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Kolu, Deepavali contest prizes distributed

The hall at The Accord Metropolitan was full to overflowing. The organisers of Kolu competition and Deepavali contests prize distribution ceremony on Friday, November 16, 2012 could see only happy faces around.

Adding to the joy of the occasion was the guest of honour, Ambujam Anantharaman, senior journalist and writer of two important books, ‘Temples of South India’ and ‘Temples of Western India’. In her keynote address, Ambujam, who now teaches Vedic Chanting at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, appreciated the fact that even men had participated in the Kolu competition though it was considered a women’s festival.

Recalling her interaction with an American psychologist, she said the young specialist had told her that any hand work had therapeutic value. Even a generation ago, women of the family were famous for their handwork, be it bead work, embroidery or crochet. But now women do not find the time or lack the aptitude for such work. Ambujam added that arranging Kolu, even if it be once a year, with one’s hands had a calming effect and helps one lead a healthy and happy life.

Then came the time for the winners to collect their prizes. Each prize winner was introduced and a short description of her/his Kolu was read out by the editor of

There was loud applause for the winners – from their enthusiastic family members who had accompanied them.

Among the winners who shared their thoughts with the audience at the function was Radha Narayanan whose Kolu had the title ‘Radha says drop and rise’. She described a bit about her thought-provoking Kolu that would help one ‘rise’ about mundane life and reach spirituality by ‘dropping’ some of our unwanted traits.

Another prize winner, Anuradha Amarnath, felt that it was organisations like, which encourage people to best their own creativity, that helped the contestants reach greater heights. In “Anuradha’s humour-packed social themes” Kolu she does not forget the traditional side of the festival. Yet, the well-informed person that she is, she would depict the latest news – be it political, economic, social or art and culture – in her Kolu. That’s because she wants to engage more and more children to get interested in the festival which might otherwise fail to draw them. “Every year, children come rushing to my Kolu, wanting to know what my latest theme is,” she smiled.

She said Kolu was a time that brings the family together as it was team work and it is like a get-together time for families at home. For her Kolu is family time and social gathering time.

Prize winner C V Babu, who said he always displays hand-made models in his traditional Kolu, was a first-time winner, and he was elated that his Santhome church model found recognition.

The most moving moment was when S Rajalakshmi, who won special mention for the Deepavali contest essay on their ‘thala Deepavali’, felt a little sad that her husband of 52 years could not participate in the function as he had undergone an eye operation. But, taking his suggestion as an order, she marched up to the podium and gave her speech with elan.

Newsreel Media Services Pvt Ltd chairperson, dynamic Usha Raja, who welcomed the guests and our sponsors, also spoke about the various activities of the portals run by the company.

The sponsors - Kamadhenu Travels - was represented by its manager Yuvaraj, and Emami's Healthy and Tast Sunflower Oil - by its BTL in-charge Senthil. The portal’s well-wisher and good friend Gemini Sridhar , who sponsored the consolation prizes, said it was important to continue our cultural traditions and if they would be encouraged by such competitions, it was all the more better.

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