The box arrives

Onam, one of the big festivals of Kerala, was yesterday. This is a harvest festival, and involves a wonderful onam sadhya, onam lunch. For the last couple of years The Family has located restaurants nearby for such a lunch. It was out of question this year. I’d not paid much attention to the calls to our favourite restaurant, and the fact that she’d ordered onam sadhya from them for us. After all, this restaurant is known for its innovative take on Indian food; how traditional could it be? Very, it turned out.

The box, when it arrived, was amazing. I made a video of the unboxing of the food. It took us half an hour to prepare the “plates”. Happy Onam to you. Enjoy!

Unseen flowers

This has been a year of canceled trips for me. The latest cancellation is a long-planned trip to Kerala. Once every 12 years there is a mass blooming of the Neelakurinji flower (Strobilanthes kunthiana) in the region of Munnar. We had planned to go to see these flowers. Unfortunately this year there was a freak monsoon storm which destroyed roads and parts of Munnar town, flooded large parts of Kerala downriver, and killed many people. I understand that this is possibly the worst monsoon flood in a century.

In this bad time we did not want to cancel our trip in a hurry. Often recovery is helped by providing business. Unfortunately now, with about a week to go for our trip, we are forced to cancel. The flood damage is so heavy that the state government has requested tourists to stay away. Kerala will take time to rebuild and rehabilitate. The state needs help. Here is a link to the main portal where you can offer to help if you wish. I believe that this government portal possibly entails the minimum of administrative overheads, so almost all the donated money will reach those who need help.

Kerala’s new year just passed: Onam. We joined the community in a traditional meal, the Onam Sadhya (featured photo).