Sep 13, 2013

Wish You All a Happy (Soggy) Onam!

All my flower-gardening efforts were mainly geared towards one purpose: starting an Onam pookkalam tradition at Karthi. For that sole reason I gathered and planted my old, native favorites,  Chemparathi, Chethi, Nanthyarvattam, Banthi, Vaadamulla, Kolambi etc. For two years the soil and weeds resisted my efforts strenuosly, but I prevailed with the help of heaps of cow manure and biogas waste water. This year, all my efforts literally bore flowers. I happily looked forward to the dawn of Atham....

And it rained... on Atham, Chithira, Chothi and has gone on raining since then!!! Here was our puny, soggy attempt for Atham in defiance to the climate...

It's no fun pulling soggy flowers off the plants, so I went for minimal damage. Well, we'll do it next year for sure!!! Meanwhile I'll find more old favorites and concentrate on growing them in this exceptionally rainy year! 

And this grainy old picture took me on a nostalgic trip down memory lane...

That's me in the middle with my cousins on either side. Now do you wonder why I want to revive this tradition? 

Meanwhile someone has come visiting at Karthi. The first thing she did was to scare me out of my wits when I opened our back door at dusk two days ago. The next morning she turned up again at my back doorstep and continually complained while I hung up the day's washing (a very optimistic endeavor in this climate - hanging up washing, that is!). I had to take pity and offer something. 

She was wary and waited till I was quite out of the way before touching the bowl of milk that I put out. Looking closely, I could see why. Her right eye and surrounding area was swollen as though she had been beaten and her long fur concealed a bag of bones. 

Well, I think she has adopted us. She came to the front porch yesterday afternoon and shamelessly asked for more food. She lapped it all up and then professed her thanks by rubbing herself against my legs. I forbade further intimacies although the kids were ready to tango with her. I wanted to make sure that she had no infectious diseases and was scared that we may further hurt her bad eye.

Anyway, the cat is a fixture on our front porch now. I give her food in our back shed, but she comes back to the front porch, sits cozily on the front mat and even knocked twice on the door in an attempt to get in. Clearly she is accustomed to domestic comforts. Since I had warned the kiddos of fleas etc., the first time she tried to leap on to Anikkuttan's lap, Ani ran away screaming. I laughed my head off. When I invited her into my lap, she willingly came in and cuddled up, purring and butting her head against me. I checked her fur and skin for fleas or bites and found that she is nothing but a half-grown kitten. When I let her out, she made friends with Ani...

He chatted with her, asked whether she would prefer to be named after any of the girls in his class and generally took good care not to hurt her eye (which looks much better today). May be it's time we have a pet? 

It's considered good luck here when a cat chooses one's house as its home. Well then, we are blessed this Onam, even if we couldn't make pookkalams.

So here's a bunch of wishes for a Happy Onam and hoping you all had better luck with your pookkalams!!!

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