No, Sabarimala is neither a typographical distortion of subnormal, nor is it a group of Jewish scholars in Babylonian amoraim during the 6th century c.e. It is a temple in the state of Kerala in Southern India, where the presiding deity is Ayyappa. Every year, thousands flock to the temple to atone for their sins, and beg their god for health, wealth and prosperity, so they could commit more sins, and then well, more trips to Sabarimala! Some claim that it is the second largest pilgrimage after Haj, the world's largest pilgrimage to another stone in a desert.
Sabarimala has long remained a bastion of the Martians. Perched atop a mountain in the Western Ghats, Ayyappa, a Martian himself, would be terribly offended if any Venusian in the age group 10-50 among the Venusians, it mostly signifies the period between puberty and menopause were to trespass into his house. Well, so the Martians contended, and the temple administration has long held a ban against any Venusian entering the temple.
Everything was fine and dandy until last year, when actress Jaimala, a rebellious Venusian, revealed that she had broken the taboo a decade ago. In 1997, accompanied by her husband, she had ventured into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, and horror of horrors, touched Ayyappa, a confirmed bachelor.
Many Martians doubted the veracity of Jaimala's claim. It has been buttressed, however, by a famous astrologist, who has declared that all is not well with Ayyappa, presumably after consulting his horoscope. The grapevine has it that the actress and the astrologer might have conspired to get more visibility. The actress confirmed the astrologer's prediction, and as a quid pro quo, it is rumored, the astrologer repositioned a couple of planets in her horoscope, so the aging actress could be cast opposite another aging Bollywood superstar.
Clashes ensued between the Martians for the ban, the Martians against the ban, and the Martians against this ban but not against other bans. Things turned ugly, as everyone took the fight to the streets. The alpha Martians of the various tribes in India were naturally upset by the media's preoccupation with the actress, the astrologer, and the arsonists. They decided to take the matter into their own hands, and the war of words and fists shifted to the legislatures, where everything from war to wear to worship are legislated.
G. Sudhakaran, a Martian, and the minister in charge of religious affairs in the communist state government in secular India, spearheaded the movement against the ban. Declaring his bias against the bias against the Venusians of the Hindu tribe only, he announced that his government was biased in favor of allowing them into the temple. In a show of his resolve to lift the ban, the minister filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court of India, an august body of jurists that is currently all Martian. The affidavit called for the constitution of yet another Commission, this time with Hindu scholars and social reformers read, septuagenarians and octogenarians with nothing better to do to decide on permitting the Venusians into Sabarimala.
The Martians of the Ayyappa cult would tolerate none of this. CNN-IBN reports that:
A Salem-based Ayyappa Mission -- which pays allegiance to Lord Ayyappa -- has threatened to go on a hunger strike in front of the Kerala state legislature if the government allows [Venusians] inside the famed Sabarimala temple.
The group says that [Venusians] inside the temple would prove to be a 'distraction' to [Martian] Ayyappa devotees.
Having gone without any intimate contact with the Venusians for 41 days as a penance before the pilgrimage, the hapless Martians would be unable to resist any temptress another dictionary definition for Venusian in the temple. And, succumbing to the temptation would defile the bachelor Ayyappa's abode beyond imagination.
As an amicus curiae, I would like to file an affidavit on the genesis of Ayyappa to the Supreme Court of India. Here is the gist:
Once upon a time, long long ago, there were two Martian tribes called Asuras and Devas. As most Martian tribes are wont to, these two constantly warred with each other for supremacy. On a rare occasion the two cooperated in their eternal quest for immortality and chanced upon an elixir, locally called Amrita [not to be confused with guava, which is called Amrut].
Of course, the Devas didn't want the Asuras to attain immortality, and vice versa. An alpha Martian called Vishnu decided to intervene. Fair and balanced as Fox News is, Vishnu offered to serve the Amrita to both the Devas and the Asuras. With a wink at the Devas, Vishnu assumed the form of Mohini, a Venusian and a temptress without parallel, and started serving the Amrita. Of course, the Devas got all the Amrita and became immortal, while all that the "distracted" Asuras got were a few coquettish glances from the master temptress or, should I say mistress tempter well, whatever.
It's not only the Asuras who were mesmerized by Mohini alias Vishnu, but also another alpha Martian, Shiva, who often sits on the fence between the Asuras and the Devas. In a fleeting moment of weakness, Shiva succumbed to the irresistible charms of Vishnu. We are not exactly sure what happened next, but Ayyappa was conceived by Mohini! After giving birth to Ayyappa, Mohini had a sex change and became Vishnu again. Considering the circumstances of his birth, it is not surprising that Ayyappa became a recluse and retired to the rain forest of Sabarimala.
Now, at first glance, it may seem reasonable that temptresses should not be allowed inside the temple of a son born of temptation. I submit, however, that there is more in the genesis of Ayyappa than what meets the eye in the first glance. You see, Shiva, a Martian, was tempted by Vishnu, another Martian, cross-dressed and more, as a Venusian. The temptress here is not a temptress after all, but a tempter, a Martian!
If you thought that it was Mohini, a Venusian, and not Vishnu, a Martian, who tempted the Asuras and Shiva, think again. Do you remember the story of the Martians, Bhishma and Shikhandi, in Mahabharatha? Bhishma wouldn't fight Shikhandi because Shikhandi was Amba, a Venusian, in a previous birth. Once a Venusian, always a Venusian, Bhishma had declared, even if she were to assume the form of a Martian in some of her reincarnations. And, what holds for the goose, holds for the gander, too!
Ayyappa is the silent proof that Martians can distract, tempt, and more, as well as Venusians can. I argue, therefore, that no Martian pilgrim be permitted in the temple either, lest he should tempt his fellow Martian pilgrims, leading to unthinkable and dangerous liaisons. I submit that Ayyappa should be left in peace and seclusion that he had sought so desperately after the traumatic events surrounding his birth.
In the light of this affidavit, I would also urge the court to consider declaring Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional. Saves valuable time for the overburdened court!