THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The inaugural ceremony of the 35th National Games turned out to be the real celebration of Kerala culture and its rich tradition. The Naval Band that played in the background set the right ambience for the elegant and magnificent function.
The spectacular ceremony began with thrilling fireworks that lasted for several minutes. The percussion ensemble by Panchavadya maestros Peruvanam Kuttan Marar and Mattannur Sankaran Kutty mesmerised the audience. Just before the march-past, the colourful fireworks lighted up the city sky. Once the Games was declared open, it was again time for a spectacular visual treat with the much-awaited ‘war cry’ as part of the Lalisom portraying the historical battles fought during the golden era of Kerala history. The cultural fiesta followed really enchanted the crowd. Scores of percussion artistes along with Kathakali veshams and Kerala‘s own Mohiniyattom dancers enchanted the audience for hours.
While thimila and pallipana artistes provided a treat, the padayani, theyyam, thira and other traditional and folk art forms mesmerised the crowd. Traditional torch-bearers and ornate umbrellas encircling the stadium too added glitter to the event. The kettukazcha items such as ‘eduppukala’ arranged on the stadium gave a festive look to the entire ambience.
Every time the name of Sachin was mentioned the crowd in the jampacked stadium rocked as if welcoming the one and only sports icon in the country and true to the cheering and thundering crowd Sachin made it a point to wave at them and occasionally posing for photos with the athletes and officials who managed to reach him. And finally, a relieved Chief Minister OOmmen Chandy minced no words sharing his thoughts in getting the Games going. And thus began the celebration of sports for the next 14 days in the God’s Own Country.