It began with pouring rain – sheer, incessant, merciless pouring rain.
But then again, has a Kazhak been ever bothered by it ever ? And so it was at the Sainik School Kazhakootam campus, as the Onam festivities began in earnest with the temporary gathering place put together outside the VKK auditorium.
For those of you who didn’t know, the “cult” VKK Auditorium at SSKZM is undergoing a massive overhaul in terms of furnishings and acoustics. With a spectacular athapookkalam in the Main Tower foyer, and the accompaniment of a traditional chendamelam, the Onam celebrations 2014 at the school campus was underway.
The Inter-house Athapookkalam competition which already had the Houses buzzing across all the four categories ( Holding, Sub-junior, Junior and Senior Houses ) with the winners taking home each a Rolling Trophy sponsored by the Class of 1990, Sainik School Kazhakootam. The rain, weary with playing spoil-sport, at last gave in, well into the morning, and was perfect for the fun events that involved the entire school community, daring bravehearts to give each a try. All community sport events went as planned except for the traditional “Tug-of-War” which was axed due to time constraints the general drizzle towards the end of the sport events.
The Judges of the Inter-house Athapookkalam competition who had by now assessed the competition entries were back with the winners list, ready to be announced to the packed audience, waiting for the results. The school management also took the occasion to honor the two very Senior Cadets’ Mess production assistants who were in the last term of their service with the School. This was followed by a short cultural program including the traditional Thiruvathira recital, after which the trophies were awarded to the winners of the Inter-house Athapookkalam competition.
The activity moved to the Cadets’ Mess shortly afterwards for the Onam Sadya, sponsored by Kazhaks90. It was a treat to what the Young Kazhaks along with the rest of the Sainik School community dig in with delight into the traditional fare, served piping hot with 27 accompaniments and 2 varieties of payasams for dessert, and as expected, there were over 1000+ delighted and fed up souls post the lunch on September 3, 2014.
The response from the school management and the cadets have swept us off our feet – it has been an overwhelming and humbling experience, during proposal and planning stages, and with the entire school rallying behind to make this event memorable.
It is hoped that this becomes the beginning of a tradition that opens up one more way in how the alumni of Sainik School Kazhakootam can meaningfully engage with the entire Sainik School community making it a mutually memorable experience, to cherish forever.
Images Courtesy : VP Jain, Soni Somarajan & Sainik School Kazhakootam