges??