These are images from the fifth edition of The Hindu-MetroPlus pookkalam contest held in Cochin on September 3. Having missed the previous year’s edition, I took no chances this year and marked the date in my calendar well in advance. Petals, flowers, and leaves are used to create pookalams, which are synonymous with Onam. Visitors were allowed into the hall only after the contestants had finished working. For most, it was a labor of love. My sons and I spent a good 30 minutes in the hall, spellbound by the artistry on display.
A report on the competition:
The story underlying the festival of Onam: