Akkachi was cleaning the dishes after lunch and singing
“uthradathinte annu
“what song is that Akkachi?”
“It is an onam song Nina”
“What does it mean?”
“It means on the day of Uthradam after lunch, all the women will be busy in Kerala, getting everything ready for the next day, to celebrate Onam”
“So what are we going to do for Onam tomorrow?”
“What do you mean nothing?”
“Your mother said, Since Appa is not with us this year, we are not celebrating onam”
“That is not fair, Akkachi. Everybody celebrates onam”
“Akkachi, where did Amma go this morning?”
“don’t know Nina, She told me, she is going’just over there’ and be back soon”
“May be she is gone to buy all the ingredients for the Onam Sadya, If we don’t celebrate onam, then Mahabeli won’t visit our house.”

“Akkachi, why don’t you go to your house for onam? won’t your mother wait for you?”
“I can’t go home Nina”
“Why not”
cigarattuvali arogyathinu hannekaram
veedukal manathinnu haneekaram” (cigarette smoking is injurious to health and home is injurious to one’s reputation)
“Why do you say that?”
“Because that is the truth”
“Where is your father Akkachi?”
“Nina, sometimes where or who gets swallowed by why?”
“What, what do you mean Akkachi?”
“Nina, it is n’t who is your father, or where he is that matters.. It is why?”
“Why, what Akkachi?”
“You will understand one day Nina”

I had no idea, what Akkachi was trying to say. How can going to one’s own home can be so bad? And what was she trying to tell me about her father?
“Akkachi, don’t you miss your mother?”
“No, Nina I don’t”
“How come?”
“Nina, I am happy here and that is all that matters, Right?”
My idea of family was different. In my family, father and mother lives happily with their children. We celebrate all the festivals. But in my house, there is something wrong. Even Akkachi don’t want to go back home to celebrate onam with her mother. Then I remembered Ammachi. I know she would be waiting for me sitting on the veranda, asking Chakki every few minutes, ‘Did you hear the bus stopping at the junction?’. At that moment I was angry with Ammachi. If she and Amma could get along like normal people, we wouldn’t have had to go through all these. Here I am talking to Akkachi, on the eve of onam, when even the poorest person will be getting ready to celebrate onam, we are cleaning empty, dirty dishes.
“No, Akkachi, we are going to celebrate onam.”
“Nina, there are only 2 potatoes and some dal. We can’t make any sadya with that.”
“We can Akkachi and we will”
“Kochumaharani, even Christ needed 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread, we only have 2 potatoes”
“My disciple, if only thou had faith as big as the mustard seed!”
“So what is royal higness planning to do?”
“We make sambar with the potatoes”
“So we are having sambar ona sadya?”
Aiyyo, ente Akkachi, wait, let me think.
“We have some unripe bananas in the thicket right? We will make thoran with banana, we will make some rasam and fry pappadam and we have an ona sadya.”
“Kochumaharani, there is one small problem?”
“I don’t know how to climb the coconut tree. we don’t have any coconut here.”
I was getting really frustrated and I muttered
“All this is the fault of Ammachi, She should have raised her son well, none of this would have happend if she did just that”
I was sorry the moment I uttered that sentence. I know how much Ammachi struggled to raise her children.
“Never mind Akkachi, we won’t celebrate onam”. I walked to my room.

15 thoughts on “Onam..

  1. hmmmm.Even I find myself shunning the thought of home everytime I think of returning,I feel utter dread…sometimes like akkachi,we are best placed in the places where we really find true happiness and peace of mind

  2. not celebrating festivals….thats too bad…I remember when I was four or five, a relative died just a week before Diwali….and i just kept asking why he couldnt wait for another week…

  3. it’s almost lunch time.. and here i’m reading abt ona sadya ‘n feelig all the more hungry..during chidhood times, used to wait for festivals , so that i can play with cousins & hog all tasty food…

  4. Thanu: hope u hd a super trip

    Lg: It is true

    neverland: thank you for visiting my blog. All the previous posts are related to this

    Maya: for some people.. home is the best place.. for other..it is a place to escape from

    Jac: onam is never sad..

    Sujit: and the excuses people come up with.. not to celebrate!!!

    Starrynights: I realized from very young that we do have an option to be happy..

    Silverine: you won’t believe.. Akkachi’s mother worked in a royal family..

    Neihal: I never understood the concept of depriving the living the happiness, because someone couldn’t be part of it..

    Flyaway mind: Some how, whereever you are.. whn you read abt onam and sadya.. it takes you back to Kerala.. to home

    Saroj: True.. very true.. festivals should be celbrated..

    Dew drops: oh you impatient one.. come to Canaada.. help me, take care of the three monsters.. and I will promise you.. longer posts

    Rose: Oh!..now I don’t know what to say..

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