What the winners of The Hindu Metro Plus Pookkalam contest have to say

The results are in for the fourth edition of The Hindu Metro Plus Pookkalam contest and no one can be can be happier than Radha M. and her team from the Sree Chitra Institute of Medical Sciences who walked away with the top prize. Their pookkalam was a play of colours from light to dark, with petals in creamy white, fresh pink and light yellow giving way to deep magenta and violet.

Well-organised

“We were well-prepared and started working on the flowers four days before the competition,” says Radha, the team leader. “It was a laborious process carefully snipping off just the coloured part of the flowers, especially the vadamulla (bachelor's buttons), so that the inner white part of the petals wouldn't show up in the pookkalam. That's the perfection we aimed for to get the colours just right,” adds the delighted contestant, who together with her team members Ajeesh Chandran T., Sreela Chandran C., Anisha M.S. and Mani A., are participating in the contest for the first time. “It was a really good contest and we were up against some good teams. I must say that the event was superbly organised. Plus the prizes too are fantastic,” gushes Radha.

Agreeing with Radha are the second prize winners of team Nandanam comprising family members Shubha Ramdas, Vijayalakshmi Sivakumar, Kamala Devi, Subha Gurunath and Divya. “Our pookkalam was deigned as a flower in bloom,” says Vijayalakshmi adding that they used flowers such as bachelor's buttons, varieties of marigolds and roses, gerberas and pine leaves to create the effect. This is the five's third attempt and first win at the contest.

It's a repeat victory for third-placed team ICCONS, from the Institute for Communicative and Cognitive Neuro Sciences in the city. The five – Reji R., Sujith T.S., Arunkumar, Arun Mallika and Mini P., have been participating in the event since its inception and won the third place at last year's contest too! “We wanted to keep it traditional and simple, and hence used more of traditional flowers such as thetti (Ixora), arali (oleander) and jamandi (marigold),” says Mini.

On the whole the judges for the event, S. Ajayakumar, principal of the College of Fine Arts, and Shaji Vamanapuram, lecturer in applied art at the college, were happy with the designs that the 49 teams put up, especially their use of “traditional flowers” and “cutting out excessiveness” in the laying of the pookkalams. Says Ajayakumar: “We gave the top marks to those who got the art of laying flowers within the traditional format of a pookkalam down to a T, the colour contrasts that they were able to achieve and the perfection of the contours in their pokkalams. A pookkalam should be like a painting complete with inner depths and we gave prizes to the ones that came the closest.”

Something to keep in mind for Radha and others like her who have “already started preparations” for the next edition of the event.

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