“Let’s visit the Mylapore Festival this year!” said my mom with a beaming face.
I was puzzled as to what it was all about. I had been there when I was much younger, but I didn’t remember much. I was looking forward to the experience.
I went there on a Friday evening ( the Festival was held from Jan.5 to 8) with my mom, my grandmother and my li’l sister.
With stalls on both sides of the road and a festive atmosphere throughout, it was a sight to watch. We had some snacks at the Food Street ( on Sundareswarar Street) and also clicked a photo at the photo booth, watched the concert that was on at the main stage and walked through all the four Mada Streets. It was fun! The next day, from the list of events for kids, I was interested in the Storytelling session for kids by historian Pradeep Chakravarthy at the Kapaleeshwarar Temple.
‘As the tour hasn’t started yet, why don’t we go and see the Kolam competition?’ suggested my mother. A section of North Mada Street was decorated with Kolams on both sides, both white rice kolams and ones with colours. Loved the designs and symmetry of the kolams on display!
The storytelling event started at the temple and Pradeep Chakravarthy Sir started with some super interesting stories about the Hindu gods. He spoke on how according to the Rig Veda, Indra and Agni were the first gods and in the later versions of the Vedas, Shiva and Vishnu were considered the first Gods. Interesting!
He also spoke about how Lord Shiva’s temple in Mylapore came to be known as Kapaleeshwarar Temple, about Thirugnanasambandar poems on the area, and lots more. I listened to them with rapt attention and had many questions, of course!
He told us about the Punnai tree, how Nature teaches us, humans, lessons and lots more. In the end, I also drew a sketch of the temple mandapam and showed it to my folks at home! ‘Thank you for the interesting stories, sir. We really enjoyed them,’ I told Pradeep Sir.
We went through some other streets that we missed the previous days, took home some lovely and simple toys for my sister and me, and loads of happy memories! This experience remains fresh in my mind and I can’t wait to visit this Festival next year too!
– Nandini Koushik is a 9-year-old based in Delhi. She loves reading books, playing football and trying new tunes on her keyboard.