The ten-day-long ‘ONAM’ happens to be the most important festival in Kerala, one of the southern states in India. It symbolizes abundance and not beyond the reach of the poor, for all that matters is flowers of all colors and sizes, available in abundance all over Kerala. if at all there is some sort of competition, it is in gathering the small white flower called Thumbapoo. The responsibility of gathering these white flowers are ‘thrust’ on boys and girls and the rest is taken care of by the adults. The flowers thus collected are decorated on a small area in front of every house . In short, it is an exhibition of artistic skills of kids and elders.
The climax is on the 10th day when every one wears new clothes which are simple and attractive. The requirements of the poor and down-trodden are taken care of by the rich and the middle class citizens of the state.
There is a sort of serene beauty in the form of songs and dances which are unique in the state.
Memories flood back and I forget for a moment that I am miles away from Kerala. I heard that things have changed a lot and the main items like flowers are made available in flower markets. Gone are the days when it was pleasure to gather flowers from every nook and corner.