Though, I am not a Malayalee, I know Malayalam (korachu alla nannaaittu ariyum). I love the language and the culture of Keralites. If I say this made me learn Malayalam, it’s a big lie. I learnt it to impress my first crush Hema. Thanks to my friend Indu for teaching the sweet language. Though it’s more nasal, it has its own uniqueness and it needs more effort to grab the right accent.
Onam is the Diwali of Kerala. I visited Ooty for the first time (in 1991) on an Onam day. I was surprised to see the “Pookkolam” (Flower decorations). Since my mom is a working woman, I can see kolam a the doorstep of my house only on festivals like Diwali and Pongal. From one of my mom’s Malayalee friends I came to know that day was Onam. I feel so close to Onam as my birth star is Thiruvonam. I used to get Unniyappam, Ada pradhaman, et al from Indu’s mom on Onam. I just love the paayasam (be it paal paayasam, paruppu paayasam, ada pradhaman or chakka pradhaman) made by Malayalees. It’s sooooo delicious. If I were in Mumbai today, I would have gone to the Kutty’s Restaurant and relished some Kerala dishes.