the fragrance of flowers. Before entering DoMS 101 for the lecture, we couldn’t help but notice the girls wearing lovely sarees and boys wearing dhotis working meticulously on a rangoli of flowers or “Onapookalam”. That was the introduction to Onam for some of the students coming from outside South India, for the rest it was another opportunity to celebrate in this great place where various cultures come together. It was the first festival to be celebrated in our department for the current academic session.
The actual celebrations started a little later in the afternoon when all of us gathered together. Ph.D. student Mr Giriraj (popularly known as Giri) started the proceedings he asked whether students from outside South India knew about the festival, a few hands got up, some of us had gathered some info about Onam, Giri began telling us about the festival. Later MPG sir filled in and told us more about Onam.
As the Story goes Onam is the Hindu festival to welcome the kind demon King Mahabali whose kingdom once extended from earth to shores of heaven and , but was sent to the netherworld by lord Vishnu.
After this, the traditional lamp was lit up by Prof. Thenmozhi, followed by a traditional onam song by one of the research scholars. The celebrations ended with Payasam distribution among students. For many of us, it was the first taste of Payasam, and the first experience of Onam. It was, in a way, a perfect way for all of us to come together and celebrate not just Onam but the spirit of DoMS, giving us an experience that would remain with us for a very long time.
Manu Sharma and Suyash Binjola
Class of 2014
Roshni Anna John
Class of 2014