December 31, 2011

Kolam contest goes world-wide

Partying between shopping for kolam maavu and shooting for a film on a painter of kolu dolls may not be the best way to celebrate this season.

But then I do not have an option.

At this time of the year, my team and I is busy seeing through the final acts of the famed December Season of classical music and dance, managing the weekly newspapers and working on the countdown for the annual Mylapore Festival ( this year it is from January 5 to 8 in the precincts of the Sri Kapali Temple, Mylapore.

There is a lot of fun partying this way. I am still unsure what my friend C. K. Murali has in store for New Year's day but I am sure that I will make time between kolam maavu and kolu dolls to get to Murali's place.

We are feeling good just now because some special guests plan to attend the widely-known Kolam Contests which are the flagship events of the Fest, wholly supported by Sundaram Finance.

To recap, a one-hour long Kolam Contest which we hosted in a school playground over a decade ago actually made way for this Festival.

Today, the Kolam Display has caught the attention of people in various parts of the world.

Three guests will be here this year. Chantal is an artist and scholar from France. She has come back for the second time to soak in the December season and to film the kolams.

Dr. Sunita Vatuk is professor at Rutgers Univ. in the USA and will be here to study the kolams and the women who design them.

Deborah Keller-Rihsn is a professor and arts organiser in the USA and she too wants to witness the spectacle as part of her study.

Three weeks ago, I briefed the city's Commissioner of Police, J. K. Tripathy of the importance and the need to permit us to have the 100 kolams displayed on the weekend till late in the evening on North Mada Street.

Fully-lit, these kolams will make a great art display. The display will allow tourists, visitors and guests to enjoy the showcase of a fantastic tradition through the January night.

Much like the flower display in the town square of  Ghent in Holland.

If the Kolam Display becomes a reality, it will be wonderful for our city.

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