Happy New Year!!! :-)

Monday, April 14, 2008

I sincerely believe that posts in blogs should have some message for the people who read it. But if I want to keep updating the blog, I guess I have to just forget this feeling. I don't know when I'd be able to write something that conveys a meaningful message to people. So let me keep it a diary or a place to put down anything I like and then hope that anybody who comes across just likes it.

Today is Vishu (astronomical New year for the people of Kerala, India) and after several years, I prepared a Vishu 'Kani' (offering) at home. Vishu 'kani' is an offering which is a ritual arrangement of auspicious articles like rice, vegetables, yellow flowers, fresh linen, gold, metal mirror etc. The concept is that if you view this offering first thing in the morning on a New year day, you stay prosperous and happy throughout the year.

Yesterday, I was feeling quite guilty preparing the 'kani' because I did not have most of the mandatory items required for it. I decided to go ahead with it because a friend told me that it is the spirit that counts. And I was better off than her, because, staying in Belgium, she was planning to arrange a 'vishukkani' with candles (instead of the traditional lamp) and silk sari (instead of the traditional white linen of the Keralites) and with most of the other things missing. In the back of my mind, I still believe that if something is done, it should be done right. But I guess my daughter's thrill at being woken up and taken blindfolded to view the 'Kani' first thing in the morning kind of made it all quite worthwhile! In fact, when I explained it to her yesterday, she made me practice it with her several times!!! :)

I still remember Vishu when I was a child. 'Kani' was a big suspense because my mother used to prepare it only after I went to sleep. In the morning, opening my eyes, feeling the warmth of the lamps, and seeing the splendour of the 'kani' used to be quite a wonderful feeling. And then, all the money the elders used to give, the crackers and the sumptuous lunch in the afternoon...on the whole, Vishu was lot of fun. Only problem was that I had to get up early in the morning, and that too during the summer holidays. And my father used to insist that we have to burst crackers also before sunrise...while I would have been happy to go right back to sleep after seeing the 'kani' !!!!

Well, anyway, Happy New Year to people celebrating Vishu today! How crazy is it that we celebrate New Year thrice every year - once in January with the rest of the world, once for Vishu and once sometime in August or September which is actually the first day of the year according to the Malayalam calendar!!! :))))

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