I was travelling back from Delhi when I saw a young man, also boarding for the same flight, who had an interesting looking trophy with him:
I said hello to him, congratulated him because he had obviously won something, and asked what it was about. “This is the trophy that Karnataka won this year, for the best float in the Republic Day Parade,” he replied. “We’ve won it a few times in the past, and if we win three years running, the rolling trophy will become ours.”
Having, rather uncharacteristically, missed watching the Republic Day Parade this year as I was out of town and on the road, I asked him what the theme for Karnataka had been. “This time, we showcased Bidriware,” he said.
This prize for Karnataka somehow does not seem to have made it to the newspapers, but I was very proud to see the trophy! Gireesha L P, who is the Assistant Director, Karnataka Information Centre, in New Delhi, told me that the process of deciding the theme and making the float start several months in advance. Though a large group of artisans had been making the float, three Bidri artisans were flown to Delhi to take part in the actual parade.
I came back to Bangalore from Delhi, feeling quite happy about the distinction our State achieved in the Republic Day Parade!