It’s “Kabali Da!” at the cake show!

I managed to make it to the 2016 Nilgiris Annual Cake Show at the 11th hour (on 1 January which happened to be the last day of the annual affair). And I took a crazy decision of going not only on a Sunday afternoon but also on the last day. Would the first day of the New Year end on a sweet note for me? Well, only time would tell!

Like in the recent years, the venue of the cake show was the St Joseph’s Indian School ground on Vittal Mallya Road. I reached the venue around 2pm and had roughly 45 minutes to tour the exhibition because after that I had to make it to the weekly meeting of the soon to come Bengaluru Tree Festival at next door Cubbon Park. And in between that I also had to make time for a quick chat with my friend Kannika who had come on one of her fleeting trips from Chennai.

After I saw off Kannika at the cake show premises, I entered the exhibition hall. As expected, the venue was super-crowded. And for the first time, I noticed bouncers were positioned at strategic locations. One of them even told me not to click pictures pointing out to the many warning signs that were screaming out “Photography prohibited”. For a moment, I felt disappointed because I had come all the way not only to drool at the cakes but also take pictures. My disappointment soon made way for happiness when I saw many visitors clicking away merrily and there were many like me with DSLRs.

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The cynosure of attention at this edition of the cake show was a near perfect version of the London Bridge made from 500kg of sugar. My first reaction when I saw the spectacular creation was “Wow!” Unlike most other cake exhibits which were encased in polythene covers this one wasn’t, thus making for a happy click. The dim lights added to the attraction.

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A neon green replica of a giant dragon (measuring 7.5 feet in height) vied for attention with the London Bridge. There were selfie enthusiasts galore laboriously trying to wade through the crowds to get that one picture to update their Facebook profiles.

The air was vibrant with loud banter, camera clicks, laughter, bawling of babies and various expressions of enthusiasm as I moved on clicking pictures.

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A cake picture of a dancing goddess looked enchanting.

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A colourful cookie doll house glowed from within a polythene case.

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Aladdin and the genie looked oh-so-cute!

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A giant sugar replica of a pretty doll in a red ball gown grabbed eyeballs.

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This multi-coloured, multi-tiered wedding cake looked so yummy. How I wish I could sink my teeth into it.

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True to its name, the Royal Rajasthan cake looked regal.

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The national bird of India was there too looking resplendent.

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And ho ho ho, whom do I see here, a large Santa!

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The yellow fishes made for a pretty picture.

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Queen Cleopatra in her cake avatar was a stunner all the way!

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I spent some time trying to figure out this cake. Jack and the bean stalk?

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Among the umpteen cakes was this chessboard too.

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A cake avatar of popular Kannada actor and director Shankar Nag would have gladdened the hearts of his many fans. Nationally famous for his production “Malgudi Days”, Shankar Nag died an untimely death in a car crash in 1990.

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Adding to all the colours were these pretty cake bags.

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And what do I see here – the 101 Dalmatians. Bow wow!

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The blue wedding cake with golden accents looked elegant.

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The guitar cake rocked.

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And there was one more wedding cake!

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I could not figure out this cake too – A sort of Money Mountain?

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An Ashoka Pillar stood tall among all the wonderful creations.

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The yellow BMW car wasn’t so visible.

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And finally, what do I see here – a giant cake replica of Kollywood superstar Rajnikanth. The makers were undoubtedly inspired by his recent blockbuster ‘Kabali’. The signature pose tells it all!  Droves of selfie takers made taking a picture very difficult. It only goes to show that Rajnikanth is equally popular in his cake avatar too!

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After a quick bite at the Consumer Fair adjoining the cake exhibition, it was time to rush to Cubbon Park only to realise that the meeting was called off because it was New Year day. The cakes nevertheless made my day and of course the hurried walk through the green expanses of Cubbon Park.

Dasara Doll Festival – IV

A brilliant display of dolls depicting Putrakameshti Yaga, a scene from the Indian epic Ramayana, is grabbing eyeballs at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. The heirloom dolls all of them more than a hundred years old belong to the family of Anu Vishweshwar, a relative of Sir M. Vishweshwariah, the Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1918.

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Many, many, years ago during the Treta Yuga, the kingdom of Ayodhya was ruled by King Dashratha. He had three wives, Kausalya, the senior-most, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. The king was sad that none of the queens bore him any progeny and because of that the kingdom was without any heir.

On the advice of the royal priest Sage Vashishta and another sage Rishya Shringa, the king performed the Putrakameshti Yagna, a ceremony performed by childless couples to beget children.

After the ceremony was completed around a holy fire, there appeared Agni, the God of Fire with a golden bowl filled with Payasam, a sweet. King Dasharatha was asked to distribute the sweet to his three queens. In due course, the queens bore him children. Kausalya gave birth to the King’s eldest son who was named Rama, Kaikeyi’s son was named Bharata and Sumitra bore him twins Lakshmana and Shatrughana.

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In the picture, seated on the throne are King Dashratha and Queen Kaushalya, on the left is Queen Kaikeyi with her maid and on the right is Queen Sumitra with her maid and a member of the royal family. Agni, the God of Fire, is in between the sages. In his hands is the golden bowl containing Payasam. The sage with grey hair is Rishya Shringa and the other sage is Vashishta.

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Anu Vishweshwar and a relative took almost 2 hours to dress up each of the dolls. The toughest part was wrapping the sarees all of them being Kanjeevarams. The full-length heavily brocaded sarees had to be folded to a suitable size to fit the dolls. Transporting them from her home to the venue was another task. She had to take care to cover them and avoid them getting shaken as that could disturb the dress and the jewellery. The pandal or ramp was created at the venue from scratch. The glittering jewellery was purchased years ago from Raja Market and the vicinity.

The dazzling display is on till 10th/11th of October and worth giving a visit.

Happy Dasara!