The nostalgic memories of my childhood days Onam came rushing into my mind as I helped my niece to make the pookalam.We used to wait for the Atham day to start collecting various flowers to make beautiful pookalams. It was a time of great thrill and excitement. By 4.30 a.m we used to get out of our beds without making any noise and rush to the garden to pluck the flowers.
Each one of us used to return with handful of flowers, sometimes lapful of flowers, to sit in circle and make the best pookalams, fighting each other as to the order of flowers in the pookalam. Once the pookalam is complete, we used to run to our cousins' houses to compare their pookalams with ours, and to make suitable comments. Sometimes we even exchange the flowers with them. When our parents look for us none of us would be available at home, as we were deeply involved in our pookalam art work. This fun used to go on until the Thiruvonam day. When our father used to make Thrikkakarappan with mud and other muddy sculptures for Onam each one of us try our hands in making those muddy sculptures, until we get enough scoldings from our parents.
Onam Breakfast used to be another scene where we wanted to participate in making the Ada, and cutting the nethrapazham, for steaming.
The previous night of Onam, the Uthradam night, we all used to wait for the pulluvan songs. The pulluvan couple used to visit each house in the Uthradam night and sing songs for the head of the family and if requested on other member's name also. On return we will give them Onam presents by way of cash, rice and clothes.
On Thiruvonam day,, after the sumptous meal with all the members of the family, some came from far and near, we all go out to play Oonjal and Kaikkottikkali. Those who can, would go out to enjoy the Vallomkali.
Those were the happiest days of joy and excitement of not only the whole family, but also of the whole society and the whole village.