Saturday, December 20, 2008


It is the month of "Margazhi" and in TamilNadu the festivities for the New Year have already begun. I don't think anywhere in the world people have this many festivals as they have in TamilNadu. Only the festivals in north India come close. These are the best months for tourists in TamilNadu as the temperatures are cool and pleasant though it can get pretty hot in the afternoons.

Thousands of "Kolams", a beautiful drawings done on the ground using rice powder and color powders adorn the entrances of homes all over TamilNadu. The "Kolam" drawings reach their climactic best in beauty and size during the festival of Pongal next month and after which they can be seen only sporadicallly. There are Kolam competitions and if you are lucky you could walk into streets so full of big "Kolams" where you literally have to hop to avoid stepping into one.

"Kolam" does involve mathematics, grace in the flow and movement of one's hands (certainly a girl's or a woman's hand is more adept at this), design and memory skills.

Every morning as I drop Chaithu to school we see a number of these drawings but one among the many catches my eye for its sheer beauty. For days I have been contemplating taking a picture and today I did after taking permission from the artiste, a housewife residing in that home. I also got permission to photograph her new Kolam everyday. Here is the first one.

It is sad that being a motorable road bikers and four-wheelers drive over the Kolam without a care. I wonder if it even elicits a mere glance from them.

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