(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!