Monday, August 20, 2007


Picture Coutrsey:Internet
onam always bring a pookkalam(array of flowers in front of the house) into my mind.In my childhood we (me,my sister Parvathi and friends from neighborhood) always make large atha pookalam in our home. My parents give suggestions and support to this program.Every day we will wakeup in early morning, we have to finish the pookkalam before sunrise.We will collect the flowers in previous day itself.The flowers includeThumbappoo, Thulasippoo, Mukkutti, Chembarathi, chethi, Mantharam, gandharajan, suryakanthippoo, nanthyarvattom, rajamalli, kolambi,mulla,rose,senia, kammal, shamkhupushpam, vadamalli, jamanthi,kongini and a lot of leaves.Onam comes in Chinga masam accorging to Malayalam calender(August-senptember).The first day of Chinga masam is our new year day (Aandu pirappu means the beginning of an year)Every day is associated with a star. In chinga masam on Atham nakshtram(atham star) we will start to prepare pookkalam in front of our home. This is to welcome Mahabali -the idealking of Kerala. First we will clean the yard (mittom) and spread the surface with Chanakam(cow dung). Chanakam is condidered to remove all the impurities and the flowers will stick to it. At first the basement is with chanakam then a ball is made with chanakam and placed in centre of the basement.This ball is considered as Ganapathy. In Kerala to start anything, firt wewill start with ganapathy pooja. Ganapathi the elephant headed god will remove the obstacles. After that we will thumbappoo and thulasippooon top of the ball and then spread the flowers in circles. For 10 daysthis routine will continue. For each day a new circle will be added to the pookkalam. We may also do designer pookkalam(different shapes).Last day isthiruvonam. On this day Ada(made with rice powder and coconut)is given to Thrikkakkara Appan.This ritual brings a positive energy in the early morning. The fragrance of flowers and the sharing of thoughts ....Every thing was very nice...Whenever I hear athapookkalam I still remember the pookkalam in front of my home with all its purity. It is really an art to spread the flowers in such a lovely way..According to my opinion these positive thoughts are the blessings of Maveli.
Today Pookkalam is made with the flowers coming from Tamil nadu. The Malayali suffocating in small plots have to find yet another space to make pookkalm.So my children may remember the Onam with Exhibitions, shopping carnivals and a time to spend most of the time in front of the Television.

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