‘Kolus’ and Concerts 07/10/2011

The ‘kolu’ at the Sri Parthasarathy temple in Triplicane  was a much smaller affair unlike the one put up in the rear prakaram last year which is still fresh in my memory. The rich variety was arranged according to themes of  mythology and the celestial world appeared so vivid that we felt  we were witnessing Venkateswara kalyanam  and Sri Rama Pattabhishekam ( I learnt from one of the staffers in the temple  that the previous year’s kolu  was organized by a private party ).

The kolu at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan which was put up for the first time had a mix of mythology, religion and a cross section of  Indian society. The highlight was the kondapalli corner, especially the overloaded  bullock cart driven by a woman  held the onlooker’s attention.There was a  music concert every evening by budding artistes who generally performed well, however with an exception. The young lady’s  performance did not match her air of confidence  as she lacked in  both sruthi and  swara sense. Unable to sit through the concert anymore we  gently quit the venue,  collected the sundal that was being  distributed at the entrance of the building. A taste of it was enough to prove that it was also  ‘half baked.’  When we casually entered the main auditorium a spell binding Mandolin concert by Mandolin sisters, Sriusha and Sreesha  was in progress. They were concluding playing Mahi shasura mardhini which was followed  by Govindanama of SriVenkateswara  which  was a real feast to our ears.  So also was the dance recital by Revathi Ramachandran and her troupe  to our eyes

The kolu at SriPadmanabha Swamy temple  depicted the State’s culture in all its diversity. A replica  of the Presiding deity occupying the centre on the top step was the cynosure of all eyes. The bottom most step comprised  an elderly couple looking very natural and graceful, the  woman’s  grey hair added  dignity  to her glowing and spotless face. The rural background in which they were set appeared just right. The music concert by a young artiste was good,  so was the ‘prasadam’ of  hot pongal.

A few of  the kolus  put up by some of my friends comprised  mostly  their vintage collection, dating back to previous generations. The icons that stood out were Hyagriva and  Bhoovaraha with Lakshmi seated on their lap,   Saraswathi and Seetha, looking very demure and coy, and the beautiful Dasavatara set among the rest.

A word about my own kolu which I should confess was a kolu with a difference as it represented  the three R’s—the religious, the royal and the rural India besides a ‘miniscule world’ we happened to visit through the years.

N Meera Raghavendra Rao

3 thoughts on “‘Kolus’ and Concerts 07/10/2011

  1. Prof. V.N.K.Kumar

    Nice to read all this. Takes me back to my younger days in Chennai when I used to escort my wife to such events. Tradition goes on.

  2. Yes, like Tennyson’s poem ‘The Brook ‘ where he says: Men my come and men may go, I go on for ever’ hope tradition too goes on for ever in Chennai(despite the changing governments).

  3. V Raghavan

    Maybe you can visit the Kolu of the Grand Champion of this year D. Harigopal at Mogappair open to public till tomorrow (Monday) and write a report on it. It has on display Mount Kailash, Mana Sarovar, etc. Contact number 2656 0983.

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