The Nostalgia of yet another Vishu

Today was Vishu, a very auspicious day for a Keralite. A festival that is the harbinger of prosperity, plenty and joy. A lot of very special images fleet across my mind’s canvas…
Even Nature is ready for the festivities. The Labernum is laden with flowers. Mangoes and Jackfruits green and ripe are aplenty. The Sun is bright and is almost above the line of the equator.
The eve of Vishu montages:
Mummy & all of us arranging the Kani, the special arrangement of everything auspicious and yellow, so that we can view it first thing in the morning…
The array of yellow coloured fruits and vegetables like mangoes, jackfruit, golden cucumber or the Kani Vellari, lemon, home grown bananas…
The mirror adorned with gold chains and stringed jasmine flowers/ tulasi petals, the idol/photo of Krishna, the Kasavu Veshti, the Bhagavad Gita and everything else from raw rice to halved coconuts…
The dazzling Labernum blooms aka Kanikonna… A host of other flowers to decorate the Lord from the ordinary hibiscus to the sacred Tulasi leaves and to the beautiful and enchanting Lotus flowers the Daddy will get from our Lotus Pond…
The lighted lamps, the wafting fragrance of agarbathis and camphor…

Arranged so that this sight is what one sees first in the morning

Arranged so that this sight is what one sees first in the morning

The morning of Vishu memories:
Mummy waking us up one by one, covering our eyes with her hand, getting us to wash our faces without opening our eyes and then making us sit in front of the necklace adorned mirror…
Lo! You open your eyes and see your reflection in the mirror decked of course in gold and flowers…
As children the best thing to remember was the Vishu Kaineettam… (No pocket money those days. All you will get during the entire year would be a few rupees as Kaineetam, that the elders would give you!)
Then the very interesting part for children – the bursting of crackers & fireworks… (Gradually this became a much toned down affair, thanks to the awareness that child labour was rampant in the firework factories in Sivakasi and of the chemical pollution it releases into the air !)
When we had our cattle, Mummy used to take the Kani into the cattle shed for the cows to see…
All reminders of times when we lived close to nature… and treated every living being with respect and love…
Then the rush of local people – kids, young and old, to collect their share of Kaineettam from Daddy…
Sumptuous feasts…
Times when all would come home for Vishu… the joy, the merriment, the bonding and the camaraderie…

Today am at Sharjah. Far away from my loved ones, physically at least. Virtually I was even able to see some of the vishu kanis… The eve of Vishu gave me actually the blues… (which I tried rather unsuccessfully to beat by watching the Malayalam movie Amen in the nearest theatre!)  How I missed being at home during this festive time! Made a decent feast for myself with sambhar, rice and koottu curry – yet my mind, like a disobedient child, ran back to the courtyards of Sreyas (our home is named that); in the midst of Dad and Mom…

How true the age old adage is: East or West, Home is truly the best! Only one has to leave the shores of our land to realize this!!

Flowers of the Indian Labernum or the Kani Konna

Flowers of the Indian Labernum or the Kani Konna

Happy Vishu to all… May this Vishu bring you joy, peace, health and prosperity!!!

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