Have you ever wondered how these guys, the guests of honour and other ppl, who are called to light the lamp (Kuthuvilaku) to inaugurate a function feel? Well, neither have I, until recently! For those unaware/semi-aware lot, its usually customary, especially in South India, to start a big function or an event by lighting the Kuthuvilaku. It is considered very auspicious and is said to usher in good luck and success to the event. Usually, there are five sides to this lamp and five people will be called to light it. And many a times, lots of funny things happen in these occasions, like the organisers forgetting to switch off the fan right above the lamp so that the GOH keep trying to light the lamp, to no avail!!!
I have sat in many such functions and watched from the back seats the important personalities beaming and grinning from ear to ear, murmuring with each other while doing this deed. And I used to think, 'hmm they must be talking something important.' But, let me tell you, never, ever, in my dreams did I want to be on the stage and do this deed. I swear!
But destiny decided otherwise on a very nice day. There I was, one of the invited guests (in case you think it was just fluke), sitting nicely and relaxing, just like any guest would do. I was preparing myself to sit through the hour long inaugural ceremony, trying to supress a yawn (It was four o clock ripe in the afternoon) when I heard the MC announce and invite the GOH to formally inaugurate the event by lighting the lamp. I took my hands from their comfortable resting position on my bag (one of my little idiosyncrasy, my bag :) )ready to clap to death (another thing I love, clapping!) when my friend suddenly nudged me and said "Go" in a loud whisper.
"Aree, whats the matter with this fellow? This is the most important moment and he is not even ashamed to shout 'Go'! By the way Go where?....." thought me.
And then it dawned, very slowly. Usually, I dont really pay attention to what the MCs sprout. I am content to just sit and relax but since am not deaf, what they say gets in- a little slowly. And this time, it did even more slowly - "May we invite Ms. VJ, one of our student guests to come on stage and light the lamp along with GOHs.....?" Oh, My god!! OH MY GOD But God was on stage and he seemed in no mood to relieve me of this duty. I ran, not really, to the stage and joined the GOHs to do my part. And then, and then I knew. I knew what the GOHs murmur to each other in such occasion. They decide how to light the lamp, who will light which face of the lamp and just generally give tips on getting the flame to burn nicely. Oh ya, believe me.
I had a great time, though :)