Devout temple-goers in Nanganallur were stunned when they turned up for the inauguration of their new temple tank last Friday, and were greeted with the sight of a spanking new M1A2 Abrams parked on the temple grounds.
|The temple priests admiringly inspect the rear armour slats on their newly acquired Abrams M1A2 temple tank.|
The mix-up apparently occurred when a wealthy NRI devotee had misunderstood a request from the temple trust, asking him to donate a new tank to commemorate the annual temple 'Thiruvizhaa' this year. “We had sent a letter to the devotee, Mr. Shankar Sundaram of Cleveland (which is in 'States'), indicating that our temple needed a tank for many years. He has very kindly and promptly responded to our request. Sadly, it's the wrong kind of tank. Heh heh.”, said the temple head-priest Aravind Adigal. “No, no! I'm not the Booker Prize guy. He's even balder.”, he quipped, winning many admirers for his engaging wit.
Mr.Sundaram, in an exclusive phone call to Son of Bosey, clarified “Shite. My bad! I thought they wanted one to defend themselves against those pesky Islamic Terrorists who seem to be crawling out of the woodwork.”
“But what to do now? Wait, I know! Ask them to just say that it's a new Sannidhi! Brilliant! ”, he added.
“By the way, guys, have you checked out the cage match between Eddie Guerrero and Ray Mysterio? I'll send you the DVDs. It's awesome.”, he signed off, convinced that the matter was now closed.
The temple devotees are understandably bewildered and upset by this. “Yes, we agree that the M1A2 is an awesome piece of artillery – thermal sights, rear-protecting slats, remote weapons station – but it isn't what we want. We just asked for a simple temple tank, similar to that seen in the Kapaleeswarar temple, only smaller. Why do we need this? Just in case there's an escalation on the Alandur front? Perhaps Ullagaram is planning to invade us?” asked a visibly irritated T.S.Krishnaswamy, one of the oldest and most respected regular worshippers at the temple, displaying his well-documented vehicle expertise as well as his renowned sarcastic wit.
However, some devotees are seeing the bright side of things. “There's nothing wrong with a temple having a military tank. After all, even the Ramayana and Mahabharatha have references to nuclear weapons.”, said an elderly man, who looked like he could have been called 'Sridharan'. Or perhaps 'Sankara Sarma'. “In fact, all technologies have been described in our Vedas and Puranas – including Plasma TVs, WiMax, CFC-free refrigerators and Decepticons.”, he said smugly, settling down into 'Thyagu' mode.
As always, the general public reactions have been varied.
“Wow. Nanganallur finally becomes kvlt! Eat this, Lower Parel!”, said a delighted Vishal Thyagarajan, happy to know his neighbourhood had finally got something cooler than a bakery with a few tables, which stocks Red Bull.
“This is a troubling development. Imagine if the miscommunication had occurred the other way around, and the Defense Ministry ended up with several temple tanks, with slippery stone steps and arbid red-and-white striped patterns on their walls, on their premises. THAT would really help defend our borders. Take that, Paki invaders! Take a holy dip! Muhahahahaha! Sheesh. ”, said wildlife photographer S.U.Saravanakumar, the voice of reason as always.
“Shite! Now those losers in Nanganallur will get more visitors than us. Peon! Quick! Two Anti-Aircraft gun-turrets. Preferably with sustained plasma cannon attachments! That'll show them!”, thundered the furious head priest of Kapaleeswarar Temple, reacting to the sudden competition.
The print media in Chennai have been quick to cash in on the opportunity. The HINDU reacted by printing an epic-blade piece in their 'religion' column, The Times of India somehow managed to work in a picture of Megan Fox into the report, The New Indian Express did a special feature on 'Tank based games' by columnist Videep Vijay Kumar, and The Deccan Chronicle's response could not be read due to poor paper quality.
Many Hindu activists such as the RSS, the Shri Ram Sene and Rajan Zed believe that this hurts Hindu sentiments, but are too scared to vocally protest, since the temple has a “big fucking Abrams tank” on the premises.