Monthly Archives: August 2012

Onam – the colourful festival of Kerala

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Onam – the colourful festival of Kerala

ONAM

The festival “Onam” is celebrated in the state of Kerala in India and by Keralites living all around the World. It is the most famous and biggest festival in Kerala. The most interesting fact about Onam is that it is a social festival. It is celebrated by the people of kerala irrespective of one’s religious background. It is a celebration of 10 days in the coastal state of Kerala.

The festival marks the end of rainy season and nature is dressed in its best with flowers of varied colours ,fruits and other agricultural crops. The main attraction of Onam is the display of huge flower-carpets which is an arrangement of flowers and it looks like a rangoli, in the courtyard of every house. These are known as “Pookalam” in Malayalam. Usually, youngsters gather together in collecting flowers and arrange flowers in a well designed layout. It is a celebration of nature’s bounty in the form of flowers of different hue. In other words, it can also be called as a ‘harvest festival’.

There is a legend associated with the festival of Onam. Kerala was once ruled by King Mahabali and during the reign of  King Mahabali, there was prosperity and abundance in the state. It is believed that the spirit of King Mahabali comes to “God’s own Country” every year to ensure that the people are living happily. As his spirit moves around, the glimpse of “flower-carpets” or “Pookalams” outside every house indicates that the people are all living in happiness and prosperity. People displays huge and colourful “Pookalams” to attract the attention of the King and to Welcome him to bless the house.

People celebrate the festival of Onam with great enthusiasm and happiness. People wear new clothes and children are given gifts. People prefer to dress up in traditional attire. As it is a harvest festival, the dishes prepared to celebrate “Onam” are grand and traditional. A special lunch is prepared and is served on banana leaves. It is known as “Onasadhya”. The “Onasadhya” is complete with nearly 15 very delicious vegetarian dishes. All the dishes are served on the banana leaves in a creative manner which gives it a colourful and appetizing look. The traditional manner of serving of serving one item after the other is strictly followed.

The grand festival of “Onam” is celebrated in grandeur and merriment in Kerala and by the people of Kerala living all over the World. “Onam” is unique in many ways. It is a celebration of nature’s bounty and thanks-giving to God. The festival also marks the love for one’s culture, traditions and values. Above all, “Onam” brings people together and spreads the message of unity and brotherhood. 

http://expertscolumn.com/content/onam-colourful-festival-kerala

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Precious God! My Lord – Let’s completely surrender to God

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Life is full of challenges. Each day of life brings with it, new challenges, hardships, difficulties, anxieties and worries. All are struggling in their own way as they walk their own path of life. At times, it just becomes very difficult and painful to bear. When the mind is engulfed with pain, we seek divine help. We realize that it is only God, who can show us a way and protect us from all the pain of the World.

 Every time I feel disturbed and distressed from inside, I remember a song which we used to sing during our School assembly prayers. As a child, I used to love singing this song to myself in my mind often. It is still very close to my heart and when sadness hits me, I pray to God to keep his MIGHTY HAND on my head. I close my eyes and invoke divine presence in my mind making it calm and peaceful. The Divine hand of God represents the love, care and blessings of God. He showers his unconditional love and bestows us with the consciousness of his presence everywhere and within every soul. Almighty God is precious and invaluable.

 I don’t know the writer or composer of this song. But whoever has written the lyrics of this song, I salute that noble soul. The sentences are expression of a distressed soul. I’m sure everyone can relate with the lyrics of the song. At times, the road or journey of life appears to be too long, narrow and weary. But the very thought of God, gives calmness to the mind. All the burdens are released with the glimpse of God in the mind.

 The World is full of people who hurt us, cheat us, deceive us and betray us and often influence us in their own tricky and deceitful ways. Such experiences break us from inside. Our confidence on our own self often gets shattered and we get scared of people around us. It is in such situations we need the guidance of God. We pray to God to guide us out of the influence and grip of such evil company.

 The lines of this song have worked as medicine for my wounded soul. The song surely has magical touch and divine blessings. The song lyrics are as follows:

 “The road of life grows weary, sometimes so hard to bear.

But then I think of Calvary, I leave my burdens there.

Satan tempts me day by day, as I walk this narrow way. 
Precious Lord! Keep your mighty Hand on me.

 
As I start to meet the foe, in this world of grief and woe.
Precious Lord! Keep your mighty Hand on me.

Lord I give my life to you, use me as you wish to do.
Precious Lord! Keep your mighty Hand on me. 

 

As I face the storms of life, in this world of toil and strife.
Precious Lord! Keep your mighty Hand on me”.

On these bend knees I pray, 
Help me Lord, not to stray. 
Precious Lord keep your mighty Hand on me.”

In this toil and hardship of life, the only way out is to bend down in front of our Lord and surrender ourselves completely at his feet.