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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

KGF SCHOOL - PENCIL SKETCH

AYUDHA POOJA CELEBRATIONS IN KGF IN THE 1950's




















AYUDHA POOJA CELEBRATIONS IN KGF IN THE 1950's
(An excerpt from my Book KOLAR GOLD FIELDS DOWN MEMORY LANE )
A festival that was celebrated very grandly by the Miners in KGF was Ayudha Pooja. This festival was celebrated on the ninth day of the 10 day Dasara Festival. ‘Ayudha Pooja’ literally means ‘The worship of Weapons’ and was performed by the armies of the Rajas in the olden days. However, this ritual was continued through the ages and later became a festival where the tools and implements used in daily life to make a living were worshiped and revered.
All the miners in KGF would wash and clean all their tools, machines, vehicles and other mining equipment and smear them with vermillion or Kumkum and sandalwood paste. The entire work area was cleaned and decorated with coloured buntings, banana plants, mango leaves, flowers, etc and Pooja was performed separately by each section. Offerings of fruits, sweets, Puffed Rice Flakes / Pori and Jaggery were offered during the Ayudha Pooja and then distributed to all the workmen. Needless to say a big bag of the Pori or Puffed rice flakes, fruits and sweets was always brought home for all of us children as well by my dad’s Tea boy Sam.
My dad Sydney White worked as an Underground Engineer in Nandydroog Mines. He was in charge of the Sections dealing with the Hoists, pipes and sand stowing functions underground in Henry Shaft and Richards Shaft in Nandydroog Mine. He had about 300 miners working under him. He was a strict disciplinarian as well as a kind Boss and all his mining workers loved and respected him.
Every year after the Ayudha Pooja in Henrys and Richard’s Shafts, some of the men (including the foreman Dr Doraiswamy, the writer Mr. Daniel and others) would gather at our house and garland my dad and take a group photograph with him. Many a time they would insist that my mum and we children should also sit for the photograph. I'm sharing one of these old photographs taken in the year 1956. My dad, mum, my brother John, sister Maryann and I are also in the picture. Very nostalgic
‪#‎kgfminers‬‪#‎kolargoldfields‬‪#‎kolargoldfieldsdownmemorylane‬ ,‪#‎Ayudhapoojainkgf‬