Bangalore Karaga - A medieval ritual in urban setting

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Chidhood memories of festivity

Submitted: July 03, 2009

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Submitted: July 03, 2009



Karaga Banthu……Karaga Banthu

For Eighteen days,  the Pandava and the Kaurava
fought heroically on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
for Nine days ,  every spring an echo of that grim struggle
is heard in Bangalore during Dhramarayaswamy Karaga

The roots of  the jathre  go back over five and more  century
 and keeping the tradition alive is the  Tigala community
who hold Draupadi Shakti  as their principal deity,
many communities celebrating a faith is a rarity.

 Reigning under the full moon of chitra pounami
 reverberating  with the sounds of “dik-dee dik-dee dik-dee.”
dancing through  streets of what used to be within the Bangalore Fort
 Bare-chested Veerakumaras beating themselves with sword

Truly there is a power, indefinable,  but nevertheless pulsating furiously
Govinda! Govinda ! is the divine  cry  from the surging crowds of devotee
in true belief  that in spritual trance when the goddess visits the nine doors,
 from the erstwhile fort , she banishes the evil forces trying to gain entry

Karaga banthu, karaga banthu ,  awakens  the waiting  millions 
creating in its wake, a serpentine Mexican wave
peddlers dispensing mallige hoova,  blings and ribbons
instant shandies,neon colored candy,  churmuri and kharasev. 

For a kid from the cantonment, an eagerly awaited invitation
the  colour and chaos of the various petes and  meandering gully
the magenta angavatram, the petaa and namah of white and vermilion
spectacle and aroma ,etched forever in fond memory of yours truly

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