Sunday, August 26, 2012

Onam-The Kerala festival of opulance

SreeNair | 5:01 AM | |
               Onam the festival of secular Kerala which otherwise would evoke wistful memories of flower-decked-yards,family confluence,enchanting feasts has now given way to another "Grand Kerala Shopping Festival". The lingo,the rhythm and symbols have nuanced to a quiet unfamiliar tinge of alienation,to a new cult altogether and in to a whole different ball game.Onam has now meta morphed in to a despicable,intriguing and a much hyped video game of the media.

                The ever shrinking membership in the family have done much harm to the pleasure of the festivity. Many spunky and fabulous mansions have now turned in to a much-too-spacy sleeping bags for the sequestered and desolate new grandmas and grandpas glued to the sedate interiors. Onam greetings have confined to a short phonic-hello to the grand children ,the diaspora in Arabia. Sadly a lot of Malayalees have long lost Onam in his homestead.                    Yet Onam is a daunting presence in the Keralites conscience.With all the intimidating transformations in the changing world ,where ever he is, Onam is a fond binding to his family.It is the sentiment woven in to his persona with the strands of anxiety,aspiration,expectations and exaltation's.
                   Onam is an occasion to reclaim the lost virtues of life. Though quixotic,yet It is the exposure of the subconscious desire to re-enact the bygone saga of agathism depicted in the myth bound to the festival.
                The festivity reads out aloud the malayalee psyche which bemoans the yester years that lived in the folklore in which Mahabali was the emperor of the region. In that golden era all were equal and one.There were no adultery, no deceit ,not an iota of perjury,no high handedness,no polemics.Everyone lived in perfect harmony, peace and equanimity.The myth goes that the Devas who were antagonised by the way Mahabali ,the Asura king ruled the land ,felt insane and smelt a potential adversary in him,connived with the Mahavishnu and finally Mahabali was sent to the other world by Vamana the avatar of MahaVishnu. However he was allowed with a one-day parole to visit his land once in a year.The yearly visit of Mahabali to his beloved citizens brings in fervent excitement and is a family get together by the Keralites. The visit is celebrated as Thiru Onam where ever Malayalee is there.
              The perception that the"inequality between the haves and have nots is unethical"was inane in the blood of Keralites. The ideology of aligning with the politics of the poor was not forced on to them.Sri.Jayakumar the noted poet-writer cum top bureaucrat of Kerala writes that "the cognizance that was inherent was only redoubled by the ideologies migrated from foreign countries. We have bequeathed the progressive idea that ' education,property and shelter are the basic rights of all' from this historic precinct." The principles of equality were generic and can be traced back to the mythical era and is engraved in the Malayalle psyche.
               The ruler is central to the definition of the welfare state.The experience of a glaring administrator who lived up to his people is inveterate in every Keralites mind.This had emboldened him to finger wag on every slight aberrations and frailties of those in power.That is why transparency in governance,unlike in any other state , has attracted much attention in Kerala.
                   Onam has its life in the opulence.In other words it is a festival of harvest. It is in this season  the granaries are welled up, repositories get filled.There is an ecological idea ingrained in it. Life will be meaningful when the nature propitiates.We can sea   our predecessors who stood with their hands clasped with thankful hearts before the wast kindness of nature.
                  Onam is not just a festival to a Keralite.This is not a celebration in the captivity of new fads and familiar patterns.Onam shapes the conscious and unconscious mind, the social persona of the Keralite , his daily attitudes to life. It in effect formulates his political values. Onam defines him.
 

1 comment:

  1. Kerala is a place with many good destinations to visit and enjoy the vacation. India Tourism provides many opportunities to see all the natural beauty in India. In Kerala Tourism tourist will get all the opportunities to see the Kerala destinations like backwaters, houseboats, temples, etc.

    ReplyDelete

Leave a commend here