How I miss the Onam celebration forty years ago when I was away from KeralaToday is Onam-the largest festival for Keralites and Malayalis residing anywhere in this world.
If I can take liberty to coin a new word to describe Onam celebrations then I may say Omnicelebrated-celebrated by every Keralite all over the world.
Though every one will have some nostalgic feeling of one's native place and being there, about Onam celenbrations I always remember with nostalgia the one we had celebrated forty years ago when I was not in Kerala residing some two thousand kilometres away, in another state.
I was in my early twenties and had just joined my job. I had been staying in a township like colony –staff quarters of a government sector organisation. As the project has just been commissioned, many of us were freshers, in our first job and first time so much away from home and native place. Naturally we felt very much homesick.
However at the end of the day on that Onam I felt that I was more at home than I could have if I was in my native home.
We all started planning and preparing for the festival many days before. There was no formal organisation leading it, but all was voluntary effort. Some were preparing for the cultural activities, some for the OnaSadya(grand feast for Onam). Every one from the top most executive to the latest joined employee were on the ground doing some or other activity for the festival celebration. Pooling resources, cleaning and cutting vegetables, cooking, serving and cleaning- everything was done shared and well delegated all taking up voluntary responsibilities.
It was a real enjoyment, a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood, a commonness.
When I see now the advertisement of Onam feast and price for parcel Sadya, and price of per litre 'Payasam',-indicating a 'purchased Onasady' I feel a sense of loss and nostalgia about that festival celebration forty years ago. That day our Onam was a real festivity with full involvement of everyone head,hands and heart. I miss that Onam celebration eventhough many more Onam days have come and gone.
The love towards home and family and nativity becomes more when we are away from them. I feel the Non-residents know this better.