That morning was exceptionally beautiful. The nature was charmingly bordered with fog. The tiny globs of water gave life to the little flowers. I wondered why I never got to see these delightful sights. Was it the morning sun spreading the magic? I suppose not. I never used to get up so early and lounge around in the courtyard enjoying nature’s beauty. It really was fabulous.
Birds were chirping and I could hear some old music being played from a nearby house. Yes, I knew it was from Anju’s house. Anju is my childhood friend. We had decided to meet at temple at sharp 8 AM. It was already 7 AM. Where are these folks, I wondered.
“Sis” Ammu called out from a distance.
“Shall we?” she asked.
” How long will you guys keep me waiting? Where are the rest?” I freaked out.
“We are here ” Radhu and Renu said in a chorus.
“Deeps ( my Sis) will be reaching soon. I got to meet Anju at the temple at 8. I will have to run errands. Can we make it fast for god’s sake?” I was flusterred.
” You and your friend. You only have time for her. Why can’t you be with us? JUST US?” Ammu started off with her usual complaints.
” I need my friends too.” Now that was mean. I know.
” I meant she is our family friend. How can I neglect her?” I started blabbering.
” Whatever. Now let’s get to our feet ” Radhu ordered.
Renu was as usual pleasant and quiet.
” Where’s Gopu?” I enquired.
Gopu is Ammus brother. And all of them my cousins.
” He went to temple with dad” Ammu said.
” Now that’s like a good boy. Look what we are upto. Plucking flowers. When will we get the flower carpet done? When will I reach temple?” I started screaming again.
Moments later we were at home doing the Pookkalam. A quick visit to each house was a part of the routine. Done with it, and we were off to temple at sharp 8.
Anju was waiting for us at the entrance. We always spoke as if we were meeting for the last time So many informations and news to share at one stretch. Finally when i knew i was getting late, dashed home waving her goodbye.
” Oh they are here already” I heard Ammu shouting.
I ran inside to see my sister.
“Hey Deeps. When did u guys reach?” I enquired.
” Just now. Hows your day so far?” She asked.
” Nice. Infact awesome!” I replied.
Yes it really was such a great day.
By noon, almost everyone joined us and we had a great family re union.
The taste of the sumptuous meal prepared my mom and aunts still linger in my mouth.
Games, songs, dances were all part of the festival.
Family and relatives are the best blessings one can have!
All the laughters and fun echoed in our houses.
Finally when it dawned, everyone waved goodbye and the day ended with a warm feeling of belonging and we looked forward to meeting them for the next festival.
Now it is exactly that feeling I’m missing. The feeling of belonging. My family, my friends, my country. I miss everything.
But still I try to celebrate our wonderful Onam with the reminiscences of the past. I would do whatever i can to make it happen . Cos, I believe my son would never get a chance to celebrate it like how we used to. For him, I will make it happen! Now I’m blessed with a small family- my husband and son. For them, I will make it happen!
Wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous Onam!!