Book Review: Heads You Win

Onam festivities

Being in Kerala for Onam is a wonderful experience. Since I relocated to Bangalore I have missed Onam festivities. This time I decided I will not let it happen. Though I couldn't make it for Onam itself, I decided to visit a few days prior to it.

Train was the preferred transport. I missed out on the greenery of the route as I had taken the train which reached Ernakulam by 4.30 AM.

It was Friday, 5th Sep 2008. Monsoon had not yet left the State. There was occasional showers, which became torrential rain a few times. Unlike Bangalore though, the effect
of the rain wears off in no time.

People in Kerala, especially ladies always carry umbrellas - whatever the weather be. As my wife's grandfather remarked, it serves unique purposes - for instance, it shields your clothes from water splashing from the puddles on the road, when vehicles drive by!

I was looking forward to savouring palada pradhaman - the traditional Kerala delicacy. I found that this was now being sold like lime juice in many outlets on the city roads.

I was fortunate to find that this was being made in Gramajana Samooham near the Ernakulathappan temple when I went there with my dad.

These are made in large quantities and take quite some time and effort. The picture above shows payasam being stirred. If the picture is unclear it is only the poor resolution of my mobile camera!

Thanks to my dad's influence, I could partake a portion of it!

The other delicacy which I could enjoy was "kaalan".

I had the chance to visit the various stalls being put up by various organisations for the festival. It was really nice to see people thronging these stalls in large numbers braving the weather.

The one sore point of the trip was the traffic jams. I had to see off a relatives in Ernakulam North Station, a 4 km drive from my home near Parthas. The "Padma vazhi" bus I boarded from the bus stop took 45 minutes to reach the destination - literally crawling through the M G Road traffic. I realised that I should not be complaining too much about Bangalore traffic!

Courtesy satellite television, one major Onam entertainment is no longer confined to Kerala - no guesses, the Onam movies in various channels! The Hindu had a half page devoted solely to this topic. I am looking forward to some of the movies - Classmates, Balaram vs Tharadas, Ore Kadal, though I will need to wait for the re-runs - Onam being a working day here!

Here is wishing all Malayaless around the world a happy and prosperous Onam in advance. (Onam falls on Friday, 12th Sep 2008)