Thrissur Pooram 2011

As usual, I set out to Thrissur Pooram this year too and clicked a few pics. I’m kind of losing the interest to go see Pooram during the day because of the heat and I only spent 3 hours n the town. This time it was mostly walking in the Swaraj Round and Thekkinkadu Maithaanam seeing the Pooram special sights. πŸ™‚ Here are some pics I clicked during the stroll.


ezhunneLLippu after Madathil Varavu.

Naadawaram and Thakil vaadyam – The guy in the center (with yellow robe and moosh) has been playing in Pooram for a long time.

Umbrellas floating in the sky after the fireworks during the day

A gypsy family making a living during Pooram. Gypsy circus is a common sight of Pooram.

For just 20 bucks, you get a name engraved in a single rice grain which is then put up in a liquid and then made a keychain out of it!

This young man is very skilled. He could write even long names on a single rice grain!

My friend Ajith sat with the card reader when I insisted. For 20 bucks, the old woman said he woud marry from the same religion and his marriage would happen soon (he is already married and it was an inter-religious marriage and he already has a kid). There is a big row of palmists and card readers outside the Nehru Park and many people go to them though they pretend it is just for fun.

Looks like one of the palmists had his fair share of the day before noon. He is half-naked and fast asleep, must be the Gin bottle you see on the left of the banner.

These are not phone booths, they are temporary toilets. From Thekkinkadu ground.

Queer Pride Keralam

Today will be marked in the history of Keralam as the first queer pride parade in Keralam is happening at Thrissur today. It starts from Regional Theatre, Thrissur at 4 PM today and will come back to a public meeting at 6 PM. Why today, July 2nd? Their blog says, “July 2nd of 2009 is the day when the Delhi High court decriminalized homosexuality by rereading section 377 of Indian Penal code. We celebrate pride on this day as we see the judgment as a historical moment in the lives of queer people.

I think it will be really interesting to see the response of common public to this event, particularly in a conservative society like Keralam. It wouldn’t be so surprising but still, the shock treatment would begin today.

Checkout their blog here.

Thrissur Pooram 2010

Another Thrissur Pooram has passed and we had a wonderful time this year too. The heat did affect the crowd a bit but the people did not seem to mind it much. I went to the town with a couple of my friends and also clicked some photos. To those of you who don’t know what Thrissur Pooram is, go to the Wiki page and read.

Thrissur Pooram

Municipal Corporation of Thrissur distributes butter milk for free in their stalls, such as these, which is a big relief for those who get thirsty in this hot climate.

Pooram is a festive season for pickpockets too. The police force has put up big flex banners in and around the city, such as these, with photos of the known thieves with the warning "Beware of these people" and police phone numbers to report crimes.

Pooram sale

Inside the Vadakkumnathan temple. The famous Elanjithara Melam had just begun.

A view from Vadakkumnathan Temple

Elephants are a big attraction to the visiting tourists during the Pooram days, becaue you can see so many of them roaming around the city in these days.

During the Elanjithara Melam

I couldn't get close to the Elanjithara Melam, but the music being played was so addictive that all the hands were raised to catch up to the rhythm

Another shot from Vadakkumnathan Temple

Vadakkumnathan Temple

Almost all Malayalam television channel crew were present there

Thrissur city at night

Brightly lit buildings of Thrissur in the night

One of the "Panthals" of Thrissur Pooram

The second "panthal"

And the third one

There were small Poorams coming to the city from the surrounding areas at night

I was amazed to see so many local astrologers and card readers around the city. Men and women. Mostly older people. They were sitting in one line and they circled almost a quarter space of the city! And yes, they had many customers even in the night time!

Paramekkavu Temple in the night of Thrissur Pooram

Pooram exhibition is also a major attraction of Thrissur Pooram. You can spend your time visiting and shopping in this exhibition center while you wait for the early morning fire works.

Thrissur Pooram


When the Goddesses of Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady meet in front of Vadakkumnathan, Thrissurians wake up to Thrissur Pooram, a festival filled with colors and music.

You have so much to see and hear in the two days of the festival. Start with the Panchavaadyam of Madathil Varavu. The heat would be so unbearable, but you would ignore it when you hear the legendary artists performing right in front of you (by the way, if you want to hear the best Melam artists performing, come to Thrissur Pooram). You will see many foreigners on the road but don’t be surprised if one of them told you that they came from BBC or a French or American television channel to cover the program. If you did not want to miss the Paandi Melam of Paramekkavu, walk past the cheering crowd to the Sreemoolasthaanam of Vadakkumnathan Temple. Pause a bit on the way to listen to a team performing Naadaswaram. Enjoy the music a little and if you are thirsty, have a glass of sambhaaram from the near by houses or stalls that supply it for free. Rush along to hear the Paandi Melam and on the way collect all the goodies you get for free – the newspaper, butter milk, a paper cap or a handheld paper fan to beat the heat. Watch around while you walk, you would see some of the famous elephants in Kerala (or perhaps in the whole of India). You might just want to stop and see their elegant look with all the ornaments.

Rush inside the Vadakkumnathan temple after you are done listening to the Paandi Melam at Sreemoolasthaanam. The Elanji tree awaits you to treat with the famous Elanjithara Melam. Sway along with the crowd and their waving hands in the air, cheer at the peak of pleasure that only music can bring. Then head on towards the Thekke Nada to watch Kudamaattam. Keep your heads up in the air, while you watch the beautiful umbrella exchange, or else you may not be able to breathe properly among the lakhs of people around you. Give a smile at the TV cameras in the area, your friends of family watching numerous TV channels which broadcast Pooram live may get to see you on TV.

It is not time to leave yet. There is a grand firework ceremony in the early morning next day which is a very famous part of Thrissur Pooram. So you can either hop over to a cinema theater nearby to watch a Pooram special midnight show or check out the Pooram Exhibition. I would suggest that you take a walk in the Swaraj Round though. To smell the pooram. The smell of Pooram consists of the Panthams (cloth lanterns) lit in the night and of the aana piNdam. πŸ™‚ You would also get to see many small Poorams entering in the temple throughout the night. So don’t even think of sleeping at night. In the early morning, open your eyes and ears for the grand fireworks ceremony and then those of you who comes from outside Thrissur district may want to leave. Because the second day of Pooram is for Thrissurians to see.

People have different reasons to love Thrissur Pooram. Some people come to see the elephants (some would even call them by names. You will hear comments likeΒ  “isn’t it Paramekkavu Rajasekharan?“, “Thiruvambadi Kannan looks elegant!“), some like the melams (orchestra), some people like the Kudamaattam, some prefer the fireworks etc. I love Pooram for the Melam part. And to see the strangers smiling at you and sharing what they saw in the festival city. That mixture of people from different parts of the world, celebrating pooram together is one thing that’s so special about Pooram.

PS: Take the necessary precautions like you would before going to any place in India were people gather in masses. Watchout for pick pocketers or eve-teasers and beware of sexual harassment (don’t even think about bringing your woman folk in to the crowd, unless you find a safe place to sit) .

(The photo at the top was taken in 2005)

Pen Hospital, at Thrissur



Ever heard of a hospital for your Pen? And a doctor could help you heal your pen whenever it fell sick? Here is Honest Pen Hospital at Thrissur. If you are in Thrissur, walk through the historical Palace Road, and you will find it in the middle of thriving new shopping malls in the city. This hospital has become an integral part of Thrissur’s history. In the early days, this pen hospital used to help people when they refused to replace their favorite pens. I had an old Hero pen fixed at the place many years back. The doc in the Honest Pen Hospital knew how to fix them all and had the spare parts for surgery; even for the imported and expensive pens. And the doc’s favorites were fountain pens.

Times changed. Ball pens and computers came. People changed too. They no longer wanted to fix things. Pens, relationships or life in general. Or perhaps they have very little time to fix things and would rather find replacements. And in this new consumerist world, the pen hospital has no role to play.

When I walked past the pen hospital on Saturday, I found that it’s closed. I felt kind of sad and I don’t know why…

Update: Kuttan Menon has confirmed that the shop is not closed yet. It is still operating. So get your pens rolling there. πŸ™‚

Ammathu – Children’s Camp

Meandyou Peforming Company is an initiative by Mr. Manu Jose, who was anchor of many popular TV shows like Asianet TV’s Chirakukal, India Vision TV’s Oridathoridathu, Kairali TV’s Mittayivandi etc. Ammathu is a children’s camp organized by Meandyou Performing Company which is entering it’s 3rd year. This year, Ammathu is taking place at Kodanad Mana (this Mana is an Ettukettu), Vellerakkad, Thrissur from April 18th to 25th, 2009.

Major attractions include:

Accelerated Learning

A breakthrough system of learning that will help kids to ease their learning process. It will empower them to:

1) Improve memory and concentration
2) Remember facts and figures with ease
3) Make revisions fun and enjoyable
4) Plan answers calmly during exams
5) Pass exams in flying colours
6) Become optimistic about success

This session will be handled by Mr. Haridas Mani, principal, Govt Polytechnic, Thrissur and is a member of ITAA, USA.

The Dare Devils

This is an adventure games session and will be facilitated by National Adventure Academy, Devikulam in association with Kestrel Adventures, Munnar.

Meet the Masters

A rare chance to interact with maestros like Usha Nangiar (the great exponent of Nangiar Koothu) and V K K Hariharan, an expert in Mizhavu who will juggle you with rhythm.

Write & Recite

This will be a child friendly session on poetry and recitation led by poets like P P Ramachandran, Anvar Ali, P N Gopikrishnan, K R Tony and P Raman.

Games you NEVER played

Have you ever heard of a university for children? That too in Kerala? Yes, we have one at Kalady, beautifully named NILAVU. E K Sukumaran and Biju P Naduvattam, two activists from NILAVU will introduce you to some of the traditional games which many of you may not have seen, heard or played.

Apart from these, there are other popular programmes such as Sing Along, Art Mad, Trekking, Yoga and Film screening.

The organizers say that their aim is not to ‘teach’ children any art or anything in particular, rather to help them develop sensitivity, flair and taste towards different facets of life and art. And they say that have taken all precautions for ensuring the safety of children, providing them with a secure and hygienic lodging, good quality healthy food and enough number of male and female volunteers.

So if you would like to send your kids to the camp, register on or before March 15th. Or contact Manu Jose at 94471 94411. You can also email at For more details visit

4th ViBGYOR Film Festival – Call for entries

ViBGYOR Film Festival ThrissurViBGYOR is an initiative of the ViBGYOR Film Collective, which is an open coalition of various networks and groups, representing indigenous people, dalits, youth, and sexual minorities and addressing issues of war, conflict and peace, human rights, environment and development, culture and media and globalization.

4th ViBGYOR International Film Festival
Date: February 4-8, 2009
Venue: Regional Theatre Campus, Thrissur, Kerala, India.

We are happy to announce the 4th Edition of ViBGYOR Short & Documentary Film Festival to be held from February 4th to 8th, 2009 in Thrissur, Kerala, India.

We invite for PREVIEW your Documentaries, Short Fiction, Music Videos, Animation, Spots & Experimental films (Micro films, Mobilephone films etc) for the upcoming edition. You may send the works made in the past 3years but not been entered at ViBGYOR before.

Documentaries are invited to the following categories:
1. ViBGYOR Theme Packages
ο‚‘ Gender and Sexuality ο‚‘ Dalit Reality ο‚‘ Indigenous People ο‚‘ Globalisation
ο‚‘ Nation State ο‚‘ Fundamentalism v/s Diversity ο‚‘ Region Focus –Pakistan
2. Focus of the Year: FOOD SOVERIGNTY
3. Global Concerns: ο‚‘ Human Rights ο‚‘ Health & HIV/AIDS ο‚‘ Migration

Last Date for film submission–NOVEMBER 30, 2008 Continue reading 4th ViBGYOR Film Festival – Call for entries