Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thrissur Pooram - Last Part

The most striking feature of the Thrissur Pooram is its very secular nature. It is not only the Hindus who participate in this festival. Literally Thrissur Town gets converted into an ocean of humanity of all colour, caste and creed. The Muslim and Christian Communities actively take part in it and they play a very prominent role in the very conduct of the festival. Most of the Panthals are the craftwork of the experts from the Muslim community. For the two days of the festival, the CMS High School, owned by the North Kerala Diocese of CST Church and located on the western part of the Swaraj Round, becomes virtually the Headquarters of the Thiruvambadi Devasom. The temple elephants are tied in the school compound and the 'Aana Chamaya pradarsanam' is also held here. The parasols for the 'Kudamattom' are offered by the churches and their members.

But, we need to pay heed to the reality as well. Unlike today, Thrissur Pooram used to be celebrated with the full involvement of devotees with their physical involvement and voluntary services in the ancient times. The financial obligations were very little due to the availability of large number of artists and artisans locally. Now activities connected with pooram festivals has to be maintained with the help of paid artists and artisans, resulting in large expenditure which is beyond the capacity of the conveners .The expenditure for arranging accompaniments and other accessories, hiring beautiful elephants, artists for melam and panchavadyam etc., necessitates lakhs and lakhs of rupees. As in older times, the meager donation from the Thattakams is not sufficient to meet the huge expenses. Large scale contributions were given to communities to conduct pooram with great pomp and show during the time of Maharajas. This help was also stopped and government is not helping Thrissur Pooram Celebration Committee. In this circumstance luckily some new avenues have opened up to facilitate funds for the conduct of pooram with its old pomp and show beautifully and seriously. The pooram is not only celebrated and conducted by the people from the surrounding locality but cuts cross all the manmade barriers of religion and caste.

All this, in turn has tremendously increased the responsibilities of the local administration and the organizers are trying to improve the show by adding improved themes. This will also help to minimize the monotony of locals who throng to the venue every year. However, the two main poorams of Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady has already accomplished this by improving the Kudamattom and fireworks. But the other poorams are still lagging behind in this process due to financial crunch and other problems. Due to the initiative taken by the Tourism Department of Kerala Government and the Cochin Devasom Board, these poorams are also trying to improve and catch up with innovative ideas in their processions. Since Thrissur pooram is commonly known as drum-oriented festival, the improvements should be limited to cater the taste of visiting people consisting of large number of foreigners and non-Malayalees. The present forms of Melam and panchavadyam are the live wires of the show and this should be improved with the presence of well known artists. The restrictions and the time limit in the Thekkinkadu Maidan also hamper them considerably. The thin attendance in the origin of all the small poorams should be the focal point for improvisation. Additionally, it also harps on the risk involved in conducting such a festival on a grand scale which involves the movement of the tusker through a sea of humanity. Even one elephant running amok could take a huge toll of lives. It emphasizes the measure taken by the authorities to make the festival and the scintillating fire work displays as safe for the public as possible.

A glimpse of the cultural excellence!!!

Whatever be the case, life in Kerala is punctuated by the annual festivals dedicated to the village deities. These post-harvest festivals are an occasion to break out of the monotony of daily routine. During the festival season, Thrissur, popularly known as the temple town turns into a town of colour, music and mirth. The size and importance of this festival may vary from small gathering to a mega spectacle. But the beauty of Thrissur pooram is truly one of its kinds. At a time when the secular fabric of the Indian Society is slowly disintegrating, one cannot be myopic to the relevance of Thrissur Pooram, the conduct of which should become worthy of emulation to other festivals in the country. In addition, all the kaleidoscope of colors and magnificent sounds make this a sight to behold. It is an expression of popular fascination for sound and colour, and because of the pageantry, it appeals to all people. In every respect Thrissur pooram stands better than the best, a cultural show par excellence and indeed a meeting point of all the arts.

All images and video - courtesy - google search


monu said...

Pooram is not just for any religion... its for all..

my mothers house and my fathers mother house is also in trichur. so i know how important is pooram to everyone there. I too was a somone who looked eagerly for pooram..especially the pooram exhibition :)

after all "thirssorkarudey" celebrations wont continues and continues..."pooram kazinja perunalu..perunalu kazinja para..para kazinja.." . thats why i would say trichur is known as the cultural capital of kerala.

BTW good and in-depth explanation about pooram

Sureshkumar Punjhayil said...

Ella anakalkkum.. Poorangalkkum...!

Manoharam, Ashamsakal...!!!

Anonymous said...

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