Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Sunday Wedding in Kottarakkara... Marrying?



There are many people gathered here with, all pink, green, white and red sarees... White mundu and shirt. They are here to attend the marriage of Vidya and Jayasankar. I do not know Jayashankar personally but he appears to be good guy. Unlike the other characters in a marriage, he did not appear nervous. The worst parts I feel in these marriages are the videographers who gather around the bride and the groom filling most of the space, preventing the attendees witnessing the marriage. People say they help the family to see the marriage even after it is over and a minor interruption is permitted. I have mixed feelings on this topic.



I think I have covered many marriages in my blog but this was a bit different. I was asked by the relatives to shoot the video, interesting isn’t it?

The groom came early as always and sat on the stage after completing the dakshina rituals. The videographers were shooting every object they saw on the stage, even the bananas. An old grandmother sitting beside me was chatting with me about her son and his house warming ceremony. She was very fast in conveying her ideas and the interesting part was that she did not know who I was. I like such talkative people who are open to express their ideas. The groom was still on the stage twisting his hands to spend the time. He was of course nervous but he did not let it be exposed.

Women were passing comments on the groom comparing him with the bride. They always have complaints about the couple, no matter whether their families feel similar.

The stage was in front of the temple door with the couples facing the idol. The idea could be that they get the blessings of the god and spend their life happily.



I rotated the camera onto the direction where some of the people were pointing. Women with lamps in their hands were coming out of the temple door. They were all walking in a single row. I focused my camera onto the woman leading the line she was my aunt. Vidya is the daughter of her husband’s sister and according to the Hindu culture; she has the privilege to lead the marriage.

The women were all dressed in colorful sarees with flowers in their hairs. They crossed the stage and headed towards the stairs leading down to the other side of the temple. This queue of women with lamps in their hands is referred to as “talapoli”.

After some time the bride came with her father. He was wearing a red shirt holding her hand who was dressed in blue saree. The girl came to the stage and bowed before the audience. She looked at me, smiled and then bowed. I felt good to see a main character of the event bowing her head before me. Nandu was also besides me who was holding a mobile and jumping here and there to capture as much as he could. I spent most of my time capturing videos and Nandu's photographs are borrowed to share in the blog.




The priest came and did some poojas and then the marriage started and got over in few minutes after the groom placed a chain and a garland over the bride. Men are often observed with their hands shivering while they put the chain with a taali on the women, but in this case, it was a difference.



Bride is seen is different dresses during the marriage. She does a fashion show for the videographers and the photographers. I wonder how they could handle all this.

During the marriage ceremony, the rain god was bathing and the water stared filling the grounds making the ground worst to stay. After the marriage, the couples moved towards the hall where they could relax themselves in umbrellas. People standing at the end of the stage covering rushed inside as soon as they noticed water droplets making their attire wet. Nandu pointed at a girl sitting at the corridors of the temple and said that it is the one who was suggested to me for a marriage. He saw his mother discussing with some family members relating the girl and me and soon leaked the news to me. He as a brother passed the first test by giving me ample time to find some reasons to escape the marriage suggestion which could be introduced by my aunt before my parents.

We left home soon after we had the Sadya(term used for the serving in Malayalam marriages). The day was busy but I enjoyed a lot.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hey! Tripunithura Athachamayam 2010 and now Onam



Jesus Christ was on the cross with his hands tied to the ends of the plus sign. He wanted to ask for some water or to get someone scratch his head but due to the ethics of his character, he kept mum. A drunken old man who was staring at the Christ started commenting. Jesus Christ was tight-lipped without responding to the words of the spectator and people were busy watching his appearance. Soon the volcano erupted and Jesus Christ said to the old man, “Let me finish the tableau and I am gona cut you off”. I remember this funny moment from the Athachamayam in 2009.



Athachamayam 2010 had more interesting tableaus and dance forms. I was attending an onam celebration when I saw Vipin moving outside the hall. To my question, he responded that the Athachamayam has started and will soon be crossing the North Fort Gate (Vadakkekotavathil). We were late and most of the dance forms have already crossed the way. The sun was showering his rays as never before and people had to depend on their umbrellas for shelter. I managed to split a queue and find a location from where I could capture the celebrations in my mobile. Athachamayam 2010 marks the start of Onam in 2010.



Janardhanan is busy surfing the internet. He has switched the speakers to their maximum volume playing the songs from the new Tamil movie Endhiran. I can hear them piercing the doors of my room crossing my ears with music “summa viduma”. I had idiappam as breakfast from a nearby uduppi hotel in Tripunithura. It is raining outside and Indian flags on the stores and auto rickshaws appear flying free passing the message of peace, freedom and unity. I logged into my Facebook account and saw many Independence Day wishes. I created the face book account due to the insistence from Gopu. I try to find time using it though I do not post much.

I managed to get inside the umbrella of a women standing beside me to keep me out of the hot sunrays. Women smiled at me to my intrusion with welcome. There were people gathered on both sides of the street watching attractions cross their eyes one after the other, making an unforgettable presence. To the people of Tripunitura, Athachamayam means a lot and they do not forget to attend it each year. I am lucky to witness these celebrations and I am sure I will not get these benefits in years to come.



(Puli kali dance by children)

The climate was too hot that was irritating the children performing the pulikali. Some of them had their makeups washed and tied scarfs over their head to avoid direct rays of sun.


(sun hitting hard on children)


(Tableau by National cadet Corps)


(Tableau of NCC)


(Amman thullal.. I think this dance form is called Amman thullal, not sure)


(This was a creative form of artistic presentation)


(Soorpanaka the sister of Raavan)


(Grass dancers and fishermen)


(peacock dance form)


(flower vase dancers)


(I figured that they used CDs to decorate it)


(dance form by another group)


(chendamelam)


(Karate demonstration)


(This karate is from the shotokan karate association)


(This ghost appears to be the maveli :) )


(Depiction of Britishers in India)


(march against drugs)


(Tableau on diseases)


(The Jumping dancers - They were seen rotating and revolving their bodies)


(This dance form resembles to the avatar and his bison aapa... not sure)


(This is dragon dance with people holding it from bottom)


(Elephant and the king tableau)


(Devi tableau)


(Monkeys playing tabla)


(This is Mahabali also referred as Maveli)


(This is a tableau featuring the change in society)


(Tableau depecting the problems of Farmers)


(children are trying to find a way between the athachamayam celebrations)


(Tableau on the plane crash that happened recently)


(Tableau on Accidents that are caused due to carelessness)


(tableau by Bharat petroleum)


(Tableau of a king killing a rakshasha(deamon))


(Otamthullal dance form)


(Tableau of Ganapathy)


(Tableau by Tripunithura Police in support of their night patrol)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When pain triggers… aaaah!



A small child was peeping inside the glass door trying to catch my attention. When I look at her, she runs smiling to the other end where I could not find her, and again, she continues the exercise. On the way, many people hit her trying to distract her but she was interested in my looks and smile. It was the last time she turned back when a leg bigger than her size hit her. She fell back, I rushed from my chair but saw her mother approaching her. She stopped crying as soon as her mother hugged her but still her eyes had tears with a mild smile on her face that were staring at me.



I asked the woman in the reception as to how many minutes I would have to wait to see the doctor and she replied fifteen. I was in a clinic to see a dentist as my tooth was paining severely. This was the second time I am facing such a pain and it feels intolerable. Doctor advised during my first visit to perform a root canal; however, I went to Mumbai on the day when it was planned.

Prithviraj, Dileep and the other Malayalam actors seemed too fat and small from the position I was viewing the television. The doctor has arranged a small room with Air conditioner and a 40 inch LCD that makes his patients feel comfortable and forget the pain. A woman appeared on the screens wearing a small frock; I think that might be her childhood dress that she loves the most. She started gossiping and finally played a song.

I logged from my mobile into blogger and was about to start writing a post when the woman called my name to meet the doctor. I went inside the door and saw a figure coated with a white caftan and a mask on the face. She asked me to relax on a flat chair and pulled a light above my head towards my mouth. Taking a big tool in her hand, she asked me to open my mouth. Tic… tac… thum… tishum… she started hitting my teeth and asked whether I was feeling pain. The first answer that came out of my mouth was aaaah! I do not wonder why people consider them as a symbol of horror. Similar to any underworld killer, she had many sophisticated tools. She gave me some medicines and asked me to report on Thursday for root canal and not to skip it this time.



There were ample medicines to keep me busy all the time. I finally thanked her and left the clinic. During these days, I was away from Blogging I tried several recipes and most of them worked well.









I got a comment from Radhika that the woman I would marry will be happy sitting idle having me prepare all the food. Dileep supported me saying he wants to avoid a curfew situation when wifes goes for a strike. : )
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