Thursday, September 07, 2006
Another year, another Thiruvonam. In Kerala, there is a popular saying "I have eaten more Onam than you," to indicate one's seniority in age. Each Thiruvonam brings nostalgic memories of the Onam spent in Kerala during our childhood. We used to go out in the evenings searching the countryside for flowers and flowerbuds (we would put them in water so that they would blossom the next day). In the morning, we would collect the flowers from our own garden and those from the roadside fences. There were plenty of creepers on the fences with flowers of different hues. We would get up quite early, so that we would reach there before everyone else. Thankfully, to this day we have flowers in our own garden for the "pookalam." We used to get some flowers from the gardens on the road dividers on the ring roads, on our morning walk till a couple of years ago. Now there are only concrete dividers with iron grills. Beautifying the city!
We had a very busy morning, collecting flowers, making the pookalam, preparing the lunch, keeping the house ready for our guest. We prepared Sambar, kalan, aviyal, erissery, pachadi, puliinji, upperi, pappadam and payasam (rice and dal in coconut milk and jaggery). Our guest arrived early and he enjoyed the food. "The payasam was delicious," he said. My father used to like this payasam very much also, he said. (He is 78 years old, our guest, not his father).