From sculptures to idols

There is a hill called ‘Kalasa Mala‘ at Akathiyoor, a beautiful village near Kunnamkulam in Thrissur. Malayalees would know this place from the popular Malayalam movies such as “Thoovaanatthumpikal” and “Bhoothakkannaadi”. Kalasamala is a popular shooting location for movie industries outside the state also and I have heard an interesting story about the place when I was there.

Once a Telugu film production team came here for shooting and their art director created a temple set. The crew had left when the filming was over but the temple set they made for the film had stayed. A few days later appeared a kal viLakku (multi-layered lanterns made of stone) in front of this temple set and people started flocking to the temple and rituals were begun. Some youth in the village brought this to the attention of the Panchayath and it is said that the higher authorities had to interfere to remove the movie set.

Now on to the topic of this post. Something happened recently that reminded me of the movie set incident at Kalasamala. Almost an year back, I saw some sculptures made of plaster of paris lying on the road side at Jagathy, in Trivandrum. I walk through the place every morning and these sculptures seemed to have been discarded by somebody, probably a north Indian vendor who sells such plaster of paris sculptures from house to house (it is a common sight in Kerala). These sculptures were of Ganesha and Ayyappa. After a few days, I noticed that the sculptures have been put straight; now on a sitting posture. Few more days passed by and there was a garland of flowers on both the sculptures. Then one day I spotted a set of incense sticks with a fresh set of garlands. Clearly, somebody has been doing a pooja with the sculptures. This continued for many months and in the last week I noticed that somebody had erected a sheet roof on top of the sculptures. Now it has the shape of a small temple.

I see a scope for Kalasamala issue to repeat here and if it is not nipped in the bud, it is going to be a very sensitive issue in the future. This is right next to the road and is blocking the footpath already (as you can see in the pictures below). If there is going to be a complete temple erected in the name of these two sculptures, which was junk in the first place, it will create traffic blockade and misuse of the public property.