Dusherra festival goes by the name of Dassera in Karnataka. The main
goal of our latest journey to India was to visit this event and that we
managed to accomplish in the best of places, the bustling, oriental
city of Mysore which is the
nearest neighboring town to the state capital of Bangalore, similarly
perched up in the cooler regions of the lofty Deccan plateau.
Click on the NOTES for a brief listen in!
Before the grand ceremony
began there was a procession of vintage cars while at the same time
people were trying to break through barriers of corrugated steel and
climbing up everywhere even causing an entire roof to cave
in so that three young men got badly injured and had to be taken
to hospital. The
police had a very difficult job trying to control the masses but
somehow managed to keep their calm throughout the festivities. A bit of
however, was when prior to the festival, young female guardsmen marched
up and down dressed in tight uniforms setting off tremendous roars from
the largely male dominated audience. That is when the accident
occurred, what built up to that roof finally giving in. Shortly
were in for a bit of a surprise when two separate TV teams
approached us in order to make interviews with us. It was
almost as if we had been two
royal representatives from abroad with all this attention going on and
for a day or two folks on the streets were saying to us: "Hello! I saw
you on television the other day!"
The year before there
said to have been 21 elephants engaged in the
Dassera festival but because of havoc caused by some of them setting
in a wild, infuriated stampede and subsequently getting several
officials had now decided to bring it down to a maximum of
eight tusk bearers for this year.
Rolling drums in gaudy, circular patterns.
Perhaps a distant relative to Bob Dylan´s "Leopard skin peel
hat" with matching clothes, drums and plumage!
The entire festival was like a
firework of glistening colors and wonderous shapes of all kinds, while
prettiest shapes must have belonged to these young female dancers!
Wonder if these musicians ever realized how well the color of
their clothes matched
"no parking" sign behind them!
Puppets and people in an imaginative conglomeration.
The day after the show: Here
well ornamented elephants showing off their flanks, as if saying: "What
if Ray Bradbury had done "The illustrated elephant instead!"
Here is the embellished
goddess in her golden crate carried by one of eight elephants at the
end of this mighty procession.
Indian brass bands perform a
tantalizing but at the same time be- wildering sort of jazz and march
music mish-mash, presented with a
notorious lack of discipline and with that distinctive, vaguely
dissonant "Hindu" touch
about it. Street weddings in Bombay often include a similar sort of
orchestras though on a smaller scale.
Drums and drums and
drums, continually passing by where we sat in the hot sun hypnotized by
those mad swirling rhythms.
Senais and similar woodwind instruments accompanied by drums were the
instruemental lineup of the festival.
One of many mythological creations stemming
from the Ramayana or Mahabaratha.
Colors, colors and more colors!
And here is another type
of (four legged) vehicle parked in front of the Sri Chamundeswari
temple on top of Chamundi hill just south of the central part of Mysore.
Up on Chamundi hill there
was that same old com- motion like everywhere else in India where there
are temples and gatherings of devotees cueing up to attend the long
awaited services. Here a young child is blessed by a priest who
gently applies a
tikka mark onto the forehead.
the next set of PICS!