October 11, 2008

The Best Navaratri Kolus

I started arranging a kolu in a small way in my puja room.
But after extension of our apartment I have started keeping it in the extended area. Since I am working I am not able to invite lots of people and limit my invitation to close relatives and friends and a few of my neighbours.
Our colony has a group of women who participate in the chanting of 'Lalitha Sahasranamam' during Navaratri in many houses.
But I am unable to partake in such events due to my work schedule.
Yet my interest in decorating the kolu and inviting a few people home keeps me happy . .

This is an extract from an e-mail Jayshree Ganapati sent to www.arcotroadtimes.com.
I did not ask her permission to reproduce it.
But I chose to post it in my column because, in simple words, it illustrates best the spirit that Navaratri generates in many of us.
And in times when traditions make way for glitz such simple efforts need appreciation.

Reason why we have done our bit to highlight the efforts of so many families.
'Adyar Times' received close to 100 calls a week after the newspaper announced the annual Kolu Contest. The avalanche was not because we were offering gold coins or silver bracelets to the winners.
Families like to invite others over - to host them and show them their work.
Yes, the traditional kolu needs all the attention and reverence that it must be given.
It also lets people tap their creativity.

'Mylapore Times' offered to post photos of kolus on the Net so that the world could enjoy them. Our photographer, Saravanan ended up with the toughest assignment! Imagine crisscrossing the neighbourhood to shoot pictures at 75 different homes. . .
Take a look at the Kolu Gallery we have designed at www.kutcheribuzz.com/navarathri2008.
This is perhaps the best showcase of Navarathri Kolus.

At www.arcotroadtimes.com we were busy through the week. We asked families to take pictures of their kolus and mail them to us. We were surprised. 20 families responded. As did Jayshree Ganapati.
Some others chose to report on the festivities.
The warmest notes came from two huge residential apartment complexes where families put their hands together to host community kolus. . .

My memorable Navaratri experience this year was at the kolu that the Avvai Kalai Kazhagam, a womens group hosted in Royapuram. In 15 panels, they highlighted the stories associated with Thirugnanasambandar. All the minute 'model' work was executed by these women and the kolu was open to the community of this area.

If you visit the online kolu pictures gallery, please post your comments. They are valuable.

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