Wednesday, August 27, 2008
"Onam" is the harvest festival of Kerala and malayalees the world over celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm what ever be their religious faith. Onam is celebrated in the malayalam month of 'Chingam' which falls at the end of August or at the beginning of September.
The legend behind the 10 days of festivities is the story of how 'Mahabali' the just and righteous king of Kerala fell a victim of the jealousy of the gods --for his subjects were so happy and well cared for that they had no need for ,or forgot the almighty :-).The gods decided to set this 'wrong' right.
The gods conspired to cheat him of the kingdom and malayalees their peace and happiness.But Mahabali loved his sujects so much that he wrangled a boon from the gods---that he be allowed to come and visit his beloved people once a year --on the occasion of 'Onam'.So here we are ,doing our best to present a happy face to good old Mahabali on his annual visit.
There is a saying in malayalam "കാണം വിറ്റും ഓണം ഉണ്ണണം"(kaanam vittum onam unnnanam) ----you have to feast on onam day even if you have to sell your mortgaged land to do that! By the way the people shop during the days preceding onam, one feels that this is one adage that our people follow in letter and spirit.:-).
What ever that be -here I present a painting done in oil on canvas of women working in the rice fields of Kerala.