An impatient Hanuman, a confused Pinocchio and a confident Alice in wonderland, who did not seem lost at all. The morning of 8 August 2009 saw all of them together at Brigade Millennium, JP Nagar phase VII for a fancy dress competition. The event was a part of the week-long Malhar 2009, a community festival of the apartments’ Mayflower block.
As the children of the apartment dressed as different characters from popular books, the scene looked like it was straight out of a fairy tale. And it was not just Snow Whites and Cinderellas, the event was also graced by Meera Bai and Lord Shiva.
The competition was held for children above two years and both parents and their children were equally enthusiastic and excited. “Such competitions are certainly good as it brings out hidden talents,” said Shilpa Dixit, mother of 7-year-old Gayatri, who had participated in various competitions in Malhar 2009. ”Moreover, in such a programme, it is a familiar crowd so the (children) participate without any tension”, adds Shilpa also an organiser. The crowd roared with applause as the Harry Potters and Barbie dolls confidently strutted the stage.
While Meera Bai rendered the devotional Radhe Govinda, Barbie Girl sang the popular Aqua song ‘I’m a Barbie girl’, adding a touch of authenticity to her attire. Though Lord Shiva’s elaborate hairdo seemed disheveled at times and little Hanuman was finding it difficult to manage his gada and dhoti, they all seemed to transform the place into a colourful carnival.
“I am ok. I can manage,” said little Shravan, who was dressed as Lord Shiva with a plastic snake around his neck and the trademark dumroo and trishul in his hand. At the end of the competition, all the children were duly appreciated by the judges.
But this is not all. Malhar 2009 had much more to offer. The entire week was filled with various events involving contests and fun filled activities for various age groups. If there were power races for the young crowd, there were games like Carrom and Passing the parcel to involve the senior citizens.
In fact eight senior citizens dressed up representing different states of India in a fashion show especially arranged for them. Many residents felt such programs not only fosters unity but is the best way to maintain a relaxed and healthy mind. “For people like us whose children stay abroad we not only enjoy through these programs but pass on our culture to the young people,” said Pushpa Narakesari, 60, who had dressed up as a Bengali woman in the event.
Quizzes, word games, pictionary, craft competition and pot painting were organized to encourage awareness and creativity among children. One could see drawings by the children pasted all over the reception walls depicting various issues like technology, save the earth and so on.
The apartment had also arranged for sponsorship from various companies like Godrej, Metlife, Yamaha and others, who set up stalls. People flocked the various stalls looking at things, eating and chatting, enjoying themselves thoroughly.
The last day of the event saw the blend of old and new forms of art in terms dance and music. If there were Kannada folk songs then there were contemporary bollywood numbers, which both the young and seniors enjoyed. The end of the event was marked by a dinner for the apartment housekeeping and security staff served by the residents.
“We hope to organize Malhar every year. People get chance to at least know who their neighbour is through the programme,” concludes Shilpa.