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College students draw mega rangoli as part of Pongal celebrations

M.K. Ananth
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Bid to enter Guinness Book of World Records

Ambitious attempt: Students of Vivekananda College of Arts and Science for Women and Vivekananda College for Women working on the mega rangoli in Namakkal on Wednesday. – Photo: Special Arrangement
Ambitious attempt: Students of Vivekananda College of Arts and Science for Women and Vivekananda College for Women working on the mega rangoli in Namakkal on Wednesday. – Photo: Special Arrangement

A group of 20 students from the Tamil, Textiles & Fashion Designing and Costume Design & Fashion Departments of Vivekananda College of Arts and Science for Women and Vivekananda College for Women drew a mega traditional rangoli with five lakh dots sprawling over 2,500 square feet in an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.

Chairman and Secretary of Vivekananda Institutions M. Karunanidhi flagged off the attempt on the institution premises here as part of the grand Pongal celebrations on Wednesday.

Braving the scorching sun, the girls started their record attempt at 10 a.m. with 20 dots per square feet and continued without a break till they completed drawing the designs around 3 p.m.

They used nearly 500 kilograms of rice flour for the rangoli and said that they wanted to recall the dying art of drawing rice flour rangoli in front of houses, which is now existent only in some rural pockets.

The entire rangoli was strikingly white (rice flour) with no added colours as they wanted it to have a natural touch.

Head of the Textiles & Fashion Designing department Prof. C.K. Ravisankar told The Hindu that students of that department are now involved in preparing natural dyes and added that they would use them for a colourful attempt in a couple of months.

Final year Tamil department student R. Divya who was part of the attempt said that they were inspired to make the Pongal and Tamil New Year grand by drawing a rangoli of this size after listening to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi during the English New Year, where he called for a much grander Tamil New Year.

According to final year Textiles and Fashion Designing student Rashmikumari, the rangoli was not without a theme as the nearly 100 designs on the entire area were linked to each other.

Each square feet represented one kilometre of the distance between Kashmir and Kanyamumari (nearly 2,535 kilometres) and the linking of the rangoli designs stands for the country's unity, she adds.

The students felt that maintaining the beauty at this size along with accuracy was their biggest challenge and added that the mixture of tradition by the Tamil department students and technology of the Fashion department students played a key role in successfully completing the designs in about five hours.

Preparations for the attempt had been going on for about a fortnight during which nearly 500 students were actively involved in cleaning and levelling the ground, whereas during the course of the attempt the girls were cheered by nearly 12,000 students of the two colleges.

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