Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Vishu - New year for Kerala-ites

Today is Vishu- a day which signifies the new year for Malayalis!!

A day, we as kids , used to cherish, right thru our childhood as we spent our summers in Kerala. Both my parents had grown up in the suburbs of Irinjalakuda( a sleepy town famous for a Temple for Lord Rama's lesser known brother Bharata) and had a extended family (coming to think of it, one had 7 siblings and the other 11!!), as part of joint families respectively, (guess my grandparents too were among equally populated families!), it was festival time for us kids, spending our holidays with a community of relations -mostly in group activities. In the sixties and seventies, there were no computers or TV-and so all our activities were a function of our imagination-involving outdoor during the daytime, and indoor as the rains came prematurely in the last week of May.

In such a setting, Vishu meant three things- Vishukkani, the saddhya (the feast) and most importantly for us, Vishukkaineetam -token of money given by elders to us kids. One can imagine how much these token amounts added up to, for us kids-with so many elders in the vicinity. Of course, as we grew older, we were quite critical and discerning about the generosity of some of the lesser endowed elders, who would suddenly pretend to be pre-occupied as we haunted them in the tharavadu, our ancestral house :-)!! ( The present generation can relate the thrill to the highly publicised Halloween 'trick or treat' rituals)

Now, years later, we share sms/email ids and e-vishukkaineetams with all folks who seem to have dispersed all across the world-and the younger kids more busy shuttling between tuitions and summer camps to keep them busy and prepared for their adulthood!

May the coming 365 days be the best of our life! Here's wishing everybody lots of love, good health and wealth!

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