Forgotten Onam

Forgotten Onam

Suddenly the streets look so narrow
Jamming brakes and howling horns
The roads, if they could feel or pray
Would they do so, just to vanish into thin air

The houses are locked and in dark
All are out, in the cities, unlike old days
There are so much celebrations – bazars,
Malls, shows and Lo!, Discounts and offers

Before there were holidays , all would
Lock city homes and reach villages
Their home, where their roots were
Where the elders were or their memories

In those days the village ground will be
Trampled by many a little feet, the air will be
Filled with loud laughter and screams
And the traditional colourful pookkalams

Men and women work together
The kitchen will grow to the other
Parts of the house, having many
Enjoying the onam-making a grand way

The flow, now, is just the opposite
Towards towns they go, locking
Homes, searching modern ways
Of celebrations and entertainments

No family get-together, no home-made
Onam celebrations, all with modern gadgets,
Seek readymade happiness, out in the malls,
Stadiums or stages, and ofcourse in hotels

No home grown onam- flowers like before
Oh! They do buy flowers from the market
To put pookkalam to participate in competitions,
Not to put in front of the house, for Maveli

The houses are feeling lonely and abandoned
They are not home where lives used to dance
They suddenly become mere stones and woods,
Lifeless and meaningless , and long dead

Even Maveli walks past house-gates, towards
Malls, where they put daily pookkalam(!)
Where there are (readymade) laughter(!)
Where there is (readymade) Onam(!)

Sons and daughters send onakkody
To their parents via flipkart or amazon
Wouldn’t it be better for the parents too
Download kids from their dreams!

Grow them in dreams, instead of all
Those struggles they had been through
Forgetting even to live for themselves
Forgetting to eat and sleep, and to … !!

(Note for those who don’t know about Onam :
Onam is a festival for all in Kerala, the south Indian State. King Maveli , it says, comes to visit His kingdom during Onam days. To welcome him people decorate the front of their houses with pookkalam (flower decoration) and celebrate these days in the traditional way, wearing new clothes and making onasadya – rice with lots of curries and sweet etc. Giving new cloths to elders in the family is a traditional way of showing love and respect. In old days all would gather in the family home to celebrate onam.)
Sarala

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