Thursday, January 27, 2011

Royalty to Rags - Mysore Dasara

Dasara of 2010 was the first time I got to see the ‘Nada Habba’ so closely. While others saw the grandness of the royal family, all the cultural programmes, streets glittering with lights, government offices all lit up, I saw the other side of this ‘great’ festival – the richness and rags of the royal family.
See this supposed to be white horse?
Royal Horse !!!!
It is called the pattada kudre (royal horse). In olden days pure bred white horses with not a single speck of black was chosen specially for puja purposes. Only that horse which had a swirl on its forehead would be selected – not just any white horse. But see this poor pony. First look at it reminded me or Lady Gaga and so we named it the same. if that is how it looked originally, see how it looked after being dressed for the puja!
Say cheese
 Observe the tattered saddle and clothes.
Lady Gaga... see the torn saddle
Colourful Gaga
And its not just lady gaga but even her keepers are in rags.
Next were the pattada aane or royal elephants. Even they gave company to gaga by getting groomed in torn and faded clothes. 
Royal elephants.... Different shades of faded red

Royalty in rags
Keepers in tattered clothes

But just take a look at the royal family…
'His highness' Srikantadatta Wadiyar

'Her highness' Pramodadevi Wadiyar
If the Wadiyar family is so great and dasara is our Nada Habba then why are these animals, which play an important role in the puja process so poorly kept? Cant the government or the royal family give them better clothes or is it that they just don’t care?
If at all you haven’t seen all this ‘grandeur’ during this dasara then don’t miss it next year. For all we know it will still be the same.


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