Today is Vishu, the new year of the Malayalis in Kerala.
Born in faraway Dar es salaam, Tanzania we embraced our culture more fervently than the Keralites in Kerala, so much so that decades later whilst cultures in respective native places softened and embraced other cultural influences, we found ours in foreign lands harsher and more stringent. It was the same with the Gujaratis, the Mangalorean and Goan Christians and any from the South who were collectively known as the Madrasis.
The night before Vishu on the 15th of April, mother assembled all the bounties that we should see when we open our eyes first thing in the morning. Almost everything was an auspicious yellow, the color of gold. There was the representative gold bangles, necklaces and tiny gold coins and fruits like the banana, watermelon and jackfruit, as well as small caskets of a variety of rice grains.
In the centre stood Lord Krishna with his naughty gait playing the flute.
Around all this was a fair sprinkling of the golden yellow Indian Laburnum flowers also called the Kani-konna that is auspiciously connected with this celebration.
Mum and Dad were always in the traditional off-white clothes with gold borders.
We were woken up at 5am and led in with Mother’s palms placed over our eyes in hushed silence to the VishuKani assemblage.
When she opened our eyes we witnessed in the glowing lamp an almost spiritual sight that promised us an abundance of wealth, food and joy throughout the year. She then chanted a short bhajan and allowed us to go back to bed.
Decades have passed since she left me and yet I cannot disconnect with this wonderful auspicious experience with Krishna and the laburnum flowers without a tinge of sadness as I remember Mother’s rustling soft clothes, warm comforting warmth, familiar smell and gentle hands. To me Vishu will always be about a blissful elation of being tightly and securely close to my dearest mother. #happyvishu #indianfestivals #malayali #kerala #india #celebrations #nostalgic #laburnum #mum #mother #love #sudhirramchandran
#happyvishu #indianfestivals #malayali #kerala #india #celebrations #nostalgic #laburnum #mum #mother #love #sudhirramchandran