19 November 2008

Watch Your Feet

Work has started getting Tiruvannamalai smart in time for Deepam. Roads are getting relaid, trash cleaned, grass verges cut back and buildings re-painted. The below roadwork is of the Bangalore Road which also forms part of the Girivalam Roadway. I stopped by and had a chat with the Engineer in charge and was surprised to learn that the road repair was being carried out by a private Company under Contract to the Municipality. Somehow I had assumed that it was Government work. It seems like India is getting more like the West everyday!

My main concern about the above roadwork is that the labourers are not wearing proper protective foot gear. The man below has some sort of cover -- however I'm not too sure how the rubber would bear up under hot tar -- perhaps melt?

And in the two photos below we are really getting into 'skimpy mode'-- Ouch! But at least the workers are wearing some sort of foot cover -- I often have seen shoeless tar workers on road repair wearing nothing but plastic bags wrapped around their feet.

I have a feeling that its going to be a BUSY Deepam. Keep checking back over the upcoming weeks as I hope to give lots of fascinating information about different aspects of Deepam and how it is celebrated at Tiruvannamalai. The first Deepam celebration is scheduled for November 29th at the Durga Amman Koil (Temple) which inaugurates a raft of functions, ceremonies, rituals and processions both at the Durga Amman Temple and then the Arunachaleswarar Temple. The lighting of the Deepam (flame) at the top of Arunachala is scheduled for dusk (around 6.05 p.m.) on December 11th. I believe the Tamil TV station, Raj TV will be providing a live broadcast of that day. I will post all information as I get it.


Grasshopper said...

Our feet are meant for walking on earth, stones, water, snow. Modern living has made us all too fastidious about covering our feet at all times.
I am not saying that those working with hot tar don't need footwear, but people who go bare foot have stronger soles and are healthy too. My grandmother never wore chappals, we lived in Nagpur, where we have extreme weather, which means even in hot summer she walked on tar road bare foot. She also wore khadi, and slept on a wooden bed without a mattress and bathed with cold water throughout the year.
How I wish I could come to Tiru for a barefoot pradakshina on Deepam. Arunachala, are you listening? You have given me this desire, now you better fulfill it.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Hello Grasshopper -- I totally agree with your comments about 'bare feet'. Your grandmother sounds like a remarkable women -- and a good example to all of us.

Hope you make it to Tiruvannamalai soon.