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Laxmi: Waiting for some humanity!
In Manakula Vinayagar temple, 17- year-old Laxmi, an elephant, stands on the entrance of the temple to shower its blessings on humans. But nobody has even bothered to care for the poor elephant that stands there for long hours without food and rest.
MANAKULA VINAYAGAR temple at Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, is one such temple where Laxmi, a 17-year-old female elephant stands at the entrance to shower its blessings. Apart from the faith of people in Lord Ganesha, it acts as an attracting force for the devotees to visit the temple. “Every evening, I come here because Indu loves to see the elephant,” exclaimed Ranganathan Iyer, who was there with his grand daughter, Indu. There are many more like Iyer, who visit the temple with their children and grand children. And there are few visitors, who, on hearing about the elephant, just can’t stop the kids from visiting the temple.
Laxmi has been here at the temple for 11 years now. It was six years old, when it was gifted to the temple. Since then, till today, every day it stands at the entrance for 10 hours to bless all who offer her bananas, grasses or coins, which it does by raising its trunk and placing it on their heads. From nine in the morning to 12 in the noon and then two in the noon till nine at night, it is strictly on foot for the entire day. The hectic schedule leaves her with only two hours for lunch, for which it goes back home to feed on banana leaves.
Standing erect for so long, without pretence of fatigue and restlessness is a little too much to ask for from this speechless being, but who understands her grief and agony! Her feet bruised and legs in pain and eyes watery red, it eagerly waits to be blessed, but all it gets is a whack on her back from her master and ignorance from the visitors, who are human beings with hardly any traces of humanity in them.
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