Kerala Festivals

Chingam 1st – Wish you a blessed year ahead

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Thumbapoo - Leucas zeylanica
Thumbapoo – Leucas zeylanica

To all malayali friends, today is Chingam 1st (first month and the 1st day of Malayalam Calendar year). Wish you a blessed year ahead. It also announces the arrival of Onam, the harvest festival of Keralites.

This flower named “Thumbapoo” is an integral part of onam floral decorations.

Thumbapoo – botanical name Leucas zeylanica, commonly Ceylon slitwort (Sinhala: ගැටතුඹ, Geta-tumba in Sinhala, halkusha in Bengali, Guldora in Punjabi, kulnnphul in Gujarati, Goma madhupati in Hindi, Kubo in Sindhi, Bhutamari in Oriya, Bahuphul in Marathi, Thumbai in Tamil, Thumbe in Kannada, Thummi in Telugu and Thumba in Malayalam ), is a small, terrestrial, herbaceous, annual, erect or sometimes tufted, hispid and aromatic plant of the subfamily Lamioideae of family Lamiaceae. Botanical synonyms include Leucas bancana Miq., Phlomis zeylanica Linn. and Spermacoce denticulata Walp., and is native in Tropical Asia to Malaya.

Daily Passionate Photography Thoughts – Do you hear the tinggggg?

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Daily Passionate Photography Thoughts – Do you hear the tinggggg?
Dear Friends,
I am thrilled today because my memories are taking me to my childhood days, when I lived at my ancestral home at Oorakam near Trichur within a big joint family amongst a group of children of various ages within the family and surroundings. Not like these days, gifts and pocket money were occasional and we had to wait for either Onam, or Vishu to get a pair of new dress or some money within our pocket for utilising for our own dream requirement. Money those days remained within the boundaries of maximum of a one rupee coin, which was by itself huge. It came to us only during Vishu when we get Vishu Kai neettam (gift of coins by eldest member of the family).
At our home, it was the right of Appettan, who is my grandmothers brother and eldest male member of the family to give this customary gift to all other family members including children. He keeps several coins with him of various denominations within the boundary of one rupee and distribute it to all according to age and his liking. Whatever the denomination we were all thrilled to get that precious gift from him on that auspicious day and very happily wait for it after our daily religious rituals.
Once we have this gift, all the boys group themselves and then go and get a rubber ball or a smaller football, to replace the existing old ones for us to play with. Those days, we used to get a medium 8 to 10 cm diameter sized for a nominal amount, and mostly, it was the only luxurious play item we all shared.
On some odd years, we had special appearances during these Vishu season by other senior male members of the family who were working outside of Kerala. So, as a mark of affection, they also discretely gave us additional coins of bigger denominations, even one rupee itself. This made a huge difference to all of us. We will then group ourselves and run to Devassy’s shop which is in the nearest town, that is Cherpu for a bigger ball, say about 25 cms diameter in size. The generous contribution means a lot. Bigger in size, bigger in temper, and the more reach it has. The “tingggggg” sound it produces when hit makes a huge thrill to all of us and the thrill of it keeps us grouped and cheerful for many days to come.
I am experiencing that odd gift and that tinggg thing in my mind today, by the visit of three little princess who came to see vishukani and get vishu kaineettam from us.

Education in all fields is mainly a self interest process. Many times due to various reasons, we do not get time to study a subject. But a systematic self learning process will take us to greater heights in those fields interesting for us. It is our responsibility to share and teach the new generation what we experienced. 
Let them learn to observe the characters, the nature, and be self sufficient to progress in life ahead. 
God bless you all and enjoy your week ahead by liking what you do and doing what you like.
Ramesh Menon
15th April 2015

Happy Vishu

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