'Swami Ayyappan' rides tigers, fights demons, unites with idol
Anthropomorphic? Noooo … But how can you not like an animated TV movie about “‘Swami Ayyappan’, based on the life story of a boy ‘Manikandan’ who became one with God worshipped by millions”?
That is on Indian TV, of course. Animation Xpress for 2 July reports that,
Swami Ayyappan is slated to premier on national TV channels and subsequently distributed as DVDs during the upcoming Sabarimala season in various languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu & Kannada. [What, no Hindi?]
Sabarimala is a place of pilgrimage that welcomes devotees irrespective of religion, caste or creed. [Not many Christians, I’ll bet.]
The film follows the life of young Manikandan, believed to be born out of the union between Lord Shiva and Vishnu in his Mohini avatar. His life at Pandalam Palace, childhood days at the gurukul and the miracles he performed are all portrayed in the film. It also depicts Manikandan’s fight with Udayana, the slaying of the demoness Mahishi and the instances that lead to his friendship with Vavar, a robber from Turkistan. This friendship is considered to be the epitome of religious tolerance till this day. Once the purpose of his embodiment is fulfilled, Manikandan gets united with the idol in the Sabarimala Temple and is hence forth known as ‘Swami Ayyappan’. [Oh, well, if there’s a demoness, that’s okay.]
…a robber from Turkistan. This friendship is considered to be the epitome of religious tolerance till this day.
Yeah, if Turkestan/Turkmenistan is in the news today, it’s about how they worship horses. This April, Turkmenistani President Gurbanguly Berdymukkhamedov “awarded "the most beautiful horse of the year" prize to a thoroughbred stallion called Khan of the Eagles, which beat the nine other finalists decked in traditional bridles. The leader then pulled off his jacket and leapt onto a horse to ride a victory circuit of the racecourse outside Ashgabat to cheers from the crowd.
The horse beauty contest falls on a national holiday, the Day of the Turkmen Race Horse in the ex-Soviet state, which is home to an ancient breed of horses called Akhal-Teke.”, according to a neighboring Kazakhstani news release, “Turkmenistan president holds horse beauty contest”.
But we’re getting away from Swami Ayyappen. The Animation Xpress article goes on about how Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd. in co-production with Mumbai based Animagic have high hopes for this TV feature, which is apparently slated for the other side of India from Hindi-speaking Mumbai if it is in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada. No English? Oh, well.