Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Launch of a vallom (country boat) - concludes

Sasi, the master carpenter, gives the first push to slip the vallom into the water. A thousand thoughts would be crossing his mind. And the tension. In a few moments he would know whether the fruit of his toil is seaworthy. The boat should not tilt; it should be stable and should smoothly glide on water. And it should have a majestic look, a kind of stage presence.

The boat slides gently into the water, accompanied by shouts from the crowd and sounds of fireworks.

And here is Parayil Rose in all her glory, floating steady in the Olavipe Lake which would be her home for the rest of her life.

After the family members have a short ride, the local people, more than thirty of them scramble on board. They would take the boat first to the family church at Velliara (http://parayilat.blogspot.com/2007/04/kerala-tharavad.html) and the mother church at Thycattussarry (http://parayilat.blogspot.com/2007/04/historic-church-is-no-more.html) to be blessed by the respective vicars.

Then bottles of rum would be taken aboard and the real celebration would start, with almost non-stop singing of the boat song which has a chorus that goes:

Thithi thara thithi thei, thei, thei thak thei thei thom.

This shows the boat with the passenger cabin that is removable. It has slide windows on the sides and the back.

Click on images to enlarge.

Photos: Chackochan

©Thekkanattu Parayil


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