Before all those non-Carnatic-music-listeners skip reading this post thinking that this is yet another post on the Season, let me tell you that this has nothing to do with that. This is all about what the month of Margazhi meant to me before I started going for concerts. Say Margazhi and the first thing that comes to my mind is kolams, especially, colour kolams (rangoli). Margazhi meant half-yearly holidays and hence, a visit to grandmother’s place where all cousins gathered. And no half-yearly vacation was complete to us without kolams and each one of us used to put separate kolams most of the times.
Turning pages after pages of a lot of kolam books and short-listing kolams and finally choosing one from those after discussions with mom, sister, cousins and aunts, drawing that kolam using chalk piece or balpam/kucchi on the floor everywhere (the advantages of a village house!) and practising all through the day, choosing the colours for the kolams, checking the colour poDis to make sure all the required colours were present, buying more colour powder from one of the ‘n’ number of sellers who frequented the street all through the day, mixing the colour powder with kolam maavu/flour and keeping those ready in different bowls and paper potlams, the previous day of putting kolam used to be such a busy one!
Waking up early in the morning to chilling weather that sometimes even made one shiver, waiting for mom or aunts to keep the dots for the kolam and in the later years, we ourselves keeping it, putting kolam and giving colour to it, placing pooshani/parangi poo (pumpkin flowers) on the centre of the kolam, looking at the finished kolam with unmasked happiness and pride 😉 , seeing the beautiful and colourful kolams adorning the vaasal of all the houses, going back inside the house to the smell of suDa suDa veN pongal with oodles of ghee, wafting in the air, coming outside again after sometime to see portions of kolams absent, thanks to cows, goats and cycles passing by, forgetting about these kolams after a while and the kolams for the next day grabbing all our attention – how happy and fun-filled those days were!!
Last weekend, I had been to my grandmother’s place. My sister and I were going there during the month of Margazhi after quite a few years and we couldn’t resist putting kolams. We woke up at 4 am to the sounds of M.S.’ Vishnu Sahasranamam playing simultaneously at 3 different temples, filling the air of the chilly morning. Though we wanted to put colour kolams, we didn’t have time since we had made plans to visit some temples in the morning. Here’s the kolam that I put: