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The Sweet, Spicy and Sour Memories of Onam

The Sweet, Spicy and Sour Memories of Onam

Wrapped up a beautiful Onam Day. With everyone back to bed, I was reminiscing about the Onam days that have gone by. From being that enthusiastic child who observed her mother do the customs to the overtired yet exuberant mother who is doing stuff for the kids, my journey has been tumultuous.

A mother’s onam

Now when I look back I can see that overtired mother who can’t bear to see their kids lose their sleep for any ritual. I can see that lonely woman who is carrying a pitcher full of water in one hand and a tray full of Thumba flowers on the other, a tray with Ada on the floor which she occasionally picks to take ada to offer Maveli. How could she do all for rituals all alone, I wonder now. But then, I hardly cared.

Now when I look at myself as a mother, I refuse to take all the burden alone. I wake them up and ask them to accompany me. We do the welcome call (aarpoo irroo). And I make myself believe that they enjoyed it too because unlike my mother my sole aim is not the happiness of others around me. I want to take care of my happiness and peace as well.

The onam sadya

As I look back, I think of those Onam days when we all sat together and had sadya which our mother made. Later it changed to pre-ordered Sadya that would reach our doorsteps. I used to despise my mother for being lazy and just enjoying the day unlike my friends’ mothers who used to toil inside the kitchen. I conveniently forgot those onam days when she used to cook from dawn.
Some onam days we didn’t have celebrations as some of our loved ones passed away. There was one onam when my mother was away and my father and I had silent sadya together. Needless to say, pre ordered one. Because when it comes to me, my self care matters.

Role reversal

And then I got married and since then I have been doing the pookalam and welcoming Maveli (ethirelkal), along with my better half. Then the participant numbers slowly came up and now we have a bunch of 5 hyperactive lots to call Aarppoo Irrooo ( the welcome call to Maveli.)As I said before, I am that mother who doesn’t believe in sacrificing alone.

There was onam during COVID when we just wanted to see another Onam and nothing else. No new clothes, no pookalam, no celebrations. Year’s down the lane, we all forgot those times as well and go on with our celebrations despite all odds because this is one day that we celebrate irrespective of caste, creed and region.
Looking back I have nothing but gratitude for all the good and bad Onam days that went by. I hope you all had a wonderful onam too.
What is your Onam memory?

This post was created for the Blogaberry Creative (Monthly) Challenge.

This post is also a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023