If given an opportunity to travel back to those days as Kid to celebrate Onam I would graciously accept the opportunity with open hands , Yes for all , days, when we were young, are the most wonderful periods of our life. The same applies to all Malayalees back home .Those days are simply awesome the best cherished moments are the build up to the celebration ,cleaning the house ,whitewashing walls , elders of our house preparing well to welcome the Onam with all its fervour and flavor, Designing pookalem by collecting flowers from nearby . Buying new clothes for the entire family , preparing Onam feast at home , family members jointly congregating at their ancestral home or under one common roof , the smell of the paddy straw just after the harvest fills the air around us with attractive aroma , preparing the rice harvested from the field , Different type of pickles made with mangoes and ginger , Banana Chips and “Sarkara varatty” makes the Onam Sadhya a complete feast if served on neatly cut plantain leaf from our backyard . Frankly, I miss those days of Onam badly , wish if I have a time machine with me I would have definitely travelled back to those old days which is still fresh with sweet memories in the deepest corner of my mind . If you I do a reality check now, those days are the best days of my life .
Onam feast is so instant today just like a fast food or Takeaway.
The present generation Onam really symbolizes the true mark of brand consumerism ,shopping malls queuing one after the another to offer too many products be it mobile phones , consumer durables , Apartments and much more it is full of brands offering discounts , gifts, and lucky draws . The market-driven economy has slowly changed the contours of Onam , rather manufacturers see this an opportunity to woo the consumers to buy their new products which society anymore cannot resist. Advertisement campaigns in media both visual and audio is full of offers , lucky draws and bumper prizes . Most interesting thing doing rounds are the various catering services offering ready made feasts with different flavours of payasam .So today everything becomes so instantaneous , the hustle and bustle of preparing Onam feast have already missed from the majority of the households.
Changing times changed the way we celebrate Onam.
I think the significance of Onam lies in days of harvesting , the exhibition of traditional art forms has lost its sheen at present, no one has the time to promote the art forms or majority of them are ill-informed about its origin. Change from an agrarian economy to a consumer driven economy is one of the fine achievement every Malayalis should be proud of . The paddy fields and cultivation have become a thing of the past , As an icing on the cake self-centric & materialistic nature of the society made the situation far worse . than ever before .Things have attained sea of change from what it was 20 or 30 years back. The mythological significance of Onam remembering great king Mahabali just now remains only in the history books , but nobody in today’s time bothers to rekindle those good virtues which Mahabali stood for . The young generation has lost sight of the significance of Onam in our socio-political landscape of Kerala. I am sure in next 10 years young kids would just treat Onam as just another occasion to celebrate without knowing the true underlying spirit of Onam. The changes in lifestyle from joint family system to more concentrated nuclear family culture played a great part in destroying true ethos of Onam as a cultural festival of Kerala.