It's a harvest festive weekend, with Kerala celebrating the traditional Malayalam New Year today with Vishu.
Actor Asin, who's a Malayalee Christian, reminisces about celebrating Vishu as an important part of her childhood. “Vishu is a Hindu festival, and is celebrated in a big way in Kerala. A Hindu household decorates the temple in the house with an offering of farm produce, fruits and vegetables to the Lord as a token of thanks known as the Vishukkani. The kani is arranged in a traditional brass vessel with lots of fruits, silver coins, betel leaves and traditional lamps,” explains the actor, who celebrates the festival with as much gusto as any other Keralite. The best part of the day, she admits, is the kaineetam (cash gifts) that elders give young children on Vishu. As a kid, recalls Asin, she would get extremely excited to get money from her elders. “The day usually begins with seeing the Vishukkani the first thing in the morning.
However, since we wouldn't arrange the kani, I would wake up and make sure that the first thing I saw was my parents' faces. I would look forward to Vishu each year as all of us would get some extra pocket money from our elders. We would visit our ancestral home in Kerala and my parents or my aunt or my grand-parents would give us money. We would be thrilled because we would get Rs 100 and at that time, it was a big amount,” she narrates. Besides the money, food formed a major part of the festival where any celebrations in Kerala is incomplete without a sadhya that consists of traditional lunch with many curries, pappadam and payasam served on banana leaf.
Asin, who has shifted base to Mumbai from South recently, says she does not get the time to visit her state as often as she would want to. “I love going to Kerala, but unfortunately due to my hectic shooting schedule I can't go there as often. But I'll be heading to the backwaters soon as I need a break. After Housefull 2, I have been busy with endorsements. Once I wrap up all this, I will take a short break with my friends,” she informs.