For the uninitiated:
Vishu (വിഷു ) – celebrates the beginning of a New Year in Kerala. Read this article in Wikipedia to know more.
Like all Hindu Nair families in town, Vishu is celebrated with pomp and grandeur at my place. Even my atheist dad joins in the festivities and allows himself a ‘Vishu Kani’. I’m also a great believer in Vishu, especially the ‘kani’ part. For a successful Vishu Kani you wake up early in the morning, and walk to the pooja room with eyes closed. There you open up to see the picture of Lord Krishna, basking in the glory of the lamp’s light, accompanied with the ‘Kanikkonna’ flower, fruits and the sweet smell of joss sticks. The cynosure of vishu is the ‘kai neetam’ – a ceremony where elders gift money to children/younger people in the family. And that makes Vishu the most awaited festival amongs us kids/young & jobless people! 😛
Since my mom is unwell, it was incumbent on me to set up all the ingredients for the Vishu kani the night before this Vishu (14th April). Careless guy that I am, I did things slowly and made sure that the Vishu ‘thattu’ was set up with utmost perfection. It was almost 11.30 PM when my work was done. Everyone at home were fast asleep by then. But I couldn’t bat an eyelid till 12.30, despite the best of my efforts! That was when this friend messaged me. Reminded of my old sleep-technique, I called her up. And we talked! An hour and forty five minutes later, during which I ranted meaningless crap, told half my life’s story, bitched about guys/gals I hated, and even sung a song(on her request), she could bear no more and bade goodbye. It was 2.05 AM and I still couldn’t sleep! Left with no other choice, I switched on the PC, and sifted through IMDB Top 250 movies. After scheduling some five-six movies for download, I flopped onto the bed and slept soundly.
I vaguely remember dad & mom repeatedly trying to wake me up for the Kani, but I brushed them off, impenitently muttering that I need more sleep. Five to ten minutes of effort might’ve pissed them off, for I can’t remember any further effort from their part to wake me up. Finally, I did wake up! I opened my eyes for a split second, to escape from the searing light sifting through the windows, but shut them down again for fear of polluting my ‘kani’. Slowly, gingerly, I stepped out of bed and carefully started taking measured steps downstairs, hands guarding my closed eyes.
Just as I got out of my room, a raspy female voice pepped with surprise, awe and mockery stopped me, mid-way:
“അയ്യോ! കണ്ണിനെന്തു പറ്റി?”
(OMG, What happened to your eyes?)
Shocked at the sudden, unexpected voice (which resembled the cackle of the proverbial Witch), I opened my eyes, only to my horror.
It was my servant who bore a very contorted smile on her face!
MY VISHU KANI RUINED!!!
Mustering all my calm, I closed my eyes once more and answered that I was going to see my Kani, went down and saw the beautiful sight of Lord Krishna adorned in garland, just for form’s sake, cause my Kani was already gone!
The ‘kani’ effect perhaps, I got a meagre ‘kaineetam’ of hundred bucks (and I had to put up a fight for that too!). Guess what, dad unceremoniously borrowed that from in the evening curtly mentioning that he had no change in his purse!
What a plight! 🙁