Lots of people are intimately involved with the festival, in small and big ways, most voluntarily and some, over generations.
My team mate R Saravanan met a few of them and shared their profile -
A. Srikanth runs Thiruvasaga Thirusabai, manages a garden on the Sri Kapali Temple tank's west side and offers all the flowers that grow here to the temple.
For panguni, his team makes the fire torches taken out in processions, blow the conches, offer incense and finally, serve payasam to devotees every night of the fest.
S. Raji and son Dilli Babu flower sellers have for over 40 years supplied fresh flowers based on orders - they also donate garlands daily during the fest. 15 people work for the duo at festival time. They create special garlands 15 ft in height for adhikara nandi.
The largest quantity of flowers are ordered for Thirukalyanam.
B Anandan and his brothers ( Satyamurthy, Dr Kumaraswamy, Dr Chandru) of Ponnambala Vadyar Street carry on a tradition that their grandfather K S Kumaraswamy, a vaithyar had started - getting the adhikara nandi ready for the fest, He first donated a silver covering for the nandi and over the years, this family has done all that is required for the rituals of the adhikara nandi procession.
Saravanan heads Sripadam, a body of volunteers who work day in and day out for the fest. He gets paid for providing the basic infrastructure but his group also arranges freely special garlands for the gods.
D. Jayaprakash Narayanan is the man who has enlivened a show that goes with the Panguni fest. An exhibition of art, pictures, images and collectibles donated by Vinayaka Mudaliar and managed by the Vysarpadi Vinayaga Mudaliar Charities. The chatram on South Mada Street where the show is on now looks smart and bright.