Shalini Chitturi

A day spent with girls of Zilla Parishad High School in Pochampally as they celebrated the Bathukamma festival.

Me and Mom were warmly welcomed to the amazing celebrations of Goddess Gowri.After meeting the school principal Sirisha Ma’am, we explored the school premises.The students were finishing up their quarterly exams.

After a delicious lunch, the teachers helped the girls in preparing the Bathukamma, and they also taught me the essence of the different flora used for the arrangement that represents the Goddess.

Later, the girls of different ages danced in elegant rhythm to the local folklores of the Bathukamma. The teachers and the school principal also joined them as the school premises echoed with music and laughter . The girls moved soulfully as the earth rejoiced in dusted wisps under the canopy of the shaded trees.

Upon request, My mother joined the dance first. I was very hesitant initially, but I finally joined the children in their moves.Lots of laughter and pictures followed.

The girls kept dancing gracefully for a few hours. It was a delight watching them. Later the male teachers also joined the dance sequences and broke the age old stereotypes of the rural areas.

I talked to some of the teenage girls about the paripads. They informed that the pads were very comfortable and that it has been helping them financially. They were very thankful for our efforts to help them. Few girls requested me to thank, on their behalf, each one of us who had been involved in reaching out to them.

The day ended in shopping Ikkats from the famous local stores adding to the many memories and memoirs of the beautiful day.

Shalini Chitturi

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