The verandah felt still in the unexpected darkness. Thank God, nothing moved. It would have shocked me out of life had something, even a cat jumped over. I was alone at home and there was not a house nearby to call for help. Frequent power cuts are quite natural in Kerala. Nothing to worry, you will be safe; I tried to calm myself, self-talking as I usually did. I lit a lamp and hoped for the electricity to return soon.
The story of lamps began with a sheer need for keeping the precious finding humanity has ever made handy: fire. Lamps could be identified as torches and potential weapons in certain cases in history. In the present context, especially in the Southern part of India, lamps are used in association with worship and religious rituals. Lamps are an unavoidable component of the rituals in temples and small groves (places where the aboriginal gods are worshiped).
Inside the main wall, close to the main shrine, a very special lamp attracted me. It was in the shape of a tree. Its metallic frame was dark and it was finely balanced on a stand that is firmly attached with the main body of the lamp. The main shrine was constructed like a small temple. And around the main shrine there are gold covered small hanging lamps.
In the four corners of the temple were the spectacular “thousand-flame lamp”. They are termed so due to their much number of flames. There are slots for thousand Vicks. These lamps are huge structures, about seven to eight feet tall and are supported by the foot which is modeled on a tortoise which apparently carries the lamp on its back. On the top of these lamps there is Garuda; a half eagle, half man; the vehicle of Vishnu. All these lamps inside the temple use coconut oil as their fuel. The necessary oil is supplied by the devotees, from and outside the village swarming to the temple during the major festivities called Andaloor Ulsavam. These lamps, thus, lighten up a path of friendship too.