Sunday, October 4, 2009
An endeavor to unearth Kerala's religious inception
It has taken three years for me to write a post like this, a post on Kerala’s religious inception or better be called an endeavor by writer to unearth hidden treasures in Kerala. Why are we after money? Why are we working? Why should I earn? Why I am wasting 24x7 working for pieces of paper? I have an answer to all these questions. I have to live my life this way, to let the next generation see the world more peacefully.
Have I missed something my ancestors have met with? Am I able to enjoy and see the things they did? I had no answer to these questions, until I have seen the festivals and celebrations in Kerala; the land of my ancestors, my fore fathers. To a mere reader or a forlorn traveler it may appear wastage of time he had done in the past.
I am certain you will wonder, why the cheerful Abhi has written something in a puzzled and not a properly understanding language. This post is not intended to make myself and the ones who read it sleep but to have a pause before sharing happiness so people can take it the way the post is proposed to.
I am now in Cochin and get time to travel across kerala and view its celebrations and culture. However, being a child of the deep-rooted busy city culture, I have to return some day or the other back to my domain so I have to explore the maximum I could. I have shared a couple of my experiences in Kerala through my blog. This article is on the ulsavams we have in Kerala and to understand what I have missed and my future generations will.
Ulsavams are different across kerala featuring different dance forms, music, and celebrations. I have captured images of several ulsavams held across kerala. The ones that are shown in this post are from the ulsavams held in Thamarakulam, Bharanikavu in Alleppy District and Ulsavam in Tripunithura in Ernakulam District.
Also some videos have been provided so you could visualize the moments. This is something I missed in my city culture. In Thamarakulam huge man made bullocks having the height equal to 100 men standing one above the other accompany the ulsavams. The KSEB (Kerala State Electricity Board) creates a blackout to avoid unnecessary short circuits and chances of accidents during ulsavams. People pull these bullocks through ropes and small bullocks are carried on shoulders where men dance to devote their worship before the god. Each ulsavam is a part of a temple and the people surrounding it.
Ulsvams in Bhranikavu have people riding huge elephants, the difference being they are not man made. A series of dance forms and tableaus accompany these elephants. Goddess is brought on one of the elephants that move ahead of the others. Each elephant represent different directions and places around alleppy. Childrens are busy buying balloons and eatables.
Ulsavam at Poornathrayeesa temple in Ernakulam, cochin starts before onam and is worth watching. Series of large elephants stand still with people beating drums along the corridors of the temple. People are seen handling fire on long sticks. Ulsavam has pancharimelam, karnatic kacheris, kathakali and different dance forms as a side dish to the actual recipe. These take place during day and even night until it is again morning.
Aaana ootu(Feeding elephants) is worth watching in Tripunithura where large elephants are brought one after the other and they are fed with rice.
Today morning Atul gave me a call to ensure I am present on his marriage. He started in a way to make me feel that it has been too long since I gave him a call. We started chatting and soon he placed the old sentence, “Why don’t you come to puna? We all are here. We will enjoy, what’s kept in the land too far from north?” Then he continues with his normal dialogues, “Are you planning to settle there?” It is quiet hard to make him understand what I will miss if I leave here.
Ulsavams are worth watching and every citizen of kerala resident or NRI might miss it if he is away for his hometown, far in the west or ones who have never seen their native land before.