Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Colourful kolams

Call it kolam or rangoli, the patterns drawn through the slits of the fingers are wonderful and exclusive to our country.
Rangoli is known by different names - Alpana, Aripana, rangavali, chowkapurana.
But what I know well is 'Kolam' - the traditional Tamil Nadu kolam.
I distinctly remember my childhood days when we used to get up early in the morning (at 5am?) during Margazhi, after Dec. 15, especially during Christmas holidays. Our mom used to wake up before us and get the front yard cleaned and keep ready for us. Us? - My sister and I!
Our dad also used to get up and be with us at the entrance, keeping an eye on the passers by at the wee hours.
We always put up a traditional kolam with white powder. Sometimes two coats of lines and patterns to make the kolam look brighter!
I could rewind my memories of drawing big kolams during the Mylapore festival, where we see only the traditional while powder kolam.

But the announcement in the paper about the longest, record breaking rangoli at the Marina beach, made me curious. The competition was to be held on Jan. 28 between 8 and 11am.

At 8am in January, when one would expect a chill in the air, the Sun was up and the women who participated in the contest were sweating!
Yet, the long trail of rangolis was nice to watch. The colour powders made a few rangolis clumsy though.
At 11am, the jeep carrying the judges, S. Ve. Shekhar (the Mylapore MLA), dancer Chitra Visweswaran and TV anchor Uma Padmanabhan started moving from rangoli no 1. The trail started from the lighthouse and went up to the swimming pool in the north.
A few rangolis I loved are here. But none of these won a prize!

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