As the curtain comes down on the 61 stKerala School Kalolsavam, the State School Arts Festival, on Saturday, it also marks the finale of five-day long revelry and celebrations for many.
For contestants, audience, and residents, the festival was nothing short of an extravaganza as the grand-scale cultural gala offered something for all segments. “The best part about this year’s festival is its participation. Since the event is returning after a couple of years, the excitement is quite palpable. Not just participants, but audience also seem to be in a celebratory mood,” says V. Megha, a student from neighbouring Malappuram.
Shweta Satheesan from GHSS, Panamattam, Kottayam, who at the second venue with her handicrafts, is delighted about the response her art is getting. “Though I want to go out and watch some events, the stall is always busy, there is good demand for many items,” she says.
Sheriff, an auto driver from Palayam, says he has been working extra hours for the past five days. “The crowd is incredible, but it is also fun,” he says. He adds that the never-ending traffic snarls are a huge headache, but they are doing as much as they can. “We work till 12 midnight, and though we know about the traffic blocks, we are cordial with the riders, refusing to take them only if the situation is too bad. After all, auto drivers in Kozhikode have a reputation to maintain,” he laughs.
Sulthana from Cheruvadi says she has been taking daily trips to the city to watch various events. “We are a group of eight women, all of us homemakers. We watched most of the dance items, ghazal, and mimicry. We enjoyed every bit of it including the frantic runs from venue to venue. We don’t want this to end,” she says.
Sreebhadra and family are wonder-struck seeing the variety of Malabari food, and she says they have been checking out all the famous places during the past few days. “There is no wonder Kozhikode is considered the food capital of Kerala. Most items we tasted here are not even available in Varkala where we live. Also, the hospitality of the people is no hype, they are very nice,” she adds.