I would like to begin this post on a personal note about events in and around Chennai on the occasion of two important festivals—Dushera and Deepavali occurring during first and third week of this month.I had the honour of being the chief guest at an award function got up by a web site cheenailivenews.com to distribute prizes to winners of the best kolus. It was interesting to see all the 60 entries where the participants in the competition displayed their creativity, imagination and most important did their homework thoroughly to explain briefly the theme and symbolism of their kolus along with the nearly dozen photographs. I thought it must have been a daunting task for the judges to select the best among the entries as they appeared good in their own way. While speaking on the occasion I went back in time when my mother put up a kolu in our drawing room which meant shifting our sofa set to the family room . After coming to Madras post marriage I would receive more than a dozen invitations every year and always made it a point to visit all the houses irrespective of the distance and hassles in commuting. Through the years the invitations just began trickling in, thanks to the apartment culture and women taking up a career .But now what a transformation it has been with full fledged kolus appearing on a web site which can be seen and appreciated without stirring out of the house/apartment, a real blessing to kolu lovers !
Coming to Deepavali which has followed closely on the festival of Dolls, I see a change –for instance it is less noisy but more colourful in terms of sartorial preferences of both men and women, couples trying to appear ‘made for each other’ wearing similar coloured clothes and children preferring western outfits not to speak of an increased variety in colours and shapes of sweets offered by sweet meat outlets.
n.meera raghavendra rao