Monday, April 20, 2015

"From the Archive" -Photo Feature- "Kambala"

From the Archive..........

-Photo Feature-


Mr. T. Srinivasa Reddy of Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh-India) is a photo artist of high caliber. He is well known for his photographs of tribes in India, rural life and everyday events. He is associated with India Today’s telugu edition. Mr. Reddy’s works have been recognised all through the world. He is before us with a Photo Feature on Kambala, an important event of Karnataka.  -Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Kambala is a rural sport of Karnataka. This is well known for traditional buffalo race. The races are held in the southern coastal area of the state and takes place in muddy waters for a period of about 04 months (December to March) every year. This race is a show of speed and power in the slushy paddy fields. One can see buffaloes racing down muddy terrain which are goaded by farmers on a wooden plank. There is a huge gathering of people at Kambala, cheering the competing animals. The fastest pair among them wins the top prize.
The origin of the Kambala in Karnataka is difficult to trace. It is believed that it started long back as a recreational sport among the farming community with the beginning of harvest season. During this festival, farmers used to pay respect to the gods in order to get healthy crops. There were celebrations and games during the festival time. This was also the time for the second round of sowing of crops. The festival is celebrated with the same feeling at present also. There are two pairs of buffaloes competing among each other. Each pair of buffaloes is controlled by a farmer with a whip. In earlier times, the winning pair was given coconuts and a bunch of plantains. Today, the sport is more organized and has become professional. One can find thousands of spectators in any Kambala race. There are bets on the winning buffaloes with massive amounts. There are around 45 races that are held annually by the coastal area. In this number, around 18 Kambalas are held under Kambala Samithi and the rest take place under the auspicious hold of temples as well as many political patronages.
Though Kambala is an important festival in Karnataka, but the races related to this occasion have been criticized by animal lovers due to the use of whips on the participating buffaloes. They consider this act as barbaric and inhumane. In fact the sentiment behind this occasion is no doubt respectable but the voice of animal lovers is also highly regarded and should be taken seriously. The organizers of Kambala contend by saying, “if the whips are not used on these animals, they will not move”.

-- T. Srinivasa Reddy

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dashboard “Childhood Glimpse”

“Childhood Glimpse”

This time I am with a photograph, “Childhood Glimpse”. This was clicked in July-2014 when I was in Jodhpur, a picturesque city of Rajasthan (India). We can see the true traditional life style of India in the streets of this city. The houses in blue colour and the people in traditional colourful dresses take us into a different world. One fine day I was on a walk into the streets of Jodhpur with my friends (Mr. Sarvesh Joshi, Mr. Samir Madhukar Mohite and Mr. Dinesh Mowar). Mr. Sarvesh Joshi is the resident of this city. He took all of us to the best areas. While strolling in a street situated near by Mehrangarh Fort, I saw an old house with blue walls where an innocent boy was sitting near the entrance. There was an old bicycle in the background. The yellow T-shirt of the boy and the blue wall together presented an ideal example of complimentary colours. The small boy seemed unaware of the worries of human life. After an informal interaction I pointed my camera towards him. As I starting clicking, he put his both hands on his face in a distinctive way. He perhaps felt shy of the camera. However, his gesture portrayed a spontaneous glimpse of “childhood”.
The world of children is unique in all regards. Every child has his individuality and self respect. All of us not only give them due respect and love, but must help them in shaping their personality. They are the future of nation.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma