Chennai

A riot of colour at MRC Nagar

Akshara Uppuluri Chennai 23 January 2021 13:58 IST
Updated: 24 January 2021 10:18 IST

Residents’ groups from Rani Meyyammai Towers (RMT) and Jains Saagarika revive the traditional art form of kolam-drawing as part of their Margazhi celebrations

MRC Nagar was a riot of colour during Margazhi, as residents of two gated communities — Rani Meyyammai Towers (RMT) and Jains Saagarika — came together to celebrate the month, with rangolis.

On each of the days in the month of Margazhi, residents from both the apartments create beautiful rangolis that highlighted the significance of the month.

With the easier rangolis taking an average of 1.5 hours to make, one can only imagine the time it would have taken to create those rangolis based on intricate patterns.

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“I wake up every day at 4 a.m., bath and sit down to make my rangoli. With the cool morning breeze blowing through, it is meditative,” says Sujatha Mohanraj, a resident of RMT.

Kalyani Kathiresan, a resident of Jains Saagarika, says she has always loved drawing and when there is a group that has come together to draw kolams, there was no consideration other than taking part in it.

It is the challenge of coming up with a different design every day that drives these residents. Satya Muthukumaran, a resident of RMT, says: “ I set a high bar for myself every day, by seeking to create a rangoli better than what I created the previous day.”

Not only those making the rangolis, but also those around them feel energised by this exercise.

“It is great to see kolams making a comeback. When we were growing up, my sister and I would make kolams every day under our grandmother’s supervision, and so it is nice to see the younger generation taking to it,” says Malini Subramaniam, a senior citizen.

“The act of bending and drawing rangolis on the floor has benefits for one’s physical health. The act of clearing a rangoli every day and creating a new one, communicates that we should be detached from whatever we create, and also that we can always do better,” explains Neela Govindaraj, another senior.

Are not modern rangolis replacing the traditional ones?

“We must embrace the traditional forms of kolam because they have immense psychological benefits. Besides, we have to consider drawing kolams beyond the month of Margazhi. For this art form to thrive, we need greater participation from youngsters,” says Uma Venkatraman of Jains Saagarika.

There is already signs of this. Residents of Jains Saagarika have started coming together to make community rangolis in the apartments, and inspired by their example, a few youngsters have joined in.

(Akshara Uppuluri is a resident of RMT)

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