It is half past nine on Thursday night. People, including women and children, continue to flow to Kottappadi Maidan, where one of the region’s most favourite events, Kolkali, is well in progress. The famous ground, which has witnessed countless fervour-filled football matches, is packed to the full.
The ecstatic crowd clap and cheer the young men on stage, in their traditional ‘kaili mundu,’ ‘baniyan,’ and a kerchief tied on their heads, wielding sticks and dancing to vibrant music.
The 10-minute performance by 12 members to the tune of traditional Mappila songs such as “Aane Madanappu Kanithenale,” “Bismiyum Hamdum Salathum,” etc. are chorused by the cheering swarm of spectators.
The competition that started around 7.30 p.m. was not even half way through at 9.30 p.m. as there was nearly 30 teams, including the ones arrived through appeals, waiting their turn. While some teams lost the rhythm and crashed out of the contest abruptly, leaving the cheering crowd disappointed, the others concluded the show with a stunning formation after hitting the crescendo of the beat. The Kolkali aficionados got particularly elated when teams from the traditional Kolkali forts of Mappila HS, Koyilandy, Kozhikode, and the P.K.M.M. Higher Secondary School, Edarikode worked their magic on stage.