Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pooram: some side shots

Just_watch_the_rear_side_of_pooram :-)


Thatlappoli Festival: Theeyattu

Nayarambalam Bhagavathy Temple Festival (Thalappoli Utsavam) starts with Theeyattu. It is ritualistic art which is presented as if Bhadrakali is reporting the incidents leading to the killing of Darikasura to her father, Lord Siva, represented here by the lighted torch.
The performance part of the art is done by a single actor called Theeyattunni. He enters the venue, lighted by a huge oil torch, with the make up of Goddess Bhadrakali, minus the headgear. He chants several hymns invoking the benevolence of various gods for the success of the performance and welfare of the audience. He wears the huge headgear in front of the audience. From that moment onwards he represents the goddess.
The performance develops through several chants, dances of thandava style, gestures and gesticulations. The gestures are rarely in strict accordance with Hastha Mudras of classical dance. The script, prose or verse, of the goddess is rendered by the actor, whereas all others are rendered by one of the accompanists.
The act is concluded by the enacting of the killing of Darikasura, representing the destruction of evil.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Anti-climax to Thalappoli Mahotsavam

Thalappoli Mahotsavam 2008 turned violent in the last hours of Pooram. One of the elephants provoked another, and the feared beast turned violent and ran towards the crowd. Lots of people got minor injuries. There were 11 caparisoned elephants including Guruvayoor Valiya Kesavan, Nayarambalam Rajasekharan, Nayarambalam Balakrishnan were lined up in the Pooram. Guruvayoor Valiya Kesavan was carrying Thidambu of Bhagavathy. Just before some hours to finish the festival, one of the elephants - Nayarambalam Balakrishnan - provoked Nayarambalam Rajashekharan. The feared elephant ran towards the spectators.

I was on the rear side of the temple, just engaged in shooting some side-shots of the festival with some friends and their kids. Suddenly I found the crowd was running horribly against us... We also fled to a safe place... The real troubles were starting. Immediately after this, a mike announcement informed the people that the situation is under control, so stay the same position where they are. But one of the elephants was again turned violent. It was Nayarambalam Rajashekharan. He ran horridly towards the gathered crowd... So many people got minor injuries in this time.
The first time in the history of Nayarambalam Bhagavathy Temple, the festival turned turbulent. There were only a five or six cops in the ground. They could not do anything to take the whole control over the situation. Meanwhile the gathered mob turned violent and they demolished the office stationeries of Devaswam Office. And they unleashed violence towards the office bearers of the Devaswam Board. The police could do just watch the incidents.

Nayarambalam Rajasekharan ran to eastwards. And its mahouts were trying to calm down the beast some kilometers away. Hundreds of people took refuge in the school hall and other safe shelters. But some criminals intruded there to rob and dishonour ladies. Somebody tried to get them out. Immediately after that they started allegation against Karayogam Officials that they were denied safe shelter. The mob turned violent again. They started demolishing furniture, electric accessories etc. To control this, police started Lati charge against them. So many people got injuries during the charge. Some people fired a patrol bike of Police only some feet afar where fireworks boxes were set. It would have been a horrible accident if a spark of fire reached the fireworks boxes.

This is the story of the anti-climax of a great festival.