Sometimes, progress manifests itself in the most unexpected, but delightful ways. In that aspect, Indian society oscillates like a pendulum, constantly moving forward, and then right back to where it all began. Before you dwell on that terrible metaphor, distract yourself with this — a temple in Chennai is now offering devotees a modern take on traditional prasad. They’re now doling out burgers and brownies, and for those who are health-conscious, they’ve got salads (fancily garnished with cherry tomatoes) too!
Jaya Durga Peetham is located in Padappai, a suburb on the outskirts of Chennai, tamarind rice and sweet pongal have no place here any longer. K Sri Sridhar, a herbal oncologist who helped set the temple up, is the man behind the idea to start giving out sandwiches and desserts as prasadam. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has backed this up by certifying the food, with manufactured, expiry and best before dates on every serving. In a report by TOI, K Sri Sridhar said, “The idea was to show that anything that is nutritious and prepared in a clean kitchen with a clean mind can be served to God. It doesn’t have to be only traditional dishes.”
Besides vending machines that give out the prasadam, the temple also has a delivery service now — dedicated to birthday cakes as prasad. The temple maintains a computerised register of birthdates and addresses, which enables them to deliver a cake right to a devotee’s door. For some, it is their first surprise cake, and it is appreciated even more, as it comes from the temple, adding what Sridhar says, is a special touch to the occasion.
“When we set up the temple, we thought we should give Gods the food we relish,” says Sridhar. Well, that’s definitely one way to keep up with the times, eh?
Representational Image Credit — The Deccan Chronicle