Ellaavarkkum ente hridayam niranja Onaashamsakal 🙂
Onam…the favourite festival of the Malayali 😀 Onakkodi, athapookkalam, oonjaal, pulikali, onathallu…and a grand sadya 😀
Onakkodi: It’s the most sought after part of every Onam — a new apparel! On a Thiruvonam day, every Keralite wears a new dress. The head of the family is supposed to gift onakkodis to all members of that family. Well, the head of mine gave none. So well, I bought it for myself 😛
Athappookkalam: For 10 days, every single house adorns a ‘flower-carpet’…to welcome Mahabali, the cute, pot-bellied cousin of Santa Claus (they look so similar; only, this guy has no white beard, doesn’t ride on reindeer-sledge nor says ‘ho’ ‘ho’ ‘ho’! 😀 ) Kids wake up early morning, go hunting for flowers and come back with a variety of them — this is the one time no one screams at one another for ‘stealing’ flowers! 😉 We didn’t make any — for lack of space (both in and outside our house) 😀
Oonjaal: Temporary swings are put up in the courtyard…and all the kids have a swinging time! There was no swing at my place…but well, I’ve been having one swing of a life lately, so no issues there!
Pulikali: This is the most fun of all…doesn’t the picture say it all? People (mostly kids) dress up as tigers/leopards and dance all the way…in the middle of the road 😉 (I feel I resemble a meerkat more — in both looks and behaviour — than a tiger…so, have never participated. Moreover, it’s just for guys 😀 )
Onathallu: This is a spoof on the whole concept of ‘sharing’…we just hit each other real hard and call it Onathallu, just for the heck of it. I’m more of a receiver than a giver 😉
And then…the sadya! Aaaah…the most satisfying part of the festival 😉
A full-course lunch, with banana chips, jaggery chips, pappads, a banana, 3 pickles, a ‘kichadi’, a ‘thoran’, an ‘olan’ an ‘aviyal’, a ‘koottucurry’, ‘parippu’, ‘sambar’, ‘pulissery’, ‘rasam’, ‘buttermilk’ and 3 varieties of payasam — all served in a plantain leaf! Now you know why Mahabali has a pot-belly 😉 I’v developed one too…now, dieting it away!
And oh yes! During Onam, a roughly 4-km stretch in Trivandrum is fully illuminated from 6.30 to 10…for 10 days. The crowd is amazing…and only increases by the year! I went for a walk with my brother “light kaanaan“…it was fun! I had a beautiful, fun-filled Onam. Here are a few pictures he clicked…
P.S.: It was Amma’s birthday on 12th! We walked into the kitchen at 12 a.m. to wish her and lo! She was chilling out — literally! She was almost inside the fridge…though I’ve no clue what she was thinking! A cool birthday? And when my brother and I sang “Happy birthday to you…” and “Santhosha janmadinam Ammakku…” in unison, she gave a start, wheeled around and stared at us. She then blinked thrice. Then her eyes lit up and with an “Oh…12th!”, she thanked us and graciously accepted our hugs, kisses and the gifts 🙂 Oh yes, shall convey each one of your wishes to her 😉