Finally, I’m leaving for my Diwali vacations, and this time I’m heading home. I’m eager to leave the hustle and bustle of the city and head for some quite time. I’m off to Kovalam… I’ve been planning this trip for a long time now. We are going to Kovalam with my family on the recommendation of my Nani. Mum’s family is there and she wants us to experience this Diwali in Kerala style. In the South, Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the defeat of King Asura Naraka of Assam, who imprisoned thousands of locals. Apparently, Krishna had subdued Naraka and freed the prisoners
My mum says we have to wash and clean the house. We are taking kavi (red oxide). In the South, kavi is used to make kolam (rangoli patterns). I’m excited. We don’t usually do all this in Mumbai. Diwali is celebrated in a more modern fashion. Now I’m glad to be leaving and I’m looking forward to spending time with relatives enjoying a more traditional Diwali in Kovalam. Nani has instructed us about what has to be done. We have to keep betel leaves, betel nuts, bananas, flowers, sandalwood paste, kumkum, sesame oil, turmeric powder and scented powder in the puja room. Some crackers are to be smearing a little kumkum or sandal paste and also put in the puja room.
After that ma’am will take over. Being the eldest in the family, he will perform the rituals. Early in the morning he will apply sesame seed oil on the heads of all the family members after which we will have Lehiyan, a bitter mixture meant to cleanse the system. It is supposed to help the stomach, what with over eating over the next few days. After that we have to bathe, beginning with my youngest brother. Nani is very particular that we start with the youngest, it’s a tradition.
Then Ma’am will perform the puja to our family deities after which we will have the traditional breakfast murukku (chakali), a sweet dish and, of course, idli/dosa – My ma ’mi is the world’s best murukku maker, you’ve got to believe me. After that we can burst crackers and then go on our visits to the other relatives home.
I’m looking forward to this holiday. Kovalam is a great place to be at, in this time of the year. After the Diwali celebrations I plan to make full use of the Ayurveda spas, healing and renaissance resorts that provide a variety of Ayurvedic treatments. Then I’m off to the beach with a few friends that are going to be joining us from Mumbai. We are going to be spending time discovering the by lanes and enjoying the natural beauty of Kovalam.
I know this is going to be a good trip. I have my family whom I can share my holidays with and my friends to share my experiences with. What more can I ask for…