The pookkalam shows Mahabali running from stray dogs.

When stray dogs became a Pookkalam theme and chased away MahabaliImage by arrangement
news Onam Monday, September 12, 2016 - 17:46

As Malayalis outside Kerala prepare to celebrate Onam in a couple of days, Malayalis in the state have something to worry about - the safety of their king, Mahabali! Will he be safe from stray dogs?

According to mythology, Mahabali, also called Maveli, returns to see his people on Thiruonam day (September 14 this year). The popular Onam song ‘Maveli naadu vaaneedum kaalam’ is about the glorious days of the king’s rule. Clad in traditional mundu and bedecked with a crown on his head, Mahabali has a pot belly, a thick moustache and carries a traditional umbrella as he visits households in Kerala.

But what would happen if the king is chased by stray dogs? As part of Onam celebrations, one of the teams that participated in a pookkalam (floral design) competition at Sun Medical and Research Center in Thrissur, Kerala, depicted Maveli being chased by stray dogs in an attempt to make the pookkalam socially relevant.

The team of 25 house-keeping staff spent nearly two hours to make the pookkalam. Contrary to popular belief that Maveli is happy to return to his land, he is shown to be running away from stray dogs with concern evident on his face. What’s worse, the dogs are shown to have snatched away the king’s traditional umbrella!

Clearly, the issue of stray dogs is preying heavily upon the public in Kerala and one can only hope that Maveli’s visit is without incident!

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