Pathanamthitta: Overwhelming devotion to Lord Ayyappa helped Chennaiyyan withstand the excruciating pain on his right leg, bones of which were crushed in an accident, as he travelled to Sabarimala to worship his favourite deity. He travelled with his plastered leg from Krishnagiri near Salem in Tamil Nadu to Sabarimala, with 110 other pilgrims to worship at Ayyappa's shrine.
The pilgrim's eyes gleamed with joy on sighting the Ayyappa deity again. “I'm happy,” said Chennaiyan as he reclined to a chair near the temple complex. “I was worried I wouldn't be able to see the Swami this year. It's over. Now I need to relax. I'm getting back home though others in the group are hanging on for 10 days.”
Chennaiyan, 39, is a textile dealer in Krishnagiri. He was observing the vow to visit Sabarimala when a vehicle rammed his two-wheeler last week. His right ankle was virtually pulverised. Doctors advised six weeks rest with a plastered leg. However, Chennaiyan wasn't willing to cancel his 10th consecutive pilgrimage to Sabarimala.
The pilgrim had trekked to Sabarimala during all his past nine visits, but this time he needed support. Two friends lent him their shoulders to climb the pathinettam padi (18 holy steps) to the Lord's shrine at the end of the trip that lasted one-and-a half days.
The police let him move ahead without waiting in the queue as he approached the sanctum sanctorum.