Spotlight What the winners of Parle-The Hindu MetroPlus Pookalam Contest have to say

It was a sea of floral tapestry, yet again, at the Parle- The Hindu MetroPlus Pookkalam Contest at Government College for Women on Saturday. As contestants weaved magic with flowers, the judges had a tough time picking the best from among the best.

The winning team says that they have Speaker G. Karthikeyan to thank for, for their win. “He gives us the push needed to participate in such events. As The Hindu is a prestigious contest to win, we worked hard on the design,” says Shaji R. Victor, a member of the team. The team, led by Jyothi Nair and comprising Vijayan M.S., Indu M.R. and Reena V.R. came up with a design that had a play of colours – green, red, yellow, lavender– creating harmony in their pookkalams.

Team Hastham which consists of members of the same family is thrilled with their win. S. Mallika led team Hastham, whose members are M. Vijayakumari, A.V. Janaki, S.L. Hema and K. Hema to third place.

The design for the pookkalam is Vijayakumari’s. “I wanted something which was innovative yet rooted to tradition. My design is inspired by sunflowers. While most use a diamond shaped approach to make pookalams, I decided to step out of the box and went for a zigzag effect. It took me an hour to draw the design as the measurements have to be perfect,” says Vijayakumari.

Consolation prizes were given away to 10 teams. The prize for best dressed team went to the all woman team representing the CRPF Wives’ Welfare Association led by Sapna Ajay Bharathan. Individual awards for traditional attire – female and male – went to S. Rajashree and Narayanan.

Sheila James, proprietress Czarina, who judged the best dressed team and individual participants says she was impressed by contestants this year. “When I first started judging the competition in the previous editions of The Hindu MetroPlus Pookkalam Contest, there was just a handful dressed in traditional attire. This year I spotted at least 10 to 12 teams who were in Kerala wear; it was tough to choose from them, as they had taken the trouble to dress up for the event. For the individual prizes, I picked the winners based on their neatness of attire, how well they have co-ordinated their accessories and so on.” The presenting sponsor of the event was Parle Products. Powered by State Bank of Travancore, the associate sponsors were Kerafed, the Kerala State Social Security Mission, the Kerala State Youth Welfare Board and Dr. Yogiraj Centre for Dermatology and Cosmetology.

The gifts were sponsored by Kerala State Industrial Enterprises Ltd., TTK Prestige, Vismay Sarees, Delicious Delights, Tierra Foods, Synthite Kitchen Treasure and Keys Hotels.