December 30, 2006

A festival to soak in

The women are cajoling us.
The children are pestering us.
And we are not surprised as we work backstage to launch the four-day 2007 edition of the Sundaram Finance- MYLAPORE FESTIVAL on January 4.
The phone calls have been coming in strong and thick.
'Uncle, what are all the competitions for children?' asks one.
'Do you have that quiz contest this year too?', asks another.
The women don't give up easily.
"My mother has been taking part in the kolam event every year. Can't you add just one more name please?"
" I saw the advert only now. How did the registration get over so soon?"
People, be they adults, be they children, seem to get very excited about contests.
I wonder if this has something to do with the pulls and pressures that the test, exam and rank culture injects into our bloodstream.
People want to contest. They want to register. They want to know what the prizes are. Whew!
As the people behind the fest, I guess we have some thing extra to do. And that is to encourage people to understand that a festival is quite different from a high-powered contest.
The 'Mylapore Festival' is really a 'vizha' you can soak in. In free abandon.
You will not get assaulted by strobe lights and giant flexi-ad boards. You will not be sold housing loans and pestered with credit card forms.
You are invited to lose yourself in the spirit that is Mylapore.
The fest lives with the life around it - the pujas and the bhajans, the devotees and the shoppers, the noisy hawkers of the Mada Streets and the shy bhel-puri wallah behind the temple 'ther'.
But it brings alive a lot of what should also be part of our lives.
Folk music and dance inside the temple, vintage songs in concert and history lessons, food fest and a mela of art and crafts and more.
The fest seeks to make all these events find some space in what is a unique heritage zone of the city of Chennai.
There are over forty events across four days next week and we would like you and your family to be at the fest. And do tell your aunts and uncles and cousins and friends in Anna Nagar, Chrompet, Kilpauk and Royapuram, to make it to the Fest.
This is a community fest. People make it happen.
If you wish to have more info, do log on to


Anonymous said...

Though the intentions behind the fest was appreciable, organizing of the Mylapore Fest team was promiscuos. The Mylapore times dated dec16-22 says the art contest timing from 5 pm onwards. The yellow handouts stuck in the entrance of nag-rao park says 5pm onwards. When we landed at 5pm, the child was denied entry. The Volunteer/organizer blindly argues "no we have cleary advtd saying at 4.30" if needed you can go to Court. SO "The Eye Wash" had been well carried out.

A Volunteer is one who is soft spoken, friendly and guiding but the girl there was so rude, that I have never seen a "Volunteer" like her. If it was already announced as 4.30, why didnt they show us any proof.

Infact waiting there at the park to proove my rights I had asked my people to get the mylapore times paper and showed it to the organizer, who said u may go to court if needed.

Is it to go to court we come all the way with a child to participate?? After proving the justice on our side atleast my kid should have been given chance to participate. It was to be her headache if she finishes by time or not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Are we fools to come all the way after the announcement made in their own paper and then to face such humiliations. Just b'cos you are organizers, does it mean we are beggars. B'cos of this hurting incident, now my child is demotivated and lost interest to participate in any future competitions which would be professionally carried out. My daughter has already proved her talents and gained enough appreciations. It was just for her participating instinct we attempted this. Now its our time to say who was the child, who was denied entry into this unproffessional art contest.

She is the first 6 year old child to held a painting exhibition with 100 no's of her works painted from when she was 3 years, who has won appreciation from a prestigious newspaper "Hindu", for her quick strokes.

In fact last year she won prize in the mylapore festival for 2 consecutive days (one was a live sketching of mylapore tank, she was only 5 1/2 years that time).

There is lot more to be attached about my daughter's achievements. Anyway its not going to add any value to organization like yours, with people who do things with out any value.
Find some below, ,

Thank you for getting in touch with POGO regarding your daughter's achievements.Please do go ahead and apply for PAKA.(by Pogo team)

More than intentions, execution is very important ( as only that would convey the intentions well). Hope these kind of things would not happen to other innocent public like us.

Do Not think Public who are responding to your announcements are beggars or fools. Without our support / response these things can not be carried out on a long run.....


GB said...

Hi Nirmalah,
The intentions behind the fest are still appreciable. There might have been hitches like the one you mentioned. It was an unfortunate incident. But I was able to see the latecomers (late even by 30 mts for the 1 hr competition) being given spot admission.

May be the volunteer had wrong information. Conducting a public event is not an easy task and as you would have noticed most of the volunteers were very young. We must be open to their enthusiasm and learn to be appreciative.
You were right in pointing out the issue and your child's disappointment is understandable. But you could have been less vehement in your accusations. Your child is still young. We can forgive and forget what has happened. Wish your child good luck in all her future endeavours. Her achievements are laudable.

I would like to say something to the event organisers as a part of the community who enjoys this fest year after year. The whole fest needs a revamp. The events have become repetitive and people are losing interest. People who come every year are not keen in staying back for the events or worse, don't feel like participating. I know a lot of people who didn't turn up coz their favourite programs weren't there or simply didn't feel like watching the same thing.