In celebrating Thiruvonam on Friday, the city treaded a tried and tested path. While the otherwise crowded roads and streets in the city wore a deserted look for most part of the day with people choosing to enjoy a sumptuous sadya with family and relatives, they emerged from the comfort of their homes as the evening progressed.
For the few who preferred to get behind the wheel rather than spend time before the television, which was replete with commercial potboilers and chat shows with every actor imaginable, there could not have been a better day to enjoy a drive. The roads were theirs for the taking with vehicular traffic almost non-existent except for a few cars and two-wheelers and occasional private buses.
“It was like compensating for all the mad rush witnessed on roads with the shoppers thronging them for the last couple of weeks,” said Aju, who chose to ride to the city on his bike from Panangad. Private buses, which were otherwise engaged in a never ending speed race, suddenly seemed a reformed lot. The limited number of buses which hit the road merely trudged along even showing the patience to wait at bus stops to get enough passengers to ensure the feasibility of their services.
In malls, which boast of footfalls as a measure of their popularity, the few footfalls till the evening were nothing much to write home about. Cars of different makings parked along the highway at Edappally and Vytilla by the visitors to malls were also missing for the good part of the day.
A section of the workforce remained committed to their duty or was perhaps forced to remain committed, depending on one’s viewpoint, to ensure that their more fortunate colleagues have a day out with the family. The 70-odd police personnel at the police control had their Onasadya delivered by caterers.
While serving sadya to hundreds of customers, waiters and chefs at many hotels had to wait till the afternoon business was over before enjoying their share of the sadya. Most of the shops and establishments except those related to essential services remained shut.
Roadside eateries and fast food centres, especially those dishing out barbeques, grilled chicken and shawarma, were found making arrangements for people who would opt for non-vegetarian items in the evening.
Visitors to Marine Drive were also on the rise as the evening set in bringing cheer to vendors selling popcorn, groundnut and ice cream. Most of the theatres also had more attendance in the evening than for the morning and noon shows.
Keywords: Onam celebrations