“Though we expected the unfortunate to happen we did not expect it to be this quick. I groomed him like my son.
This is a loss which can never be compensated in my life,” said Deepak after giving it a tearful adieu on Sunday.
After having participated in jallikattu for over 17 years the bull passed away on Saturday despite being treated intensively for the last one week. On Sunday, the final rites were performed by Deepak and his family.
The animal was so popular that people of all ages, far and wide, came to pay their respects to the bull after seeing the flex banners, announcing its death, that were put up at various parts of Karisalkulam.
Before being buried it was taken in a tractor around the village as a mark of remembrance and then buried in Deepak’s own land. People of all ages visited the house and paid their respects to the bull. Following that the bull was taken in a tractor around the village and then was buried in the own land of Deepak. It has participated in more than 300 events in 17 years and no one has tamed it so far.
“It could be tamed by a group or by at least two bull fighters only,” said Deepak.
The bull was born in 1997 at Thottiyapatti near Valaiyankulam in Madurai district and was bought by Periya Alagu, elder brother of Deepak. As it was being raised, Deepak developed a liking towards it and wanted to train him to be a star in jallikattu and he did succeed.
“I was right in my assessment and found it had a lot of resilience. Though it fell into a pit and damaged its rear right leg when it was hardly three, it did not lose its spirit. I set the leg right immediately through a local doctor. Soon, it could stand by itself and took of the rigours of jallikattu training diligently. From then on, it was called ‘Valaiyampatti Nondi’. (Valaiyampatti is native of Deepak’s family). It began participating in jallikattu from the age of three. It was a hero which could not be won over,” said a proud Deepak with tears in his eyes.
Presently, Deepak has 14 bulls in his sheds and all specialise in various events. For instance, two are trained in Vada Manjuvirattu, two in Manjuvirattu and 10 in jallikattu.
Deepak and his family had lost their second bull in two years. Deepak’s uncle bull ‘Sokkampatti Kari’ had died in February 2016 and he had built a memorial for it. Now, Deepak too wants to build one for ‘Valaiyampatti Nondi’.