Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thrissur pooram, my experiences...

First time I witnessed the thrissur pooram was when I was ten years old. My eldest brother in law took us to thrissur for it. Elephants were the main attraction. I enjoyed the pakal  poorams better because I could see those decorated elephants from close quarters, despite the summer heat. Then there were the drummers as well. The main attraction of the pakal pooram or day light festivals is the fact that there is not much crowd. At that time we did not go for the main festival in the evening fearing the crowd.

My next visit was probably after a decade, with my cousins. The most thrilling part of the journey was the visit to the local illicit liquor brewery, where we had arrack, known as kottodi or charayam. That is the first and last time I tried kottodi in my life. It was as hot as coffee, because they did not give enough time to cool it, they were serving it directly from the filter. That was miserable, but the associated thrill  and memories of a teenager is priceless. That time, we witnessed the light works known as the vedikkettu from close quarters. If my memory is right, the vedikkettu went on till early morning, and it was music to my eyes. We were very close the store, and could see everything standing in the first row. The dynamites were powerful enough to make one deaf. In the local slang, they called it as the garbam kalakki gundu, because the sound and the vibrations it make can abort pregnancy. Take it in the lighter vein.

On another occasion, my father took me to his office, which was just opposite to the main temple from where we could see the 100 elephants together during the kudamattam, surrounded by an ocean of humans. That sight was spectacular. That is easily one of the spectacular sights I have ever seen. A delight for any photographer. Getting into the right position well in advance is the most important thing. One has to plan well in advance to get into some buildings at the right place to capture it. A wide angle lens is a must. I feel like going there once again, which I may do next month.

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