Onam back a year after big flood

Onam is here and Malayali organisations are hosting events across the city to mark the harvest festival. They had cancelled the celebrations last year because of the floods in Kerala and Karnataka. 

The celebrations begin this weekend and stretch well into November. 

East Cultural Association

Celebrations are elaborate with something for everyone at this Indiranagar organisation. Onotsavam kicks off with entertainment by club members on September 14, 4 pm.

On September 15, 10.30 am, Kalamandalam Mohanakrishnan presents ‘Ottamthullal’ (satirical art form). K S Harishankar and his band ‘Pragathi’ perform at 7 pm. Also slated are Bharathanatyam performances by Shree Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind and Aparna Vinod Menon, ‘Double Thayambaka’ by Kalanilayam Udayan Namboothiri and Chirkkal Nidheesh, ‘Shinkarimelam’ and a dance-drama recital by Kalamandalam Aswathi Sankar Lal. 

Devasia Kurian, president, ECA says, “We have been celebrating Onam for decades. It’s only last year that we didn’t celebrate and everyone is excited to be back as a community. Members practise for a long for the event.” 

A ‘pookalam’ competition is another highlight. 

To attend: Open to members. Guest fee Rs 150. For details, 080 2526 2058. 

Kerala Samajam (across 9 zones)

The group has nine zones spread across the city -- Whitefield, K R Puram, City, East, Usloor, Malleswaram, Cantonment, Peenya and Magadi Road -- and celebrates Onam from September 22 to November 17. 

The programmes include celebrity appearances (actress Bhama, among others), orchestra and classical dance performances, ‘chenda melam’ or ‘singari melam’ (percussion performance).

Reji Kumar, general secretary, says, “Onam is a big day for Malayalis and most head home to be with family and friends. Those who are not able to go back celebrate it at their Bengaluru homes. But as a community, everyone looks forward to getting together.”

To attend: Entrance free. For details call 98452 22688.

Kalavedi, Marathahalli

The 54-year-old association is hosting its yearly Onam celebrations on September 29 at Kalabhavan, Doddakannelli - Kaadubeesanahalli Road.

The events include dance and music performances, with Ganamela by Chengannur Sreekumar being a highlight. 

Balakrishnan PVN, secretary, says, “We also honour and award students who excel with gold coins and certificates.”

This year’s celebrations, after a break, come as a reminder that the community stands together through thick and thin, he says.  

To attend: By invitation. For details, call 98456 91596. 

Kairalee Kala Samithi, Old Airport Road

Celebrations on September 21 and 22 include cultural meet and entertainment programmes.

September 22 will witness a ‘Pookkalam competition’, where winners are awarded cash prizes. A fancy dress competition and entertainment programme by the Kairalee Mahila Vedi, Yuvajana Vedi and students of Kairalee Nilayam Schools is also on the cards.

Also slated are a music nite by playback singer Sithara and team and an appearance by actress Tanvi Ram of ‘Ambily’ fame.

P K Sudish, secretary, “It is a delight to celebrate Onam after trying times. We are excited to bring many treats to Bengalureans including the percussion mela by Padmashree Perumanam Kuttan Marar and his team of 50. They have never been brought to the city before.”

To attend: Open. For details, call 98454 39090. 

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