Our Onam lunch.
(From left to right: Robin, Anu, Stefan, Dalila and Shaji.)
As I took breakfast this morning Dalila, my wonderful cook, and Anu, my ever-cheerful houseboy, sat in the kitchen, separating flower petals.
We are now in the midst of Onam – Kerala’s biggest festival – a time celebrated by everyone: Hindus, Muslims and Christians alike.
Part of Onam’s tradition is the making of a “pookalam”: a small carpet of flower petals to welcome the return of a semi-mythical Kerala king whose reign, much like England’s King Arthur, was a time of peace, justice and chivalry.
Once they had taken breakfast Anu, with the help of Stefan – Dalila’s youngest son – spent the rest of the morning creating an Onam pookalam in our hall.