This Pongal, where have the humble bullock cart and Rekla races reached?

The government and NGOs promoting sustainable lifestyle can initiate a revival of the dying craft of bullock cart-making before it becomes a museum piece | Photo - N Vinoth Kumar

Mappillai vandhan mappillai vandhan maattu vandiyile
Ponnu vandhal ponnu vandhal potti vandiyile
Pullaiya petha amma vandhal mottai vandiyile
Ponna petha appa vandhar ottai vandiyile

This song from the Tamil film, Kaveriyin Kanavan (1959), penned by lyricist Thanjai N Ramaiah Dass, is an eulogy to a wedding procession wherein the humble-looking bullock cart is actually the prized possession to be flaunted.

It goes like this: “The groom arrives in a bullock cart, the bride in a train whereas the groom’s mother comes in a vehicle sans any decoration. The father of the bride comes in a rundown contraption.

The song in its entirety reminisces the rhythm and romance of the bullock cart and those good old days when humble possessions were considered the real riches of the world.

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