Onam celebrations!

onam ayyappanBy V. Soundararani

The spirit of Onam festival celebrated on September 2 was high at Sri Sastha Sangam in K K Nagar. Men and women in traditional mundu and veshti visited the Sei Aiyappan Temple here, where special abhishegam and poojas were held.

A big and colourful pookalam onam matamuttwas the centre of attraction at the entrance of this campus.

Onam was a quiet celebration at Mata Amritanandamayi Mutt in Saligramam.

Radhamani, Meenakshi and Mahesh, the neighbourhood residents, who contribute their services at the mutt had designed a beautiful and intricate pookalam. The onam thangamBrahmasthanam temple was decorated with flowers.

Chinmaya Nagar and Aiyappan Nagar in Virugambakkam may be called a mini Kerala – because a number of Malayalee families lives here. They celebrated Onam too – some were lowkey affairs, some family celebrations. The Sri Aiyappan Temple here was the destination for many. Special poojas were held and prasadam distributed.

“For many Keralites who reside here, this is also an opportunity to visit their home town in Kerala where they can enjoy the traditional celebrations,” says Venugopal, secretary of Maitri Cultural Association.

onam rekha“Busy careers and demanding lifestyle have impacted on the way Onam is celebrated. It is low profile,” said Bindu, a school teacher, who created a small pookalam and did a simple Onasadhya.

G. K. Nair and Thangam Nair had two of their sons – Ramesh Kumar and Sathish Kumar – of the four, all of whom who live abroad, back home here.

Preethi Satish, their daughter in law and Rohit and Radhika, the grand children were at home with them too. “It is a great occasion to celebrate with all of them around,” says Nair.

The family had laid a pookalam at the entrance and prepared the Onasadhya, consisting of kalan, olan, eriseri, aviyal, sambar, paladaprathaman, papad.

Said Thangam Nair.”We used to fix mud images of King Mahabali and Trikakkarappan, at the centre of pookalams in the old days”.

“Women of many families would get together and perform kaikottikali in the old days in our native place, Guruvayoor and the celebrations would love from one house to another house,” Thangam Nair recalled.

Rekha of Chitirai Street said, ”I prepare the Onasadhya and design the pookalam every year amidst our busy schedule. This year my son Shirish helped me too”.

Starting on Atham, pooklams are laid for 10 days till Thiruonam, now we have cut down to last two days, most of the Malayalees say.

Photo captions – from top to bottom:

1- The pookalam at Sri Aiyappa Temple in K K Nagar;

2. Volunteers who designed a pookalam at Mata Amritanandamayi Mutt on Arcot Road:

3. Thangam Nair and family members

4. Rekha and her son of Chithirai Street with their simple decoration

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 and is filed under Community, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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