Aggiornamento: 10 set 2019
“Happiness and prosperity’s right behind me, open your eyes to see the unfolding magic as I clear up in front of you- a passing dark cloud tells me”, whispered the solitary farmer gazing up in anticipation of a rain-free Onam with out worries and poverty. Mahabali, the emperor whose story continued to elevate the spirit of our culture, even at a time when faith has gently evaporated from our society.
Onam upholds the essence of equality, plenty and social justice for all, we grew up
listening to this immaculate tale it was a fabulous occasion of togetherness as we commemorate the happiest of times when King Mahabali who ruled the region, we shared harvest, ate meals together and children got excited too as they get new clothes for the day.
Onam arrived late this year on 11 th September and monsoon made its entry forcefully too like last year, that doesn’t mean festivities would stop. Processions have been organised all over the world among Kerala communities to welcome the king, a giant man with largest tummy will be royally dressed up to represent the king and march along to spice up the crowd with a raised hand and Onam feast’s the main highlight, the meal’s always traditional and seriously big -hearted.
As the story implies, everyone deserves a fabulous meal on Onam time and people still spend lavishly on making a big feast, happily share it with family, friends and even strangers.
This season’s normally the most beautiful time in the region, after a modest monsoon, the land make itself ready for serving the world, everything looks ripe, joyfully lush and full of fresh aroma. Vegetables, fruits and flowers make the land look heavenly and rise- up for harvesting and to glorify the celebrations.
Onam feast consists of endless array of dishes, most people make their banana leaf completely covered with sweet and savoury dishes. The best of Kerala’s vegetarian dishes appear on this particular season, after the new harvest best variety of vegetables arrive in markets, guests enjoy the feast with their senses as the colours and aroma fill the atmosphere.
Last year the unexpected, heavy downpour caused floods and heavy damages in many parts of Kerala with loss of lives, washed away or damaged homes, destroyed farm lands, soil erosions in hilly areas. Festivities had to be cancelled and mourning continued as the severity of the natural calamity deeply touched everyone, it was a rare Onam with out proper food for many. Almost a similar experience repeated this year too but sporadic outbursts haven’t disrupted life as much and so was the harvest. Onam had to be celebrated as people needed the boost to restart their momentum and it’s the beginning of the tourism calendar for the Kerala.
At Gurukul, we prepared an awesome Onam meal under the supervision of chef Murali, invited many people to share the auspicious day with us along with a group of children from the children’s home nearby. With traditional folk music and floral decorations, we welcomed our folks to spread happiness around a meal, by sharing with warmth we re-lived the times of King Mahabali and His magnanimous vision of one family for all. We keep on learning a great deal from the chronicle of this legend, every season brings a new experience as we look forward to enjoying yet another period of harmony and abundance.
It was lucky to find an onam feast on an Emirates flight this week, apparently many airlines are doing the same, this’s an amazing change from this year. By far Onam feast’s common for every Malayalee around the world these days, there’s nothing better than tasty, soulful food to unite our people. The message of Onam’s timeless and full of hope, it should continue with same fervour, if not better.