Wednesday, April 02, 2014

B -Bhoom Bhoom Maadu

Mobile musings - the theme for this A to Z
challenge features a blog with a picture
clicked by me on my mobile phone

B- Bhoom-bhoom-maadu

When we were kids, this man  and the animal accompanying him, the ‘bhoom-bhoom-maadu’ ( the sacred decorated Bullock )  was dreaded and something to be feared.

Picture shot on an iphone 4$
Location : Bangalore , India
April 2013

It was believed that 'Bhoom-bhoom-maadu' fellow would kidnap errant children since, he, through his sacred Bullock knew all about their mischief and truant escapades. On the days when he came around at the gate, the children would normally make themselves scarce by hiding under the stairs or in the kitchen. The Woman of the house would pick up a ‘padi’ (usually about quarter of a kilogram) of rice from the rice sack and give it to the man who would come begging for the alms along with the ‘Bhoom-bhoom-maadu’.

The English equivalent of 'Bhoom-bhoom-maadu' would be the character 'Wee-willie-winkie' of the famous nursery school rhyme fame.

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Up stairs and down stairs in his night-gown,
Tapping at the window, crying at the lock,
Are the children in their bed, for it's past ten o'clock?
Hey, Willie Winkie, are you coming in?
The cat is singing purring sounds to the sleeping hen,
The dog's spread out on the floor, and doesn't give a cheep,
But here's a wakeful little boy who will not fall asleep!

'Bhoom-bhoom-maadu' ( literally translates as the Bullock making the 'bhoom-bhoom sound) is accompanied by the man who also has a drum that actually makes the 'bhoom-bhoom' sound.  He is supposed to be a soothsayer who predicts the future happenings in the house where he has come to collect alms . As he predicts a happening or utters a blessing the animal actually nods its head. ( Local legend mockingly refers to anyone who nods his head blindly to someone else's monologue is a bhoom-bhoom-maadu. In the contemporary Corporate lingo they are impolitely referred to as a@#$ lickers.)

Perhaps by coincidence as in the corporate world, the entire act is accompanied with a background sound ( equivalent of power point presentations)  that the drum makes to make it all sound lyrical and larger than life.

It is expected that when the Bhoom-bhoom-maadu comes visiting for alms any respectable family obliges him. This is when the otherwise hyperactive children are behaving themselves and crawling under the kitchen sink, the woman of the house steps out and gives him the alms so that he goes away.  When he receives the alms, he would normally say something like 'Will good times dawn on this house soon enough?' or 'will the children in this house do well in exams ? ' .
The animal would then nod its head in affirmation. This would be accompanied by the 'bhoom-bhoom' sound from the vibrating drums that the man holds in his hand.  

The 'Bhoom-bhoom-maadu' never ever affirmed a curse, it was always blessings. But our mothers fed us with the dope that (like  that fictitious 'Wee-willie-winkie' who runs through the town), the mysterious 'bhoom-bhoom maadu' and its much dreaded curses would come alive if we children did not behave well. That was enough to keep the the fear of 'Bhoom-bhoom-maadu' alive.

As we graduated to adulthood the fear of the curse of 'bhoom-bhoom maadu' weaned away. Now it only evokes nostalgia everytime I see / hear  a Bhoom-bhoom maadu. Every amavasya ( new moon day)  this is a common sight in front of the temples as well as residential houses where we live now. The proliferation of apartments and gated communities have killed the access for the bhoom- bhoom-maadu to make its presence felt at the door to an entire generation of children.

Picture shot on an iphone 4$
Location : Bangalore , India
April 2013
It is only a matter of time that the occupation of the guy who ekes out a livelihood out of this well decorated bullock will become extinct. The innocent joys and fears of childhood of many generations will get lost and will only be retold as legends or as nursery rhymes.

1 comment:

  1. Well that's interesting and love how the donkey is fixed up. Again children in peril but only if they don't behave-maybe we need this bhoom bhoom maadu around more often now:)


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