Rustic revelry rules the roost

Cool service.

Cool service.  

LORD KALLAZHAGAR'S entry into the city every year is marked by a kind of rustic revelry. The celebrations, in fact, reinforce the general perception that rural impressions are the pride of Madurai.

Interestingly, this is the time of the year when people from villages surrounding Madurai and the neighbouring districts descend in droves for a couple of days, till Lord Kallazhagar enters the Vaigai.

They come in buses, in decorated bullock carts and, to a large extent, on foot. They normally stay put in the city under trees during day and vacant spaces at night. They bring all provisions, right from rice to vessels, and cook food under the trees, along the Reserve Line Road, in a feast-like atmosphere.

Thousands come in the deity's attire, with their distinct and attractive headgears. They come holding leather water bags, forcefully propelling water with jets on passers-by who take their enthusiasm in their stride. After all, it is summer and splashing of water in the scorching heat leaves behind a cooling effect, albeit momentarily. Hundreds come dressed like `Hanumans' and with their antics, prevail upon the public to shell out a few coins.

The ongoing Chithrai exhibition at the Tamukkam Grounds provides a gala time to the ruralites.

Catching attention.

Catching attention.  

Vendors selling play articles are ubiquitous along the entire stretch between the Pandyan Hotel and Goripalayam. Hundreds of social organisations dutifully erect `pandals' and supply `neermor' (butter milk) to thirsty passers-by. At times, buses stop by the `pandals' to enable passengers to quench their thirst.

By Krishnamoorthy R.

Photos: K. Ganesan.

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