Sunday, April 22, 2007

Vishu 2007

Another Vishu. What was special about this year’s Vishu was that our son was with us to celebrate Vishu.

Though Vishu is the new year day for Malayalees, Tamilians, people of the North eastern states of India and also the Punjabis, this year (as in many other years), all the other people except Malayalees, celebrated their new year day on the 14th and the Malayalees celebrated it on the 15th April. That was because the Mesha Sanakramam or the time at which the sun entered the Mesha rasi was at 11.40 am on the 14th. The Vishu Kani is seen on the morning after the Mesha Snakramam, Hence, though April 14th was 1st of Mesha masa, This year the Vishu Kani was seen on the 15th morning.

The year that was born on the 14th is named Sarvajith. There are 60 years starting with Prabhava according to Hindu Astrological science.

As usual, we had the Vishukani in the morning. From early morning on Vishu, I had a very bad throat and by breakfast time, it developed into very bad bronchitis and I was feeling so exhausted I had to drop the idea of making a grand feast with Chakka Pradhaman. I had been looking forward to this since our son was with us. But both the son and father insisted that I shouldn’t overstrain myself and we had a simple lunch of Manga Koottan, Kootu and Palpayasam instead.

While almost all the other Indian states celebrate Diwali with crackers, Kerala has crackers during Vishu. Cracker shops would sprout even in the remotest of villages a couple of days before Vishu. Usually schools start their summer vacation from the 1st of April and hence children are at their leisure.

When we were growing up we could buy a big bag of crackers for just Re 1. A day prior to Vishu, Kalathappa (our grandfather) would give us 4 annas (25 paise) each to buy crackers. We would emotionally blackmail Echiyamma (our grandmother) to part with another 4 annas and the three of us (my sister, my cousin and I) would have in total Rs 1.50. This firmly in hand, we would march to the market. Before we left, Kalathappa would say, “don’t forget the “malapadakkam” for the kandam. This meant, ½ anna would go for that. Anyway, we would come back with a bag full of colormatches and sparklers and flowerpots and very few bursting crackers. Back home, we would divide our shopping and dry them in the sun separately. On vishu morning, after seeing the Kani, we would start bursting our crackers. On vishu morning, we would again be richer by Rs0.50, got as Kaineettam from Kalathappa and Echiyamma. So we would do one more round of the market to get some more crackers for the evening.

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