Saturday, 11 July 2020

Zakir Diary - Thadhiginathom: Part 8


When you walk the storied halls...
An artist's contributions should be celebrated and acknowledged in his or her lifetime. Offering him garlands and incense after his demise is contemptuous of his/her art. Any accolades or honour that was not afforded to him in time can only be considered unnecessary nails on his coffin.

On that evening, the entire Technical College was transformed to look like a wedding celebration adorned with banana plants and mango-leaf decorations. The inauguration of the stage was attended by the college correspondent Mr. Chockalingam Chettiyar and his spouse Meenakshi Chockalingam. Mr.Chockalingam is the son-in-law of Thyagarajah Chettiyar. There are schools and colleges in the name of Thyagarajar in Madurai as well. After the country gained independence, the Chettiyars of Naattukottai built many schools for Saivite-Tamil as well as higher studies with philanthropic intent. Our technical college was one such institution. At exactly five o'clock, as Nadhaswaram and Thavil played, and as NCC and NSS students sprinkled flower petals as confetti, the correspondent and his spouse were welcomed with great honour. As it was inauspicious time until 6 o'clock, Sunday, the stage was inaugurated at six thirty with the lighting of the lamp. In those days, fireworks displays in Salem were reserved only for the festival at Kottai Mariyamman Temple. Therefore, there was no display of fireworks at the college event.

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