Kolangal for Margazhi seasonThe next important season for rangolis is of course Margazhi (aka Dhanur masam). It is natural that Rangoli-sans-dots has a few kolangal for this season. It is during this month that we see some of the most beautiful rangolis drawn at the entrance or on the streets (particularly in Tamil Nadu) with most of passers-by having a look at those drawn. They may cast a glance or assess them, look in amazement or in awe. Some stand there for some time trying to learn the method of drawing those rangolis by looking at them. It is common to see ladies standing near a rangoli discussing the dots patterns used or method to be followed in the case of free hand kolams. What needs to be factored in is the climate that is relatively cold and some times misty in the early morning. This does not deter the ladies nor does it dampen their enthusiasm for thirty days in the month of Margazhi. Some draw alone, some with their daughters ( this is one of the methods through which this art is passed on from generation to generation), some with their relatives and others in groups with their neighbours or acquaintances. During this month, it is normal to hear devotional songs being played from places nearby as early as 4.00 am or people in groups going around the streets performing bhajans,. As young girls we used discuss the rangoli to be drawn in the morning, the previous night itself but kept it as a secret so that we could surprise all with our design ( or so we thought!). Many a time our mother vetoed us and she decided what was to be drawn. We sisters obeyed silently and helped in completing the rangoli. As the youngest, I was usually given the task of filling up the colours which I did with religious fervour. If it was a kolam with dots, the dots were placed by my mother because our dots were never in a straight line! After finishing the rangoli we went to the temple nearby to pray.
Let us start celebrating the spirit of Margazhi with some kolam designs
This is how the completed rangoli below would look in the beginning when we start drawing it. Draw the parallel and intersecting (oxymoron !) lines at the centre and connect them with petal like patterns as shown.
The kolam above is a beautiful floral design for Margazhi. The entire kolam has been drawn with parallel lines drawn simultaneously. The basic floral design with many petals has been evolved with floral designs and other motifs as shown above. Finally a simple rangoli border has been drawn around the rangoli with some gaps to make it more attractive. Not stopping at this stage another rangoli border on the four corners has been added to this rangoli. Filling colours is relatively, easy as the entire rangoli is not filled. Only in some areas inside the designs parallel lines are drawn. The effect of using white and pink dots in the rangoli has given a different effect. Usually I fill all the gaps with kolam powder that takes quite a long time.
An image showing filling up the elephant kolam with colours.
The elephant kolam design is a popular kolam with dots found in public domain. It is also a popular kolam in our family. Just as we have "family song" in our movies, there are some rangolis with dots that have been popular in our family for decades. This is one of them.. Another using birds has been shown in an earlier post. More will follow in the future. The dot pattern for this rangoli is 21 to 1 (ner pulli). First draw all the elephants one by one. Then the central floral design is drawn and the remaining dots are filled with floral designs. Finally the colours are filled and remaining gaps are filled with some colour, brown in this case. Free hand decorations of the elephant are done to complete the kolam.With 21 dots this can be classified as a big kolam with dots. A rangoli design resembling the claws of a crab called Manrakappa with 21 dot to 11 dot is in New Year and Pongal Kolam. Another one with 19 dots is in kolam designs with birds
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