There was something for everybody at the “Kesarugadde kreedotsava” organised here on Sunday.
Nineteen games — both indoor and paddy-field games — were conducted here at Madhya village, near Surathkal. It was organised by the Junior Chamber International, Surathkal. Competitions included “hagga jaggata” (tug-of-war), Kesarugaddhe ota (running race in slushy paddy field), looking for treasure in the field, farming activities such as tying up paddy bundles, transplanting paddy saplings; chenna-mane, singing of pad-dhanas, beedi-rolling and making brooms out of coconut leaves. There were competitions for men, women, and children, as well as the elderly. For nearly half-an-hour before the first game of treasure hunt was due to begin, scores of young boys lined up at the edges of the paddy field, dipping their feet in the slick field, eager to jump in to find the bundle of coins amounting to Rs. 1,000. As the tug-of-war was going on, some boys found their own entertainment — somersaulting in the air before splashing into the field. Ratnakar Shetty (60) has been coming to the games for several years. “I used to participate in the tug-of-war until I met with an accident two years ago,” he said. Speaking to The Hindu, Shridhar Shetty, president of JCI, Surathkal, said that these games were a way to promote interest in agriculture. Asked how these games were effective in keeping the knowledge of agricultural practices and culture alive, he said “Today, one young girl sang a pad-dhana. This has happened because the games are a way for children to learn.”
Mr. Shetty said that the games drew thousands of visitors from the surrounding villages of Madhya, Chelaru, Surathkal, Panja, and Soorinje, every year. As the games were held in the month of Aati, Aati bhojana consisting of traditional preparations such as “thimare chutney”, “pajekai chutney”, “thojanka”, and “menthe payasa” were served.