Paloma at home: A week of sadhya and sari loving for Onam!
It’s hilarious how FOMO can be such a driving force and I had a serious case of it this week with pictures of yummy food spread across banana leaves, all over social media. My shock that we’re already in September was eclipsed by my desire to eat some home-cooked Onam sadhya and prance around in a traditional sari. But it looks like ‘going out’ was replaced by ‘ordering in’ this year, as I chatted with a few lovely ladies whose outfits caught my eye. And despite the limitations that the current scenario has presented, it’s wonderful to see people put a positive spin on things and celebrate in their own way.
Prakruthi Anant says that Onam is all about abundance and sharing, inviting close friends and family home for a hearty meal. Because of COVID, it was a smaller gathering this year with people she’s met more recently on work. And for those who couldn’t make it, dabbas with delicious homemade Onam sadhya, complete with banana leaves, were delivered to their doorstep. She was also extra proud of their beautiful pookolam, enough to make her paati proud.
Sher Jon, who posted a lovely photo with her daughter and daughter-in-law, laughed about how COVID wasn’t about to dampen their spirit of celebration. “My son had a COVID wedding in April,” she recalls. Being a native of Kanyakumari, Sher always had a strong bond with anything Kerala. From the beauty of God's own country and its traditions, to the amazing cuisine. “I celebrate all Indian festivals and Onam has been my all-time favorite. I make it a point to buy a new Mundum Neriyathum (the traditional Kerala two-piece sari) and I meet up with friends and go for sadhya in a good restaurant. This year, we made it a point to dress up and ordered tasty sadhya from Knock Out Rusi and it was delivered home.”
For Minnie Menon, this Onam was different because they did not have a traditional Onam sadhya that they normally order in. She says “Instead, we rustled up a simple South Indian veg lunch with trimmings like banana and jackfruit chips. My new Nepali cook acquitted himself well with a delicious semiya payasam’”. Asking Minnie about her unique sari, she tells me it’s a modern Kerala handloom sari from Chendamangalam.
And in the spirit of this beautiful festival, I think we’ve learnt that we can find joy in the simplest of things and it’s so important to share what we have. So let’s be more mindful as we go into ‘unlock’ mode, and as always, stay safe. Here’s to salvaging the last quarter of 2020.