Clang go the temple bells,
set an alert to the devotees,
while the music flows
to the drumbeats
define the start is immediate
there come the palanquins,
the carriers lift forward,
the silver chariot appears
with a glitter, red, green and blue
bulbs coordinate with the oil lamps
the crowd grows ecstatic,
as the Lord takes the chaise
draped in gold. Eyes rest not
on the diamonds nor on the rubies
and emeralds but on the charm
of the deity and its omnipresence.
At the most two feet in height
elegant and slim, nose long and sharp,
lips thin and red,with a sparkle in the eyes
the Lord presides. Procession begins.
Moves inch by inch. It is exalting to
watch and exciting to participate.
Ragas “Kalyani, Ananda bhairavi and
kambothi” reverberate. A light drizzle
joins being nature’s indulgence.
In between the melody,
push and pull cause chaos,
one fall on another in the milieu,
do not subdue the passion. Coconuts
in hundreds and thousands are broken
find a central place, being both
an honour and a sacrifice.
The bulls pull the chariot.
Trot with dignity. Happy
to carry the Lord. Not once
they struggle. it is facile.
One can detect an imperiousness
in their posture. Red Persian shawls
cover their body. Horns glow
in pink and blue. The shapely
projected humps render a grandeur.
Bathed and polished the white bulls
match the glory. The man at the helm
professes a big black moustache
a red bhindi on his forehead
marks victory. The head gear,
a pink sash stitched with gold
sequins, flutters. To his
“hey, hey” the bullocks set foot.
The people stand lost.