Onam

21st August 2021 Dr. Beena Devi

Hello everyone. Today is Onam. I wish those celebrating a Very Happy Onam, more so because of our challenging time. Onam is when families unite for the festive occasion.

Onam is celebrated in Kerala as a harvest festival after the monsoon or the terribly wet season. It is a rather dismal period during the monsoon as the rains are relentless. The clothes do not dry and, there is this sense of pervasive wetness. Generally, you can only see grey skies and hear the constant rain. Now, the story of Onam has another version. It is associated with King Mahabali. During his rule, the people were prosperous. However, the Gods in the three worlds resented that King Mahabali took control of their worlds. So, he was tricked into giving away the three worlds. However, as he was loved by his people, he was allowed to return yearly. Hence, Onam is celebrated as part of his homecoming😊. Now there is more to the story than what I have described here:).

Traditionally, there is this big feast with more than 60 dishes prepared by women ahead of the occasion.  Families congregate for the BIG lunch. Early in the morning, the women prepare the flower carpets with fresh flowers. There are done with intricate designs. Besides, there are boat races, tiger (men painted as tigers) shows, and other entertainment during this festival of ten days. I used to be scared of the tiger shows 😊. Children will get new clothes and cash. By the way, it is celebrated by people of all faith. That is an interesting aspect in present times where inclusiveness is not fashionable.

What is unique about today’s painting is I used a considerable amount of wet-on-wet technique to get that misty appearance. I thought it is strange that I kind of rehashed the monsoon wetness into my painting. In addition, I sprinkled salt to create the bloom effect. Now bloom happens after the rain, isn’t it? Painting my two girls was not easy. But I am happy with the outcome. In this picture, my two girls are illustrated as part of my family😊😊. Now that is unique as pets are usually not included in a family portrait. However, I feel pets are family even in celebration😊. Would you agree? Or not?

I had no plans to write about Onam. My painting was impromptu as I needed to send out Onam greetings to family and friends. Hence, I thought, why not muse about Onam😊. Till the next musing, stay safe. Bye for now😊.

3 thoughts on “Onam

  1. Beauty of Kerala in the rains is unsurpassable😊 I’m hungry for Sadya now!
    Cannot stop smiling at your painting, especially at Mika and Zara’s expressions😂

  2. Love the painting and totally agree that our fur kids should be included in family portraits. There are so many Indian festivals like Holi, Dussehra, Navrati etc and many of these are practiced by our communities here. Really enjoyed reading about Onam and your painting is priceless ❤️

    1. Hi Nikki

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Onam. Yes, festivals are always memorable as it is a time for families to gather. I hope you would contribute your stories to this website.

      Thanks
      Beena

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