Kalolsavam after Covid: Happiness, excitement and a bit of fear among students

Priyada K S

Captain Vikram Maidan in West Hil / Photo: KK Santhosh, Mathrubhumi

Kozhikode: The Kerala State School Kalolsavam has returned after two years. Along with all restrictions, the Covid-19 pandemic had taken away the happiness and celebration the Kalolsavam brings.

With the return of the Kalolsavam, students are happy to be back performing their favourite art forms and meeting friends from across the state.

Saraswathi Antharjanam, a student of Government HSS Kalavoor, Alappuzha, said, “During Covid I was sad that I could not take part in the Kalolsavam.” The Class 10 student, who took part in the Mohiniyattam competition, expressed happiness in seeing everyone together at her first state Kalolsavam experience.

Sagara CV, a Class 11 students of KKV Memorial Higher Secondary School at Panoor, said that she was happy to be back at the Kalolsavam stage. “We lost two years because of Covid. The Kalolsavam is something that we all love. I did not expect I would reach the state level. I am happy that I could take part,” the Bharatanatyam contestant said.

Audience at the main venue

Margam Kali participants from the Sacred Heart Girls High School in Bharananganam, said that in the beginning, they faced difficulty during practice as they had not performed anywhere for two years. “Several of us had physical difficulties to perform because of Covid. But with practice things got better. We have not performed in front of such a huge audience before this,” said the students, who were excited about their first experience at the state Kalolsavam. Their teacher (who wanted to remain anonymous) said that the students were given regular Margam Kali training.

“We give Margam Kali training to students from the UP classes. But these students lost two years. Several of these students had Covid, after which their physical fitness was not good. So, we started continuous practice from July. They had one hour practice every day. This helped bring their energy back. When the Kalolsavam came closer, we started giving them more practice hours,” she said.

She said that food was also a key factor in keeping their energy up. “Some students had difficulty in having food after being infected with Covid. The students were asked to have food in 2-hour intervals,” she added.

Students participating in a group dance competition / Photo: PTI Photo

During his speech at the inauguration of the 61st Kerala State School Kalolsavam, Chief Minister Pinaryi Vijayan said that due to the pandemic, the cultural events were held with several restrictions for the past couple of years.

The CM added that the set up for the 61st state school kalolsavam was extensive. He also reminded that the preparedness against Covid should be continued. “Even though Covid-19 has not increased in the state, the infection is spreading in several parts of the world. The current variant of Covid -19 spreads fast. So, the measures that we took against Covid earlier should be continued,” Vijayan said.

Talking to Mathrubhumi.com about the Covid regulations at the Kalolsavam, MLA KM Sachin Dev said that the organisers had discussions regarding this. “The education department has directed everyone to be prepared and to be cautious to control the spread of Covid during the Kalolsavam,” he said.

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