Sacrificing Goats and Eating Brains.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 in Uncategorized

Update – This post won the Killer Titles Project at ProBlogger. Many thanks to Darren for hosting the contest and also to all the readers. This is possibly the first time I’ve ever won something meaningful.

Waddepalli.

No, I didnt make that word up. Waddepalli is a place in Warangal and I had pleasure of visiting the place on Sunday along with a few friends. We went there to witness the yearly local festival along with several other age old traditions. At 6:30 AM, we left from Hyderabad in a taxi and sped towards Warangal where we reached at around 10 AM after having stopped at a restaurant for (a sad) breakfast.

The festival had already kicked off by the time we reached there and people were thronging the small temple. Chicken sacrifices were abound with an average of one chicken losing its life every couple of minutes. You can see a photo of the chicken sacrifice here, but be warned, it is of a very graphic nature and I advise you to avoid it if you are easily offended by such things. After a quick refresh, we met the members of the Bhascker family who were kind enough to put up with us. Soon, we walked through the crowds for a what one could call a “VIP Darshan” and stood by the side taking photos of the beheading of the chickens.

They had a goat sacrifice occasionally of which I got some photos which you can see here, it is also of a very graphic nature, even more than the chicken one. After this, we got slightly bored of watching people walk in a line and decided to go visit the 1000 Pillar Temple.

Girls and boys.

Quite evidently, there werent actually 1000 visible pillars in the temple and it probably was a slight disappointment considering its impressive name. We then went to the Bhadrakali temple which was, in my opinion, much better than ol’ 1000 pillar. We prayed to a few gods there, had some Prasadam and walked across the landscape there. I wanted to stay for some more time but some members of our group for hungry and had to leave to get some lunch.

Procession

We went back to the Bhascker’s for lunch where were served freshly cooked spicy mutton curry with rice. I say ‘freshly cooked’ because the goat which was used for the curry was most probably alive a few hours before our meal. In that weather, you always feeling like having a nap after a meal like that but we stayed awake with the help of some playing cards and sheer stupidity in playing some card games. This did a good job of keeping us awake since we either laughing or cursing each other during most of the game.

The game soon got monotonous and the heat seemed to cool down as well so went for a walk guided by a local man. The local man was very enthusiastic to show us around the place and took us to the lake. The walk to the lake was filled with lots of interesting characters which kept us from getting bored. We found a nice tree and spent a lot of time sitting by the lake in the shade of the tree. And even though we wished to see sunset by the lake, we had to go back to the house for some more night time festivities.

Warangal Sunset

I changed my lens, from the 18-250mm to the classic 50mm 1.8, since the light was continuously decreasing. A couple of shots later, I recalled how much I’d loved the lens and had forgotten about its amazing capabilities.

As the sun slowly disappeared, a high powered halogen lamp and lots of multi colored chain lights were put up. All this provided excellent lighting and bokeh for the night shots which turned out much better than I expected. The colors of the saris, the gentle flame on the pots, and the kids running around, made for a nice atmosphere.

The flow of people finally died down after having gone on for more than 12 hours. We took this break as a chance and had some pretty good Ice Cream at a place called ‘Softy Don’. Soon after wolfing down the Ice Cream, we headed back home for dinner. Dinner consisted of some more mutton curry but the Pièce de résistance was the goat brain curry which not only tasted good but is also supposed to be very nutritious.

We decided to end the day with a second show movie but due to lack of choice, we went for ‘God Tussi Great Ho’ which turned to be a bad decision because it has to be the single worst Hindi movie I’ve ever seen. Salman Khan’s overaction, his brother’s even more overaction were too powerful to be overcome by Priyanka Chopra and her moves. The only partially good part of the movie were the songs, kudos to Sajid-Wajid. I slept through a good amount of the movie and by the time we got home after the movie was done, it was 2 AM.

Next day morning, we are up again at 5:30 AM getting ready to come back to Hyderabad. The journey back took 3 hours and we were back here by 10 after a wonderful and unique experience at Warangal. To see things which you dont really see everyday, and be in a place completely different from this world was bliss.

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