Onam is synonymous with a lavish spread of sadhya:- feast and pookalam:- the design made with flowers one makes in front of their house as a way to usher in Mahabali, prosperity, luck, wealth... Wait a minute.. that was Vishu!
Let us come back to Onam. :-P
Well, growing up in the concrete jungles of Delhi, this ritualistic flower arrangement routine was conveniently skipped by my mom during Onams! Blame it on lack of as many flowers blooming in Delhi during that season, her 2 lazy kids, or simply the lack of time because I dont remember getting a holiday either from school, college or work on Onam-day.
Things changed, after I moved to Bangalore! At my husband's house, Onam is a serious affair and the flower- arrangement- tradition reaches whole different level mind you ! A variety of flowers are bought from the whole sale market of Bangalore, pookalam is put for ten days in succession, the household is engaged/ employed/ coaxed/ blackmailed into plucking the petals of flowers, cleaning, sorting and cutting them further into smaller pieces for "finishing" and "neatness"!!!
It is almost like the house is participating in some kind of a competition and Mahabali is personally visiting each house with a notepad and pen in hand giving points for design, neatness, execution and X factor!