Vijayawada

A sombre Onam for Malayalis in city

As people get busy pooling relief for flood-affected in Kerala

Last year, this day brought lot of cheer and merriment for the Malayalis in the city who indulged in boisterous celebration of Onam, the main festival of the natives of Kerala.

With the flood fury drowning people of Kerala in sorrow, the mood is very sombre among the local Malayalis too.

There are no flower carpets, the eye-catching flower patterns drawn on the floor that greets the guests at every home, no Onam Sadhya, the feast of elaborate meal relished in every household, or settu mundus, the traditional off-white saris with gold border draped on this special occasion by women who team it with long strings of jasmine flowers tucked in their braided hair.

The 10-day festival culminating in Thiru Onam on Saturday was a low-key affair in demonstration of solidarity with the lakhs of their brothers and sisters sheltered in relief camps back home in Kerala.

Members of the Malayali Association, Vijayawada, are busy pitching in for flood relief. They have set up a ‘collection centre’ at The Book point, adjoining Nirmala High School, Patamata. “This centre will function for three days from Sunday (August 26) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. People can contribute in cash and material,” said Association president Sunil Nair.

He appealed to the people to contribute generously for the lakhs of people rendered homeless and are living in relief camps. “It is our humble request not to give used items. Let’s keep in mind the dignity of the flood victims,” he pleaded.

He said every family here was also affected in some way or the other. “It is either their own family or friends affected by the deluge. My own house is under water. Our vehicles parked outside home have been washed away. I am really worried about the welfare of my parents and my relatives scattered in different parts of Kerala,” he said.

“Some of my close relatives are in relief camps. We all hope and pray that normalcy returns to the land at the earliest,” said Mani, owner of an eat-out, who has made Vijayawada his second home.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 8:11:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/a-sombre-onam-for-malayalis-in-city/article24782285.ece

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