Who should inaugurate Mysore Dasara this year?

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ajji was doing ‘tulsi’ pooje, while I was sitting by the tulsi katte and reading the newspaper.

“Ramu, I want to see the ‘Sound and Light’ programme in Aramane,” she said.

“Ajji, it’s still not clear when it’s going to start. Minister Jayakumar said the other day they have got the script all wrong and the show won’t be ready till next Dasara’.

“Is this an exam or test to get it right or wrong? I thought it is a show depicting events of history as they occurred.”

Ajji, sometimes is like, Dalmiya. BCCI may leave him. For sure, he won’t leave BCCI.

“You are right in a way. The tourism minister just contradicted Jayakumar this morning. He says, everything is fine, and it will start from this Dasara itself.”

“I just can’t understand. Why are they saying two different things on the same topic in a matter of two days? Is it really ‘Sound and Light’ or Kanna muchchale aadta idaro, aeno….”

“These things are quite normal in politics, Ajji.”

Adu sari.. Are they getting ready for Dasara.. Have the elephants started their march towards Mysore?’

“They have just started. We don’t know who will inaugurate Dasara this year. They have short-listed a cricketer, a space scientist, a playwright and an author. Probably the CM himself will select one of them.”

“Ramu… Isn’t Dasara, Naada Habba? How will our people – especially the rural folk connect with any one of them – A majority of us can’t even read and write, leave alone knowing what they have done?”

“But Ajji, a famous personality is supposed to inaugurate.”

Ajji interrupted me. “What famous personalities when a vast majority doesn’t even know their names? Dasara has to do with devotion for a cause, commitment and dedication for welfare of people, spreading a good message everywhere. Nobody had thought that environment should be protected until an illiterate woman from rural Karnataka came on the scene and opened our eyes. We should be proud she is one of us..

“She is ‘Saalumarada Thimmakka‘. We need more Ramakkas to preserve our environment, heritage. By honouring her, we will encourage more Thimmakkas in future.  She did Vana Mahothsava every day for more than 20 years without expecting an applause, a medal or a man of the match award! We have to honour her by asking her to inaugurate Dasara which in a way is, thanksgiving. Then only ‘Shakambari’ alankara during Dasara makes sense. Otherwise it will be mere ‘Ona Mahothsava!’