Pudukkai man beats odds to become one of TN’s finest bull-rearers
Tamilselvan, however, takes great pride in raising jallikattu bulls and says nothing brings him more happiness than watching his bulls win.
Published: 19th January 2023 05:35 AM | Last Updated: 19th January 2023 05:35 AM | A+A A-
MADURAI: 40 years ago, a 17-year-old boy from Kaikurichi in Pudukottai bought a bull, three-year-old ‘kutta komban’. The boy wanted to raise it as a jallikattu bull and pit it against the finest tamers, a dream that many of his villagers thought he wouldn’t realise.Now 57, D Tamilselvan is one of the finest bull-rearers in Tamil Nadu, having received the prestigious best bull-raiser award in Alanganallur jallikattu, twice. He turned a raconteur when asked to recount his journey.
Speaking to TNIE, he says he was drawn to jallikattu after watching it at a very young age. None in his agrarian family had experience rearing jallikattu bulls. But, that didn’t deter Tamilselvan from following his passion and proceeded to purchase the ‘Kutta komban’. Under Tamilselvan’s care, the young bull thrived and went on to participate in the Pudukottai jallikattu, bringing him laurels and much praise. This victory made Tamilselvan bet big on bulls and the rest is history.
Currently, Tamilselvan owns 20 jallikattu bulls, including Irucchali, Kilakattu maadu, Umbalacherry and Kangeyam, Pulikulam, Kuttakomban and Kaaram varieties. He says he spends Rs 3 lakh a month on fodder, medicines and maintenance. Tamilselvan, however, takes great pride in raising jallikattu bulls and says nothing brings him more happiness than watching his bulls win.On what advice he would like to give to aspiring bull-rearers, Tamilselvan says one should rear only one or two jallikattu bulls in the beginning. More than two would be a drain on their resources.
“Practice helps me identify which bull suits which jallikattu. My instincts are right most of the times, and my bulls come out victorious. Winning, however, purely depends on the mentality of the bull at that time. My workers and I don’t give them any special training. We just provide a good environment where the bulls can roam, swim and eat healthy food. When tethering bulls, it’s on 5-6-metre-long ropes,” he says.