A Truly Secular Festival – Onam

Onam is probably the only Indian festival that is truly secular and has a beautiful socio-cultural relevance. And in that sense it’s very contemporary.

Celebrating Onam as a Community

Onam is a harvest festival all Malayalees all over the world celebrate to mark the return of their legendary king Mahabali.

King Mahabali Greets Everyone & a Bharatanatyam Dancer Waits Her Turn To Perform

This year, I went along with my family for the first time to celebrate Onam as part of our community at Palm Meadows, Bangalore. It was truly a feast fit for a king!

It’s A Full House – Onam 2017

The 10-day festival falls in the month of August-September. Malayalees prepare to receive Mahabali with various traditional celebrations which include floral arrangements, folk songs and dance and the legendary 9-course meal on a plantain leaf called Sadya.

Pookkalams – Floral Decor

It is an occasion for everyone to forget their afflictions and immerse themselves in the celebrations – to re-enact the golden period under Mahabali.

Different Intricate Onam Pookkalam Designs Vie For the Big Prize

I have Malayali friends belonging to three communities – Hindu, Christian and Muslim and they all celebrate Onam with equal fervor every year.

The 9-Course Meal Synonymous With Onam – The Sadya

This year my friend Manzoor Rahman sent me a hilarious video of him dancing in a mundu (sarong) on the occasion of Onam along with his saree-clad Hindu guy friends on stage at a local Bangalore church. Now, that’s the India of my dreams.