Bathukamma is a festival celebrating feminity and grace. The celebrations spring to mind women dressed up in their best carrying cone-shape Bathukammas, depicting goddess Gauri, on their heads and playing around the flower arrangements.
But in Husnabad mandal, the celebrations are marked by men. Around 50 men are following the tradition passed on by their ancestors and playing Bathukamma at Thotapalli, Gandhi-nagar, Akkannapet and Gollapalli villages, since their childhood.
Kothi Yadagiri, 50, a lecturer in a private college in Thotapalli, has been actively following the tradition without any hesitation for the last four decades. “My father and grandfather celebrated the festival and so I do not feel shy in playing Bathukamma,” he said. “Instead, I feel very happy for following the tradition of our family.”
Polaveni Sampath, a farmer of Thotapalli, said that it was the first time that he would take part in the celerbations. “I had many doubts regarding the participation and spoke to my grandfather and he said that even men can play Bathukamma,” Sampa-th grinned. “My grandpa said he too had played Bathukamma to experience the pleasure,” he added.
“Generally, it is men who travel miles to collect flowers and leaves, used for making Bathukammas but women and girls celebrate the festival by going around the flower arrangements. So we thought why just watch women,” said Posaveni Komaraiah.
Many other men too expressed similar opinions and aired their readiness to take part in the seven-day festival celebrations. “Like women, we do not get tired. We can play it little faster when compared to women,” said Yadaiah. A large number of men take part in the celebrations on the first day when Boddemma is worshipped and on the last day when Saddula Bathukamma is revered.