Yet another ‘vishu’ came and went by. This time I had spent it cooking a hearty meal to my capacity and dawdled with pals indoors, rapt in a movie, owing to thunder storms outside. It has been two years since I experienced ‘vishu-kani’ (the first sight on vishu day) and the lovely feast amma would dole out for the genial vishu lunch, on the banana leaf. Warm afternoons of festive filled ambience, family banquet and sumptuous burps intermitting the post-lunch laughter marked ‘vishu’ as the most sought for festival, next to ‘diwali’, in my life.
The eve of vishu was often spent shopping for the little big niceties that went into making the first sight on vishu day graciously positive and meant to make the year ahead a very lucky one. I would look forward to take the seat next to appa, watch him gracefully arrange the ‘urali’ with rice, the coconut filled with ‘parupu’, the cucumbers, melons and fruits, all reflecting on the mirror that was adorned with gold chains placed behind the delicacies decked out on the ‘tambalam’. The ‘kani-konna’ (the yellow flowers that bloomed to aptness, during the vishu season) added the final touch to the festooned ‘kani’, prepared carefully to be harbinger of joy for the year to come.
A contented sleep was soothingly interrupted by amma at the crack of dawn. She would walk me down, closing my eyes, saving them from seeing anything else before I set my eyes on the bedecked ‘vishu-kani’. Slowly, appa would dampen my eyes and gesture me to open them to the sight that even after twenty odd times of redundancy over the years, still swelled my heart with unremitting joy. I would ritually go over the details of the kani I had helped appa ornate last night. It always seemed different from the night before, as if blessed to completeness on a vishu’s first light. Smiling, I would make a stamp of the sight in the memory lane, adoring every intricacy.
As the vishu day unwinds and the cucumbers and melons of the vishu-kani make a delicious meal for the afternoon, followed by the showers of blessings accompanied with ‘vishu-kaineetam'(money) from elders, a pleased I would sink with happiness on the perfect day. This year, living a life that sans the presence of appa and amma and the beautiful vishu-kani, I simply reminiscence the vishu days back home and recite a prayer to keep the family hail and healthy for ages to come!