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Going nuts, are you?

Several years ago, my brother and I took out our handy cam and went around the city capturing the essence of Bangalore on our recorder. It was on one such occasion that we went to the kadlekai parishe or the groundnut fair in Gandhi Bazaar. This was over a decade ago. That was my first brush with the parishe, but I have been there many times later. So, when this year's parishe came along, I decided to make a small trip. Much like most of our festivals, this fair is also rooted in an agrarian past. Typically, our festivals are about changing seasons, harvests, fertility. All rooted in the land we till. And yet, we have lost our roots with that lifestyle. Our festivals today are gaudy affairs, display of gold, silver and riches. And excessive gift-giving with no respect whatsoever for our bond with the soil and forces of nature. I'm digressing, so, back to the kadlekai parishe. There's a fascinating legend that describes how this festival came about.

A raging bull ravaged fields of farmers in and around what is now called Basavanagudi. The village was Sunkenahalli, and on a particular full moon night, when the bull arrived to rampage their fields, a farmer decided to chase it. But somewhere along the chase, the bull turned into a stone. However, the stone continued to grow into a Dodda Basava or the big bull. Eventually, it had to be nailed with a trident on top to check its growth. Then a temple was built, and people from far and wide came to worship the Dodda Basava. On the day of Karthika Somavara (Monday) every year, farmers came to offer the harvest of their groundnut crop to the Dodda Basava.

The festival is being celebrated over centuries now, and is a very Bengalooru affair, much like the Karaga (more on that on another day).

Today though, farmers from all over the villages outside Bangalore come here to sell groundnuts. The parishe is home to not just groundnuts, but a more eclectic mix that includes beaded jewellery, tablemats, kitchenware and the like. There's something in it for everyone, from foodies to shopaholics to gaming enthusiasts too!

An assorted mix
Colour me pink!

You win some, you lose some! Just throw a hoop over one bundle pasted with a certain denomination, and the cash is yours! A casino of sorts. 

Pick your idol.

(This year's kadlekai parishe was held between November 17 and 19.)


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