September 3, 2012

ll The Art of Persistence ll

By Kalikramatic Baba In Artefact


Just for your information I have no intention to scare the shit out of you,the reason I have started this post with Chinese quote is because recently I visited a Chinese temple, I know that’s the lamest reason for using Chinese quotes but i am just trying to show off.

 Divine Saloon doors

Mumbaikar’s & Chinese food are just like two sides of a same coin, they can never be separated.There’s another part of Chinese culture that can never be abstracted from Mumbai, built in the year 1919 by a group of Cantonese Sailors, The Great Kwan Tai Shek Temple stands in all its glory as a Tribute to The Legendary
General Kuan Yu aka Guan Yu. Hidden in the sluggish backstreets of Mazgaon this Temple is hardly known to the Mumbaikar’s. I accidentally came to know about this temple through my virtual advance technological exploration device,some call it Google. I was really accelerated  to visit this temple cause I love Chinese Products specially Iphone, I used my 4000 horse power location alternating mechanism aka  the train to reach Mazgaon.

Finding the temple in Mazgaon was like a piece of cake for me,Thanks to my Mobile GPS ,I was already lost three times and when i thought of asking my fellow Mumbaikars for directions, I was directed towards Chinese eatery & Restaurants beside been laughed upon. After 30 minutes of serious exploration i came to know that the Temple was just near the station road and eventually I reached my destination.

The Legendary Guan Yu 

Surrounded by residential blocks,The temple barely looks like a temple but still stands out because of its balcony that is painted with the Chinese color of Happiness and Prosperity aka Red & embellished with jazzy paper lanterns & small dragon statues.The instant you enter the temple using those divine saloon doors you get visuals of this colorful vintage stairs that take you to the first floor where lie’s the apartment of the care taker Mrs Sandra Tham,half Chinese, born and brought up in Calcutta.She is looking after the temple since last two years. She welcomed me with humility and accompanied me to the third floor that is the abode of the the Mighty General Lord Kuan Yu.

Things used inWorship

Compared to the minimal decoration of the temple the altar of Kuan Yu feels Celestial & Exceptional.
after a few questions to Sandra I worshiped the Chinese General performing all the rituals Chinese Style.The things required for  prayer are available in the temple itself,beside candle and incense stick you also get a piece of paper which has Chinese design on it, The way to use the paper is easy ,Wish for something, Burn the paper and it will come true.Beside this the wall next to the altar is lined with bamboo paper which tell your fortune provided you know to read them.The Ying Yang symbols in temple denotes the balance in the Universe .The temple overflows with Chinese Tradition,what one needs is a bucket of curiosity.

Instead of being so unique and mesmerizing the temple hardly gets any visitors except on the Chinese new year.Maybe because people hardly know about it.This hidden gem is a antique part of Mumbai’s History.

Long time ago the Cantonese Sailors had a dream. A dream of respecting the righteously and believing in their culture this dream is still kept alive by people like Sandra and many more,who have dedicated their life to maintain the glory of the temple.

                                                                 Hats off to all of them
                                                          Long live thy Art of Persistence.

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