Tag Archives: Meals

Onam


(Yesterday, 9 September, Keralites celebrated Onam, the national festival of Kerala.)

It’s all about happiness. While many of the festivals segregate people on the basis of religion, Onam has no such bars, I believe. Onam was once celebrated in a
humble but jovial way by every Malayalee family. It used to be a perfect combination of the ingredients required to make an average human (of those days) happy – perfect weather, food (the extravaganza of vegetarian food), games, and other activities like singing and dancing…!

Times have changed. We prefer staying indoors hesitating to make Onam a reality.  Nowadays the ingredients mentioned above (except the first one) are accessible to us any time of the year. Onam has nothing special to offer; we find nothing thrilling in it. We are content with the virtual Onam, listening to what the celebrities say about Onam.

Thousands of miles away from the homeland we (affected by spells of nostalgia) managed to prepare a few Onam special dishes at home. Paradoxically, our relatives back there in the land of King Mahabali purchased the readymade Ona-sadhyas (meals). May be the captivating TV programmes do not let them waste their precious holiday in the kitchen. Times have changed (repeated, with a sigh)!

This Onam has touched me deeply. Early morning I got a call from my Uncle greeting us. It truly imbued me with bliss. I decided to pass on the surprise and bliss to some others other than my close relatives. The same pulses of joy were felt when I spoke to my old friend and my cousin (who I met recently after more than twenty years). They too might have spread this spirit of Onam to somebody unknown to me, I wish.

Simple gestures of affection are enough to brighten up and enliven even an ordinary day. Life is all about these little surprises and smiles – only that we store them for special occasions. Today somebody cared and bothered to express it. The latter deed made the difference. I feel buoyant and satisfied today. Let the feeling last forever – for me, for you and for them. Happy Onam – translated as pinnacle of happiness!

We are Sorry, Dear Dining Table…


 “All well-regulated families set apart an hour every morning for tea and bread and butter.”     – Joseph Addison

Ever since we started our life together we used to have our meals at the dining table. But after our latest toddler started exploring the magic world called the table top, we had to shift to the sofa with our plates. And that had been the practice for the last two years. I recently realized with shock that we were slowly getting deprived of the many little blessings of the family dining table.

Emotional disadvantages

  1. We could not see one another during our meals as our eyes were glued on to the TV.
  2. We missed the family discussions and there was no other occasion to listen to our elder daughter’s stories from school. Instead, we kept on commenting on the TV shows which have nothing to do with our lives.
  3. Whenever the kids talked or cried we felt disturbed.
  4. We could not teach them the proper table manners.
  5. Throughout the last two years our dining table lay in the corner, neglected.

Physical disadvantages

  1. Often we gobbled up food as we wanted to get the plates away and then come back to watch TV leisurely.
  2. During meals we had to shuttle between the hall and the kitchen (though the kitchen is not far away).
  3. Sometimes we ate more, and sometimes less.
  4. We often forgot to drink water after our meals.
  5. The sofa pullover had to be washed almost every week.

So, dear Dining Table,

We are turning to you, once again, after a fatal gap of two years. Though there is no way to have our ‘morning tea and bread and butter’ with you, we promise to join you for lunch and supper. Penance shall be done for being callous to you all these days. I know you are benevolent enough to forgive us, as you always had been.

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.” – Anthony Brandt

“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.”                     – George Bernard Shaw

We too want Heaven – here, now!