Onam celebrations at Deepalaya Corporate office
With the onset of ten-day long celebrations in Kerala, staff at Deepalaya head office decided to celebrate Onam on 27th August. It was decided to cook the Onam feast in the kitchen area by purchasing vegetables and other ingredients from the market. Woman employees volunteered to cut vegetables while Mr. Johnson and Ms. Lizy decided to cook. Dressed in Kerala Sarees, the women staff reached the office half an hour early to prepare the feast. Though the festival was celebrated last year too, it was entirely a new experience for the new joinees, who were alien to the South Indian Culture.
The ground floor was decorated with flowers to celebrate the visit of the King Mahabali to Kerala. The festival marks the tribute to the sacrifice of Kind Mahabali. As people from North India were unaware about the story of King Mahabali, Ms. Thankamani recited the tale. How Lord Vishnu disguised himself as a dwarf and a poor Vamana visited Kerala to test the allegiance of the King to the people.
Poor Vamana asks the King for some land which can be covered in his three steps. The King was surprised to hear but agreed despite resistance from his adviser, Shukracharya. Within minutes, Vamana increased himself to the size of cosmic proportions and covered the entire earth in first step and the space in the second step and there was no space for keeping his third step.
The King offered to place his last step on his head to save the earth. The Brahmin placed his foot on the King’s head, which pushed him to Patala, the nether world. Thereafter Lord Vishnu appears in person and decides to grant a boon. The King was so attached to his Kingdom and people, he asked Lord Vishnu to allow him to visit Kerala every year to know the wellbeing of his people. Moved by the king’s nobility, Lord Vishnu granted the wish.
It is the day of the King’s visit to Kerala that is celebrated as Onam every year. Thereafter, the feast was served. Some of the employees served and the others partook of the feast. It was a memorable day for all of us.