Saturday 5 January 2013

All for the sake of a handful of beans

Bangaloreans are always complaining about how cosmopolitan the city has become and how it has completely lost itself in the race of modernisation.
For those who love the sights and sound of Bangalore, the old localities of Malleswaram, Shankarapuram, Chamarajpet and Basavanagudi still give them glimpses of the old world charm that Bangalore once possessed.
But what these people do not realise is that the old Bangalore still lives on in its many localities, festivals and structures.
Come December and Basavanagudi hosts the famous Kadalekai Parashe.
The entire stretch of Bull Temple Road in Basavanagudi from BMS college till Ramakrishna Ashrama becomes an open granary for groundnuts.
Farmers from Bangalore urban and rural district and even from Tamil Nadu join their counterparts in Karnataka in celebrating this festival. Apart from groundnuts, you can enjoy the makings of a rural fair as people from all walks of life unveil their goods on the road.
In January, it is the turn of  the Avarakai Parishe. This is also a unique festival of Bangalore.
The VV Puram Circle just off  Minerva Circle and off  KR Road becomes an impromptu market for baked beans. This tradition perhaps has its origin on the story of Bangaluru and the baked beans.
The avarekai and its many avatars are dished out to its affectionados in and around VV Puram circle where farmers from Magadi, Hoskote and other places congrete and sell their Avarekai.
Some of the shops in the area sponsor the event and also prepare only during this duration all dishes made or containing Avarekai.
During March it is the famous Karaga which is a tradition going back to the time of Kempe Gowda. The Karaga startes at midnight from the Dharmaraya temple and goes around the old city or petes of Balepet, Chickpet and City Market before returning to the Dharmaraya Temple.
The small Kalyani or body of water adjacent to the Indoor stadium at the beginning of the Kasturba Road near Hudson Circle is the place where the Karaga festivites commence with the preparation of the Hasi (wet) Karaga.
Bangalore is among the handful of cities in Karnataka that still have the Karaga tradition. It is a sight to behold and one must see it to know our tradition. The entire Karaga tradition is steeped in the stories and legends of Mahabharata.
Come April, then Bangalore turns into an open air concert with Rama Temples and Rama Seve Mandalis vying with one another in hosting Carnatic music concerts as part of Ramanavami.
Though these concerts are only a few decades old, they have quickly acquired a local flavour and they are the toast of all musicians.
These music concerts have seen the likes of  MS Subbulakshmi, ML Vasantha Kumari, Balamurali Krishna, Bhimsen Joshi, Yesudas, MS Gopalakrishnan, Sudha Raghunathan, Kunnikudi Vaidyanathan, Lalgudi and many others perform.
The music concert at Fort High school in Chamarajpet by the Rama Seva Mandali and at Seshadripuram, Shankarpuram and NR Colony concerts draw huge crowds and they are a delight to listen.
Another festival native to Bangalore is the St Mary’s feast. This feast goes back to several decades and the area of Shivajinagar comes alive when the festival is organized as part of the celebrations of St. Mary’s Church in Shivajinagar. The church has been elevated to a minor bascilica.
The festival of Infant Jesus shrine in Viveknagar draws huge crowds. It takes place every January and people from all walks of life throng to the deity.
The Mahavir Jayanthi by the Jains in Bangalore has also a totally local flavour. 
Apart from these events, the regular santhe, jatre or fair at Yeshwanthpur, Madivala, Banashankari are famous for direct selling of products by farmers.
It is time that the people and the authorities got together and preserved these traditions. It is in them that Bendakalooru still lives on.

No comments:

Post a Comment