Hari Shanker R

Hari Shanker R

A Happiness Engineer at Automattic.

An Onam well-spent…

Ever since I’d started a blog, I’ve been toying with this idea of doing a photojournal on something. Even though I was a Photography-freak, I didn’t have a camera of my own! Besides studies kept me busy. Now that I’ve got plenty of time at disposal, and a Kodak EasyShare z650 Digital Camera for myself, I decided to put up a few shots I had taken couple of months back, during Onam. I know it’s too late to post an Onam photojournal now. But I’ve been postponing the task for a long time. Better late than never!

This Onam was very special to me, since it was a reunion of my maternal family. All my uncles, cousins, & second cousins settled around the globe, in places ranging from Bangalore to Toronto dutifully took leave from their high-flying jobs and hopped onto 707s to reach my native place (place called Kunnikkode, between Kottarakkara in Punalur in Kollam District) just in time. All of them tired of the sky-high aspirations of city-life ere ready for a welcome warmth of the countryside. And they did enjoy it to the fullest!

Contrary to my routine, I woke up early in the morn, on the Thiruvonam day. After a quick bath, I donned my Onakkodi: A Park Avenue Shirt and A mundu. Half-appreciating myself for adapting to the mundu so fast, I went down, only to see my Cousin sisters crouching on the mosaic floor in the verandah of the house, making a Pookkalam! It was pretty impressive, considering the fact that its Chief designer was actually born & brought up at Canada!(She speaks kick-ass thara malayalam with a slight Trivandrum accent, btw). Though It was I who put forth the pookalam idea a few days back, I’d never expected them to be so excited about it. It was one of the best pookalams I’d ever seen…

For starters, we decided to avoid TV for the day. Since all the ‘adults’ didn’t do anything special for onam, we decided to freak out a bit. After an hour of tree-climbing we managed to put up an amateurish oonjaal. But no one would dare swing on it! (As a matter of fact, none in our horde weighed less than 60 kilos!) By now, the inspired-enthusiasm of the morning had worn out. Many of us realized lately that, It was exactly the time for a nice movie. And, everyone cozily settled down before the Home Theatre watching the DVD of Rang De Basanti my Bangalore-waali cousin had shopped on a bargain from Music World. I was left tired, by the tree-climbing experience & terribly depressed. Onam meant nothing but 3 holidays when a mallu is supposed to eat packaged junk food renamed sadya!

I had to rethink when it was time for the Sadya. The assembled 40-odd guests sat cross-legged, ceremonially around the wide dining room with vazha ila’s placed in front. The sadya was the most eventful part of this year’s onam. It was a welcome relief. Everything was spic ‘n’ span, thanks to my Grandma, who also doubles as one of the best cooks in the world! Everything from parippu & Pappadam to sambhar were awesome. The vermicelly payasam was icing on the cake.

Finally it was time for the Photo-session! Armed with 5 cameras (of every model from Kodak to Nikon), we took snaps of everyone present. Countless 640×480 videos were shot until our memory cards & batteries were famished. I alone took a mammoth 423 photos & 3 videos in my 256 card & a borrowed 512 card. My favourite was the Group photo, which has just arrived from the printer’s elegant & beautifully framed. After a long time, since our 11th standard excursion, I enjoyed down to my heart!

Deprived of all energy we finally settled for the telly & caught the final scenes from the Onam flicks on TV(despite our resolution against that) and had a sound sleep reliving every moment of one of the most eventful days we’ve ever had…

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