Chennai: A woman is seen getting ready the Bhogi melam at Pulianthope, Chennai, Saturday. The festival falls on Monday.
It is customary for children to beat the Bhogi melam when the bonfire is lit during the day before Pongal. It is part of the tradition to get rid of useless / unwanted items in the house with the chant – Pazhayana kazhithalum, puthiyana puguthalum.
These items are consigned to the Bhogi fire in front of the houses. The drum is beaten by children at the bonfire.
In the video, the artisan, wearing gloves, is seen deftly making the melam that is meant for sale in the city.
Since this is the manufacturing point, she sells the small melam for Rs 15 and the bigger one, for Rs 25. But when the drums reach the market, their prices soar. Nevertheless, people do not mind shelling out the money as it is only once-a-year spend.
(Photo, video by A R Jayakumar)