Businessman renews marriage vows on 60th birthday

(Above) Guests showering Palaniappan and his wife Valliammai with holy water during the Shashti Poorthi ceremony as a sign of blessing the couple. (Below) Relatives and friends joining a mini procession at the Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple. — CHARLES MARIASOOSAY/The Star

BUSINESSMAN Datuk K. Palaniappan celebrated his 60th birthday with much pomp and grandeur at the Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple in Waterfall Road, Penang.

More than 1,200 relatives and friends attended the event known as Shashti Poorthi or a Hindu ceremony to mark the 60th birthday of a male.

The ritual also saw Palaniappan renewing his marriage vows with his wife of 34 years, Datin P. Valliammai, 51.

“In Hinduism, we believe that 60 years represent half of a person’s lifetime.

“A new chapter and a new beginning unfold as we enter the second half of our lifetime.

“It is like a rebirth for us and the rituals conducted are quite similar to what was done when we were born,” said Palaniappan after he and his wife were showered with 60 pots of holy water, the culmination of the two-day prayers which ended yesterday.

While the elderly showered them with holy water to give the couple their blessings, the younger ones poured pots of holy water on the couple to seek the couple’s blessings instead.

The couple have a son, O. Krishnan, 29.

Palaniappan added that the age 60 marked a significant milestone as it was a turning point for a man into a spiritual life after having fulfilled family and material commitments.

Guests at the ceremony were treated to a vegetarian lunch at the temple, prepared by three chefs who were specially flown in from India.

In the Hindu Lunar Calender, Palaniappan’s birthday falls on the third day of the Kartika month, which is Oct 25 in the Gregorian calender this year.

In the Gregorian calendar, he was born on Nov 14 in 1956.

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