This festival was not just astronomical, but gastronomical as well. During the past one week, more than 1.2 lakh people had food from the festival venue.

“We had more than 20,000 people for lunch on most days,” said food committee convener P. Parameswaran. Chief chef Pazhayidom Mohanan Namboothiri said he never fed more people in his eight years of experience at the festival.

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MLAs K.N.A. Khader and Abdurahman Randathani had entertained the crowd at the inaugural function with couplets of Mapilapattu seven days ago. On Sunday, at the closing ceremony, Minister for Panchayats M.K. Muneer provided a fitting finale with a soulful melody of M.S. Baburaj. Mr. Muneer could not deny the request of organising committee chairman P. Ubaidulla, MLA, especially when the crowds cheered him on. The Minister sang “Innale mayangumbol…,” an evergreen number from Anweshichu Kandethiyilla .

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One of the pet hates of the Mono-Act competitors was the television camera, with many of them aiming jibes at the ‘omnipresent lens,’ during their performances. Ironic, because the very cameras were streaming their acts live on television and the Internet.

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A woman from Kozhikode said she was pleasantly surprised to find no smell of alcohol among the huge crowds.

“There were so many drunk men at the other festivals I have been to,” she said. The MSP Parade Ground probably turned dry because nobody dared to take a risk as the ground belonged to the police.

(Contributed by P.K. Ajith Kumar, Abdul Latheef Naha and S.R. Praveen)