Onam is here and I am feeling nostalgic. It's Smera's first and has triggered many a childhood memories for me. Growing up, Onam was the biggest celebration of the year, much like Eid here or Christmas in the west. The foodie that I am, most of my childhood Onam memories are around the sumptuous ‘sadya’ (feast) on the Onam day.
Many of you know the story of Onam, but those who don't and for those who need a refresher, here is a summary.
My home state of Kerala used to be ruled by a demon named Mahabali. Yeah you read it right, demon - they are supposed to be bad people but Mahabali was an exception. Kerala was prosperous, peaceful and harmonious under his rule. His regime was so good that even Gods, felt threatened by the growing popularity of this ruler from the dark side. So much so, they devised a cunning plan to overthrow him.
They send the master of disguise, Vishnu dressed up as a sage. Being the generous person Mahabali was, he played straight into their hands. The story goes, Mahabali agreed to a request of 3 feet of land for the ‘sage’ to meditate. Soon sage turned to a mega-monster and covered sea and land in 2 steps and had nowhere to take the third step.
Mahabali wasn’t one to go back on his word. He asked the sage to take the next step on his head and in no time he was pushed underground, forever. Gods though, showed some mercy on him and granted permission to return to his homeland once every year to check on his people. And that day is Onam when the whole place gets decked up to welcome him.
And this Onam, I will be putting my culinary skills to test. We have invited a bunch of our friends for lunch and to celebrate Onam with us. I have been busy preparing for the task and will let you know how it goes. Here is the planned menu
PS: My 30 Day walking challenge had been progressing well; here are the stats for the last 3 days
6th Sept, 2011
7th Sept, 2011
8th Sept, 2011
Picture courtesy: www.commons.wikimedia.org