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The tradition continues

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Jayashree Mahesh reminisces on what Vishu means to her

When I think of the festival ‘Vishu’, the image of the golden blossom of flowers in this season called Konnapoovu (Cassia Fistula or golden rain tree) comes to my mind and the sweet melody of the popular Malayalam devotional song Kani Kaanum Neram describing Lord Vishnu in the avataar of Lord Krishna lingers on.

My earliest or childhood memories of Vishu are of being woken up at dawn or early hours to view the Vishukani, the first thing you see on this day for an auspicious and prosperous beginning to the new year. The Vishukani is a beautiful arrangement of rice, golden cucumber, jackfruit, money, gold and silver items, a metal mirror (Valkannadi), Konnapoovu in a circular, shallow brass or copper vessel called 'Urali' along with an image or idol of Lord Krishna placed in the centre with an oil lamp (Vilakku) set and lit by one of the elders in the family. I would then wait with my brother and cousins to receive the Vishukainittam from our elders (tradition of elders giving money to younger family members). Those days it would be `10 or `20 from an elder in the form of coins or crisp notes as compared to today's lavish 100s and 500s meted out but it would bring a lot of joy and always suffice as loads of pocket money to buy samosas and those coloured pepsi-colas.

Vishu also meant wearing new clothes or the set mundu (traditional Kerala saree), visiting temples with my aunts, wishing family and friends and enjoying the 'Sadhya' (traditional feast on plantain leaves).For me, most of the tradition  continues after marriage and my Vishu day sums up with an evening visit to my grandma and parents.

Meda Ponnanniyum Konna Pookanniyayi......

Ente Vishu Ashamsakal or a Happy Vishu to all of you.

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