V Ramkumar is devotionally energetic as can be seen from his presence at the Panguni Utsavam that is currently on at Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple. His commitment is such that he commands respect from devotees and the authorities alike.
During the first four sessions of this year’s Utsavam procession, he carried the oil-lit torch from start to finish and will be doing so for the entire utsavam. He has now become the ‘official’ torch bearer during processions at the temple.
Twice a day, he makes his two-wheeler trip from Kodambakkam, where he resides, and leads the procession carrying the theevatti that has been a traditional and historical way of lighting up the street during the Lord’s procession.
He told Mylapore Times this week that it is solely the divine couple’s pull that is drawing him towards this service and that he is in a trance when he is carrying out their orders.
As he walks ahead of the Lord during the procession, he also manages the crowd and the vehicles.
With the evening processions ending well past midnight on the first two days of the utsavam, he has reached home only after 1am but is promptly back early next morning at least an hour ahead of the start time of the next procession.
During the utsavam he survives solely on fruits and swami prasadam, he says.
Over the last decade, he has been a regular at the Artha Jaama Pooja at 9pm. Last year, he carried the theevatti during the entire Vasantha utsavam.
As part of his service, he has handed out over a 1000 Rudrakshams and devotional books to Kapali devotees.
One more story of selfless service that people provide during the Panguni utsavam.
- Story, photo by S Prabhu