“Ah! Look at them!” I remarked.
“Today is Kannada Rajyos…ttttava magale” Appa said, as always never getting it right. Any ‘Utsava’ is always an ‘Ustava’ for him and I like making him say that. No matter how hard we try at home to correct his pronunciation he does not get better. I find it cute, his tongue rolling problems!
This was on our way back home this afternoon; a caravan of auto rickshaws was passing by us. When it comes to auto drivers in Bengaluru, there are two things one can always associate with them. Firstly their immense love for the veteran actor and director Shankar Nag which in a way defines the idea of fandom, secondly the de facto flag of our state Karnataka which flutters on their autos with much passion and pride.
Come first of November and the entire city is painted yellow and red, to add to the revelry we have the iconic song of our Annavru, Dr Raj Kumar which is nothing less than an anthem. I know you are already humming it as you are reading this! ‘Huttidare Kannada naadali huttabeku’ I must have heard it a dozen times today and definitely have sung a line or two along. One cannot resist it I tell you.
So what makes these days, flags and songs so special. Is it that we are overly patriotic about our State? A month ago or so we saw the other end of the spectrum with the Cauvery water issue which is better not discussed here. On Kannada Rajyotsava there is something beyond the usual flag hoisting and march past that happen in government bodies in Karnataka. Celebrating such days while we scoot away with our daily humdrum gives us a sense of identity and belonging. This day is not just about the formation of the State in 1956. It no longer is so simple, we are in a state of constant transition. I doubt if we can call it great though. People of this city now seek collective refuge and comfort. I was speaking to an auto driver outside my hospital today. Surprisingly his auto looked a little sober for the day. I asked him where is the flag on his auto. He replied
“Yar Madam adikella kaas karch madthare? Mansali mathe kelsadalli idre saaku!”
[Meaning to say who will spend so much money to deck the vehicle up, let it be in my heart and work! ]
He did not seem any less of a Kanandiga to me.
The procession :-)
ಕನ್ನಡ ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವದ ಹಾರ್ದಿಕ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು
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