All is quiet after hustle and bustle of Dasara

Dasara 2010: While mahouts take rest, cleaning staff have a tough time
Last Updated 18 October 2010, 16:36 IST

These are the different scenes that were witnessed inside palace premises on Monday.

After the hectic ‘Jamboo Savari’ on Monday, it was a break for officials who literally burnt the midnight oil to ensure that the finale of nine-day Dasara festival passed off peacefully without any untoward incidents. True to their expectations, the event proved to a grand success with lakhs of people witnessing the Vijayadashami celebrations.

On Sunday, the whole palace premises had been turned into a strong fortress by deploying armed police personnel at  every inch. This was mainly due to security threat following participation of thousands of people inside the palace as well as the VVIPs from all over the country.

However, it was not so on Monday. The cleaning staff was busy in cleaning the entire premises that had been filled with empty water bottles, plastic bottles, papers and all kinds of garbage. The rag pickers had a field day with everyone collecting sackful of empty bottles that will be recycled. The plastic covers were strewn everywhere and the whole area was looking dirty.

It would take at least three to four days for the authorities concerned to ensure total cleanliness in the whole area.The people were busy in removing temporary structures that had been put up in front of the palace for the tourists to witness the colourful ‘Jamboo Savari’ procession from a close angle.

The most happy lot were the mahouts and kavadis who had struggled almost one month for the success of Dasara festival. Most of them were smoking beedies under the trees.

The women folk were busy in packing things as they are going back to their homes on Wednesday. The temporary school had been shut and the children were playing in the sprawling grounds. Some kavadis were taking their children for a jolly ride on the elephants inside the palace. Most of the elephants were chewing the leaves in their respective enclosure. The forest department was busy in collecting back the uniforms given to mahouts and kavadis for the ‘Jamboo Savari’ day so that they are used for next year too.

The silk clothes used to drape the Dasara elephants on the procession day were washed and spread on the grass for drying. A lone police constable was controlling the crowd which was going near the elephants for photographs.

Among all elephants, the howdah-carrying elephant has been the star attraction. The visitors were taking pictures of Balarama happily having lunch given by the kavadis.
After spending nearly a month, time has come for the mahouts, kavadis and their families to go back to their respective villages.

For elephants too, after enjoying royal treatment all these years, they too would return to their respective camps for their routine job of patrolling and other sundry jobs.
For Sannapa-the mahout of ‘Balarama’, this is his last Dasara as he will be retiring in December, after serving the forest department for more than three decades.

From next year Mysoreans will really miss Sannappa.

(Published 18 October 2010, 16:36 IST)

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