I first ran into Umesh Kakkeri because of his interest in Portuguese stamps. This Goa Engineering College-educated civil engineer, born in Bombay and linked to adjoining Karnataka’s Belgaum district as his name suggests, has an unusual combination of interests.
His recent book is titled simply ‘Shree Mangesh’. Hardbound (ISBN 81-7525-683-4) and with an enclosed VCD, is all about one of Goa’s most famous temples. Kakkeri’s earlier book was ‘Postal History of Portuguese India’. Google for it, and you would find some details online.
In its 115 pages, his new book touches on the history of the temple, its campus, its daily schedules and religious services. Kakkeri also details the Monday religious day, festivals round the year, deities, temple attendants, the monastry, and managing committee. Some of the provisions on the devastan rules and regulations, passed as they were in colonial times, seem quaint when seen from an early 21st century perspective.
His three page glossary, explaining terms from ‘aarti’ (burning oil lamp pot shown to the deity) to zanj (cymbal) is a useful explanation in understanding across the cultural divide.
If you were curious, Kakkeri is a region or village near Belgaum. Umesh takes on his village-name as his surname, as is the practise in nearby Karnataka. This book is devoted to his grandfather Raosaheb Mangesh Krishnaji Kakkeri (1880-1945) who retired as a deputy superintendent of police in Belgaum.
Blogged with Flock