A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)

Vishu- വിഷു


Sols and Deeps, this is just for you. I know how much you two love this sort of a thing 🙂 🙂

This is also for my MOM 🙂

Today is special. It is Vishu. It is also my EB’s birthday 🙂 (Elder Brother). Happy birthday to another special Arien, and also to a year, reborn again, bringing with it hope for a better tomorrow.

കൈ നിറയെ കൊന്ന പൂവും, നിറപറയും, നിലവിളക്കും, മനസ്സുനിറയെ സ്നേഹഹവുമായി വിഷുവിനെ വരവേല്‍ക്കാം … 🙂

If you are seeing the above in “????” or a whole lot of little squares, you probably do not have the malayalam font! I’ll just transliterate for you, in English.. “Kai niraye konna poovum, niraparayum, nilavilakkum, manassuniraye snehavumaayi vishuvine varavelkkam ”

Meaning to say:

“With our hands and hearts full of the beauty, and the golden sheen of the konna flowers (cassia fistula, or indian laburnum), the fullness of a nirapara ( a measure of paddy, in golden grain), and the light of a lamp lit on the morning of Vishu, let us welcome it with our hearts full of love…”

A nirapara looks like this 🙂

(Have taken the image from a search engine, and it belongs to flickr.com )


The Kani Konna (- Cassia Fistula, a lot like the laburnum) is the flower of Vishu. Gorgeous chandelier like flowers in the sunshiniest yellow golden, filling the tree, our eyes and our hearts, come Vishu 🙂 It is the key to the Vishu Kani (what you ought to see- kani- the first thing when you open your eyes on Vishu day 🙂 )Here is the tree, at my parents, taken about a week ago… a beautiful sight!

The Vishu Kani, mom’s

The lamp at the nearest end, is called a Maadambi (മാടമ്പി)- It is pretty ancient, a family heirloom,  has a wooden stand, on which is placed the brass lamp. Mom uses it only on special occasions. The nilavilakku is at the far end, on the other side of the uruli (ഉരുളി), the brass basin in which the kani is arranged. The pic above is when she arranged it, and below, when it was time for the kani, at 4 am 🙂

Incidentally, I was tweeted as to why a mirror is placed in the vishukani. I have been told it is because we need to see ouselves, the best in ourselves, to appreciate the Godhead in us, as we prepare to start a new year, with this auspicious sight! It figures then, I think that you need to love yourself, and respect yourself, to be able to see in oneself the Godhead, isn’t it? I like that viewpoint, immensely 🙂 🙂

The chakka (ചക്ക)… jackfruit, is then taken out, after the kani (കണി), and facing eastwards, it is cut 🙂 That is mom doing it the naadan (നാടന്‍), the traditional way with a mazhu (മഴു).. or axe 🙂 And below, the halves arranged, for a few seconds left as it is 🙂 🙂

I am also told, that Vishu begins the cycle of rain patterns, the njattuvela (ഞാറ്റുവേല)… 🙂 Today marks the ashwathy njattuvela (അശ്വതി ഞാറ്റുവേല), and it is likely to rain soon 🙂 Each of the 27 stars has its own pattern, with the rohini, makayiryam, thiruvathira, (രോഹിണി, മകീരം, തിരുവാതിര) bringing in the most amount of rain, which is so essential for the farmers.

Today is also the day when it is most auspicious to sow a few seeds, being the ashwathy njattuvel 🙂 ((അശ്വതി ഞാറ്റുവേല))

*Whew! Wipes sweat off her brow* This has been satisfying, but hard work. Finding a transliteration page to work with, and finally opening the google transliteration malayalam page, to write there, and copy paste the malayalam here. But it seems to be worth it!

Have a wonderful year ahead, everyone!

സര്‍വ ഐശ്വര്യങ്ങള്‍ കൂടിയ വിഷുദിനാശംസകള്‍

സ്നേഹപൂര്‍വ്വം …

Wishing the best of the season, for Vishu, greetings and blessings…

With love

Ushus 🙂

15 April, 2010

Edited to add on 18th April, 2010:

Found this video, of a favourite song , in Malayalam, Kani Kaanum neram (കണി കാണും നേരം കമല നേത്രന്ടെ) on Sindhu’s FB wall 🙂 Thanks Sindhu 🙂 Just to share, because I know those who love this song will certain find it in the right post 🙂

Author: Usha Pisharody

A rambler, pretends to be a teacher, loves to dream, and go on Quixotic Quests in the Realm of Romance With Life...

26 thoughts on “Vishu- വിഷു

  1. Happy Vishu to you Usha.

    A beautiful post. It was sort of empty Vishu for us, in fact the first with both our children away. I suppose we’ll be seeing more of them in the years to come! 🙂 That madambi looks awesome! The kani itself so lovely. I did not know about this chakka cutting business. Do you know why that is done??
    Here is a picture of the Golden Shower flowers (kani konna) for you.


    Hi Shail 🙂 This time, for us, Vishu was such a lovely time, more so because we were with my parents, and mom is so full of the naadan and traditional way of doing things, yet she does things we like to also 🙂 We had chakka elissery, manga and vellarikka kkuttan, the pickles and stuff. Awesome 🙂 Thank you for the beautiful picture! Makes my day even better 🙂


    • Not fair! someone tweeted a sadya picture last night and I drooled over my laptop. Now just reading it makes me hungry. 😦

      Lol! Now I am drooling thinking of that sadya, sitting at home in front of this screen!


  2. Aaargh I didnt manage to post the pictue! 😦
    Ohhh mouth-watering dishes Usha!!!!! I love the manga and vellarikka koottaan, also the erissery, any type! Oh sigh!

    Lol. Shail, it’s ok.. can see the pic. on clicking on the link 🙂 So its fine :)! Well, I had only the olan, erisery and vellarikka koottan for lunch. Oodles of it 🙂 Sorry, i know it is rather sadistic of me to go on about it :D!


    • Oooooh! Olan too!! Olan is another favorite!! Also vendakka kichadi. Did Amma make that too??

      Hahaha! Shail… olan too. The tender pumpkin w coconut milk, w a dash of coconut oil variety 🙂 It was yummmmmmm 🙂 Sorry to be such a devil telling you about it. Just reliving the taste four days later now 🙂


  3. Usha our kani konna tree had such lovely bunches of flowers. I had the time of my life clicking pictures!! But just a week to Vishu we found the tree had no flowers! Leaves leaves and more leaves… but not even one flower! 😦

    Same here, at home, Shail 😦 Mom went on and on about how she had to go hunting for the konna poovu 😦 Gotta log out now. Thunder n lightning. The njattuvela is here, I think 🙂 🙂 See u 🙂 And thank you so much!


  4. To you and your family a very ‘Happy Vishu’
    may the year be filled with happiness all through
    and health, peace, success and prosperity too
    I am happy that I got a chance to wish you.

    Govind, best wishes to you and your family 🙂 Aashamsagal 🙂 Thank you for the beautiful wish you’ve left behind too!


  5. Hey Happy Vishu to you..enjoy the festival..Thanks for sharing the importance of the festival !!!

    Thanks a lot. Happy Vishu to you and yours too 🙂


  6. Happy b’day to your older brother! That’s double celebration.

    My Dad, FIL and The other half are Ariens too.

    Vishuaashamsakal once again!

    I had no clue about Chakka story and also about stars. Thanks Ushus! More I read about our customs, more I fall in love with it. There was a time when people followed it for what it was but today some lunatics have modified it to their convenience and ruined it for everyone. That is a beautiful Vishukani.

    Yes, sols, it was a double celeb. even though it was just my parents and I with the sb. The chakka story, actually, even mom does not know, except that it was what they did when they grew up, and what she still does. The one person who could have told me is my grandmother, but she is no more. She was a walking encyclopaedia on this stuff, and a veritable storehouse of stories.( Have blogged about her here, at https://ushus.wordpress.com/2008/11/22/a-woman-extraordinaire/ ) .I still hope to find out from someone else 🙂 There has to be a reason why. Planting seeds is a must do on vishu day, for it marks the beginning of the re planting season too. In fact on the paddy fields, farmers take their hoe, make a small furrow, and plant a handful of paddy grain, on vishu day. It is still done here, as it is an auspicious thing to begin their farming too.


  7. “The lamp at the nearest end, is called a Maadambi (മാടമ്പി)- It is pretty ancient, a family heirloom, has a wooden stand, on which is placed the brass lamp.”

    I didn’t even know what a Madambi was. Have seen so many such things at my great-grandmother’s house.

    The madambi is quite a lamp. Seemingly inconspicuous, but can hold its own next to a fully lit nilavilakku too. In fact, only a couple of years ago did I even know of its name and stuff 🙂


  8. First of all, belated birthday wishes to your elder brother! An Arian like my brother!! Yay 🙂

    Thanks Deeps 🙂 More and more Ariens all around 🙂

    Now about your post-you’re absolutely right,Ushus! I love the whole festive feel that surrounds Vishu and Onam and reading about the traditional ways of celebrating them amazes me even more. Reading this post in particular and the way you have explained each and every aspect of Vishu so beautifully, made me nostalgic. The chakka story was new to me too. I love the viewpoint behind the significance of the mirror being a part of the kani. I do vaguely remember my ammamma telling me about it.

    Was a pleasure writing it. More so the satisfaction, because my mother also read it, as soon as I published it, and she was thrilled to bits reading about it, and looking at the loveliness of her vishukani, so lovingly arranged 🙂 Thanks for the good words for it 🙂

    The konna maram is lovely! So is the vishukani- a beautiful sight indeed!

    It’s crazy but these days, all I do is look at Konna marams and wonder at them! There are still a few around beginning to bloom, and some still in full bloom 🙂 Just love those trees!

    Thank you so much, Ushus for this post. Reading you is always an enlightening experience 🙂

    And your comments are such a joy, always to read and bask in 🙂 Thank you!


  9. Happy Vishu, Usha! This was one beautiful post. Ever since I’ve started blogging, I’ve made a lot of Mallu friends 🙂 and have always wondered what this ‘Kani’ was about 🙂 now I know 🙂

    Pal, Thanks 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful Vishu too 🙂 This, really, is a hurried post, and I wish I had added some more on the kani itself 🙂 Maybe I shall edit and add! Glad that it helped you to know more about the kani itself! These are things I’ve heard from my grandmother, and mother.


  10. Ah, how do you perfect this art every time…Learn something new every time I come here…The madambi is also a new word and now saw it…and the chakka cutting…wow
    May your world be beautiful with all good kanni’s everyday!

    Sindhu, thank you… also for that WOW video you shared on FB, the kani kaanum neram one 🙂 Adding it to this post as soon as humanly possible, procrastination not withstanding :P! Thanks so much 🙂


  11. Happy Vishu – well after the day though, but good and happy wishes can be given anyday, I believe. We had gone to a friend’s house for her grand daughter’s first Vishu. We saw all this, and had a feast too. Now I get to understand the significance of each item, and the mirror. Thank you.

    Thanks JP Sir 🙂 It is never too late to convey wishes, that is absolutely right! It’s also really nice that you got to see the real thing and share in the feast of the day! Thanks again, for dropping by 🙂


  12. Beautiful post! Got to know so much abt Vishu 🙂
    A very happy new yr to u all and best wishes to ur brother too 🙂

    I luveed that Madambi 🙂

    Swaram, thank you for the visit, and the read, and the wishes 🙂 The maadambi is seemingly innocuous, but when lit up, is a piece of ART!


  13. How have I missed this post?! Happy Vishu to you and your dear ones!! (though I am so late, I have read this many time and gone away – then came back to this tab, wondering why I never saw this update 😦 )

    Laburnum is one of my favorite trees, the tennis ball was stuck in a tree that now looks like the one in your header 😆 Lovely header!!

    Isn’t the floor red in three of the pictures? My grandparents house had such a floor, I loved it!

    Lol, IHM… dunno how it happened either 🙂
    You know, the laburnum, that we tend to think the Konna Tree is, is actually the Cassia tree, and its flowers are a bit different from that of the laburnum of the western countries. They even have different generic names (is that how the technical reference goes?? 🙂 ) They are slightly different in shape. Checked it out on Wiki, and was pleasantly surprised to learn this 🙂 So this one, on my page , the flower of Vishu is called the Indian Laburnum, or the Cassia tree 🙂 Heck, I’m lovin the way I seem to pick up trivia along the way. Would never have, if not for blogging, and meeting up with bloggers like you 🙂 🙂 The next post is getting done, on Thrissur Pooram, that just concluded on Sunday. 🙂 More trivia there as well 🙂

    Yes, the floor is a red one, in my parents’ home, an old old house, tiled roof and wooden “thattu” or false ceiling. Wonderfully cool in summer, and warm during the monsoons 🙂 A lovely verandah to sit and watch the rains and the birds on the paddy fields 🙂 Paradise 🙂 The floor is cement with the red oxide and polishing. Glows, after it’s cleaned and mopped 🙂 And cooool to rest upon!

    And thank you for the wishes, so very much 🙂


  14. Vishu is a new year festival celebrated in the state of Kerala


  15. nammude vishu mam.,.. feels good to read it from an outsider (foriegner) view…..


    • Deepthi welcome here 🙂 Yes, nammumde vishu 🙂 And what outsider? The rambler here is very much an insider, unless of course , you suddenly became a “foreigner”??? Lol 🙂 Thank you for writing in 🙂


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  17. Hi Usha, stopped by to see if I could be the “millionth, zillionth” visitor to your blog..but in the process ended up reading & educating myself regarding Vishu..thanks for the same, by the way I’m also a fellow arien!


    • Huge round of thanks Unni, for being here, and trying that impossible feat :D! That it touched 714 hits on vishu day is like a million as far as I am concerned, so yes, I guess you did get to be one 🙂 🙂 Thank you also for the kind words for the blog, and woah! Arien? I need to check now, which day 🙂
      Thanks again, so very much Unni for having taken the time to visit, read and write in as well!


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  19. uumm.. i feel envious of not having an axe to cut fruits now..


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