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Aesthetics to the fore in Boddemma festival

S. Harpal Singh
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In arranging flowers, women find an activity close to their heart

Festive time: A girl arranging flowers in a cylindrical shape to make a ‘Boddemma' in Adilabad on Sunday. — PHOTO: G. RAJESHWARA CHARY
Festive time: A girl arranging flowers in a cylindrical shape to make a ‘Boddemma' in Adilabad on Sunday. — PHOTO: G. RAJESHWARA CHARY

Aesthetic sense continues to dominate the process of making Bathukamma or Boddemma in Adilabad despite the onslaught by the rather inartistic plastic and paper.

The tasteful arrangement of flowers in the conical or pyramidal Boddemma and the considerable time that local women keep on devoting for making it, stands as a testimony to this fact.

Collective activity

In Adilabad, the Boddemma festival starts at the beginning of Navaratris but ends only at Deepavali. During this period, localities become vibrant in the evenings as women dance and sing Boddemma songs while collectively taking part in the activities. Although plastic and paper Boddemmas had arrived about 15 years back in local markets, the material did not find favour with customers here. It is quite apparent that in arranging flowers, women find an activity close to their heart.

The smaller Boddemmas used in the ‘play' on normal evenings are made of flowers that are easily available in the neighbourhood. These do not require much skill to make. “It is in the larger Boddemma made for immersion on the final day of the festivities that aesthetic sense is on display. The floral arrangement may not conform to any set pattern but the organisation of the array of flowers makes the revered object beautiful,” is how Guruji Ravinder Sharma of Kala Ashram in Adilabad explains the aesthetics inherent in the Boddemma.

Easy availability of seasonal flowers is perhaps another reason for women here to stick to making Boddemmas in the traditional form. Gunugu (celosia), thangedu (cassia) and banthi (marigold) are the flowers that are mainly used for making the floral representation of Goddess Gauri.

Flower hawkers make rounds of localities early every morning to supply the quantity needed by women in individual households.


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