A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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Vishukaineettam (വിഷുക്കൈനീട്ടം )

is what each Malayalee waits for, each year : D It is money one receives from each elder in the family – starting from the grand-parents, to elder siblings/cousins if they are earning members and family friends (Uncles and Auntys)- with of course, one’s parents, and the extended family thrown in for good measure.

When we were kids, receiving even a Rs. 5/- was a big thing! It slowly increased in denomination, coins, sometimes, or crisp new notes. Most of us collected every bit we could, and made visits to relatives’ places gleefully (when at other times we’d have hesitated 😀 ) anticipating the expected 😛

Not surprisingly, my kids are no different, were not as much younger kids as well! In Thrissur, where we used to be, in case we weren’t visiting their maternal grandparents (errr mine 😛 parents 😛 ) , it would be a time when they, my two and their beloved cousins, the ‘fantastic foursome’ as I call them (LINK) would gather as much moolah as possible and then proceed to spend it at the Exhibition, that would be going on, in connection with the Thrissur Pooram 😀

Having graduated to being grandparent now, I totally get the excitement – and while the denominations are now growing, in the Kaineettams (literally meaning to extend one’s hand), there is this pleasure in giving as well – even though mine, at Two, is rather indifferent to it, except that it would be something more to play with!

This year the blog too has received its Vishukkaineetam, a few hours in advance, for as I look at the stats, I’m told that on 13 April, 2016, the blog has received the highest number of hits /day. 947! The previous high was 829, in 2011. Well. 🙂 As mentioned earlier, the Thrissur Pooram is also in the month of Medam, Medam 1 st being Vishu 🙂 and the blogs here on Vishu and Thrissur Pooram remain the highest grossers in terms of views 🙂 If that isn’t Kainneettam, I ask you, then what is, for this blog? 😛 🙂 ❤

Screenshot 2016-04-14 00.51.38

947 says the Stats page, a few minutes into 14 April, 2016

Also another thing about Vishu I’d like to add, having recently known of this , is why the Kani Konna or the Cassia Fistula, or the Golden Chandelier, or Golden Laburnum is used in the Kani (your first sight in the morning 🙂 – apparently the Konna was blessed with being adorned by Lord Krishna’s girdle, which he flung upon the tree, as he played with his friends as a boy. The flattened bells on that girdle, are the image upon which the florets of the Kani Konna are shaped 🙂 Divine, is it not? And gorgeous golden yellow with it! Legend it may be, but a lovely one I must say 🙂

So, as you peruse these Vishu posts, if and when you get time, and the Thrissur Pooram one – let me wish you and your loved ones the best the year has to offer 🙂 Good health, luck, success, love and laughter 🙂

Our Kani is ready. The post will be edited by afternoon hopefully with pictures of it 🙂

Vishuaashamsagal! 🙂

14 April, 2016

Links to explore further if/when you have the time 🙂

Vishu (THE post – 2010) – LINK

In 2011 (LINK)

The Thrissur Pooram (LINK)

 

 

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Vishu, all over again!

I’d planned things for this year. Carefully gathered resources and gyaan, and kept a Vishu Kani Ready, to impress even the most traditional of people. At my own home, of course, where my son and his wife would come, for their first ever Vishu, after they got married; and we’d all happily see the elaborate arrangement, soak in our own glory of having created such beauty, and simply revel in the moment.

You know what they say about plans, right? I tell you sometimes I think I live not from moment to moment, but from cliché to cliché! To cut short a story you certainly don’t want to read on a lazy Sunday morning, and that too on a Vishu Pulari (a vishu morning), they could not make it, and, here it comes, another cliché… I was at their place visiting, because it was my son’s birthday a day before! The best laid plans of mice and men got a new shape. I decided to stay on. And we had the time of our life, re-creating the resources with the gyaan available 🙂 So we raided the Gujrati Market nearby for the stuff! Except for the jackfruit that was unweildy, and anyway would not be used afterwards, we got all the other items on the list.

We should have done the arrangements before we went out to my son’s friend’s place for dinner. But, the last minute people that we are, we did not… and airily declared to ourselves that we’d have enough time 😀 So, twelve midnight dawned, and we still weren’t home 🙂 We did, soon after, and got to work.

Even the Vishu Kani was hatke. It is supposed to be in a wide bottomed brass vessel, called the uruli, which you’ll find in the very first Vishu post I had done here (trivia: it’s the post with the max. hits on this blog 😀 )… my mother’s effort entirely. I had the uruli ready in my house, but could not hop over and get it here, since it would mean a journey worth 6 hours.

IMG-20130414-WA0001

Instead, we got a clay uruli, that Pratibha, my daughter-in-law can use later for some other purpose either in the kitchen or even as a bird bath 🙂 And the rest of the items, were just the same. Except that it got assembled three hours before it was to be viewed 🙂 Well, what matters is the spirit of the whole thing right? 🙂

So Vishu Aashamsagal to each and every one. May the new year bring you peace and prosperity. May you find more wonderful things to smile about. And may we all be blessed to be more humane.

More, on 14 April. One of the most wonderful people I know celebrates her birthday- Elsie Abraham. One person who makes me understand the temporal nature of our own difficulties, a person who continually brings sunshine and laughter into the lives of everyone she touches. A soul of integrity. And one of the truly warmest persons I know. Every student in our school, who have (grrrr… typo! ) has been blessed to have been in her class would stand testimony to this as well 🙂 Happy Birthday dearest Elsie Teacher. May good health and peace and happiness hound you 🙂

14 April, 2013
Online.


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Of Beginnings; Of Birthdays and a Sorority to Cherish :)

It’s a beginning, once again. A cycle of time, regenerates itself, in different parts of our land. Today, the 13th April, it is Baisakhi, it is Bihu, a time to celebrate a harvest, a start, a closure too. Tomorrow, 14th April, it is Vishu, and yet another Medam, (the first month in the Lunar Calendar, in Kerala) takes birth. The link to the post on Vishu has been receiving visitors aplenty, and that is why it is linked here, so that those who wish to know more about it may just pop thataway and do so 🙂 And for the setting of the Vishukani, you could get a bit of Mother’s Advice here 😀 (The post is Vishuaashamsagal…)

The best wishes of the season to each and everyone. May the glorious golden of the Konna Flowers bestow that selfsame richness in each aspect of your lives, touching it with prosperity and good fortune!

**************

The month of April is wonderful for other reasons too! My first born, Arjun, celebrates his birthday, and so do other loved ones. My elder brother, Viju, Commodore V.K. Pisharody, on the day after Vishu.

This year, I want to spread my net of gladness, and send out loving wishes to other Ariens who have touched my life, inspiring, scaffolding, being supportive, being the patient listening ear, being part of the sorority that has surrounded me with the deepest empathy and given me the benediction of their friendship, unconditionally and unerringly known each time I needed to have a shoulder to lean on, and bawl my head off, figuratively, of course 😛 :P! Well on occasion, literally as well.

My dearest friends, this is to wish each of you
A day and year filled with laughter, and nothing blue
Moments spent in gladness, each day anew
May worries and stresses, be far, and few
All love, and God’s Blessings, I do wish YOU 🙂 🙂

Elsie Abraham, for the 14th April

Omana Vasudevan, for the 18th April

Renuka Menon, for the 19th April

Ladies, you are the best there is!!! This post is entirely dedicated to each of you! Advance wishes for a Great Day, followed by the best year, so far! I pray that each of you finds that life unfolds in just the way you wished it would! 🙂 🙂

Beautiful songs, too, to go with the wishes: Below 🙂 🙂

That’s What Friends Are For  

BY Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Gladys Knight

 

Another link to the same song which has an amazing quatret singing this song – Dionne Warwick, Whitney Huston, Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEfTGE2aa90&feature=related

And yes, I will always look to you, for succor and support as I have been, all these years 🙂 Thank you for being part of what makes me ME 🙂 🙂 The song below says it all!

I Look to You, Whitney Huston:

****************************

Once again, Vishuaashamsagal to one and all!

(P.S. Sorry it’s such a linky linky post 😛 😛 )

13 April, 2012


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Vishuaashamsagal! Better late…

This was in the drafts, waiting to be scheduled, but incomplete. And being busy on Vishu, and it’s eve, because of the anticipated joy and preparation of the SB’s visit, it is being completed only now. The finishing touches. And this post is more for the verbal/linguistic reader, than the visual, because I forgot to take pictures of the awesome Vishukani I had arranged :(… 🙂

Belated Vishuaashamsagal.

The Konna tree, at my parents’ home, a beautiful beautiful sight!

Here’s a beautiful message I received via sms, from Omana 🙂

ഓര്‍മ്മകള്‍ കൂട് കൂട്ടിയ തളിര്‍ ചില്ലയില്‍ 

പൊന്നിന്‍ നിറമുള്ള ഓര്‍മകളുമായി 

ഒരു വിഷുകൂടി വരവായി 
സ്നേഹത്തോടെ ഒരായിരം 
വിഷുആശംസകള്‍

(Pliss to ignore and excuse spelling mistakes in the Malayalam printed here. Google’s transliteration is responsible for it 😛 )

It’s that time of the year again, when the golden drops of the sun take the form of the Kani Konna… the Cassia Fistula tree, or the Indian Laburnum, it’s bunches of chandelier shaped gorgeous yellow flowers, seen almost all over the countryside, in Kerala, and elsewhere.

It’s Vishu. The beginning of a new year, in the Malayalam Calendar. The beginning of the month of Medam (മേടം), the first of the 12 months of the calendar we follow.

This year, Vishu was celebrated on the 2nd of Medam (മേടം), on the Makam Nakshatram (മകം നക്ഷത്രം), because the Sankramam, or transition of the Sun into this Raashi was on this Nakshatram, which happened to start only sometime during the noon, of the 1st of Medam. So my dad informed me, referring to the Panchaangam. It is still a bit confusing, but not being well versed in astrology and its terms (though I have a great interest in it- esp. predictions! 🙂 ) I accepted it.

After a gap of several years, I had a Vishu Kani in my own home, not my parents. Else we always gather together as a family at my Dad’s place and celebrate the New Year. This year, the SB was to arrive on the eve so I decided to have my own 🙂 My mother instructed me, and with my badgering (don’t I always?) she managed to retain her calm, telling me why each thing was for 🙂 Most of it was… “I don’t know. It is, that’s all! I DON’T know everything!!!” I’m a pest!

So she gave me her uruli (ഉറുളി) a medium sized one. I was to arrange everything in it. I record it here (too late; still, it is here, for future reference :D)

First a layer of rice – unkkalari (ഉണക്കലരി )

Then the vellarikka, the orange ripened cucumber vegetable (വെള്ളരിക്ക);

coconut split in halves (നാളികേരം ഉടച്ചത്)

thiruvidada or cloth (vastram) (തിരുവിടാട, വസ്ത്രം );

ripe mangoes, banana,

vermillion (kumkum കുങ്കുമം )

kajal, made at home if possible 🙂 (കണ്മഷി)

jackfruit (ചക്ക), other fruits, gold and silver.

An important thing is a mirror, two kinds, the normal, and the valkannadi (a symbol of Bhagavathi, or Mother Goddess) (വാല്‍ക്കണ്ണാടി).

Spread all over this should be the Konnapoovu, the Konna, the golden chandelier flowers (കണി കൊന്ന), and the Erukkumpoova (എരുക്കുംപ്പൂവ് ), the flowers (picture below) from the Erukku (എരുക്ക്) Tree (a medicinal plant)

Arrange these in the order mentioned, and if one cannot fit everything into the uruli, it’s ok to place the fruits outside. The rest ought to be placed within the uruli. A brass lamp, traditional Kerala type is placed near, and lit, at the time of the Kani… the first sight on the Vishu morning. The flowers are placed last and strewn over the items there.

Very early in the morning (usually the time for the Kani is mentioned in the Almanac) usually between 3 to 4 am is the auspicious time to see this blessed sight. All of the things in the assembled array all promise prosperity, and success and good fortune. So says my mother 🙂 !

Except for the jackfruit I placed the rest of it, and had a beautiful Vishu Kani of my own, for me and mine 🙂 . Loved ones together on such occasions add to a simple contentment, and a feeling of completeness. I was blessed, so was my SB 🙂

Belated Wishes to each one of you once again.

*****

Actually it was a triple whammy this day 🙂 The Elder Brother’s Birthday(S), according to both the Western and Malayalam calendar was also on Vishu day 🙂 Birthday Greetings too 🙂

******

The Athiraathram concluded on 15th April 2011, at Panjaal. I was fortunate to have been able to visit on the 11th day, for a brief period of time. Was happy to witness certain offerings to the fire, at the centre of the Chithi, and the pressing of the soma plants to extract juice, which would then be taken for Saumyam, and for the offerings to Agni again. The Saumyam is especially beneficial for women who are pregnant in their first trimester and for couples who have infertility problems. It was interesting to read from Surekha Pillai (@surekhapillai, on twitter) who was involved with the Media there, how she met some people born to mothers who had partaken of the Saumyam in the 1975 Athiraathram at the same place! More on the details of the Athiraathram here, on Sandeep Varma’s blog and the Official Website. At the end of the yaagam, people thronged to witness the final burning of the yaagashaala, which after it returns the Agni, the divine element, back to the Arani (Whence it was brought forth) resembles only a forest fire, lacking the divine force. Just before the yaagashaala was set ablaze, it rained. Poured, I am told. And so it concluded. Physically perhaps. It is held close in the hearts and recounted both in words and thoughts for those who have followed it closely and been part of it. Surekha Pillai (@surekhapillai, on twitter)  aptly says, as she finally leaves;  “it’s raining tears. i guess #athirathram is finally over.” It found resonance in thousands of hearts!

Word count under 1000. That has to be a first(except for the 55 ers) for this eccentric rambler :D! Have a wonderful year, all of you! God Bless!

16 April, 2011


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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 )

Vishu:

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 …
ഉഷസ്സ്

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 🙂