Demon king Mahabali returns to his homeland every year. Evicted from his realm by Vamana, the dwarf avtar of Lord Vishnu, Mahabali ensured he had a boon allowing him to return to his favourite country once a year. And to celebrate his home-coming, people from all walks of life forget their divides of caste and creed to celebrate the Onam. Kerala erupts in a mad frenzy of unadulterated joy and festivities – ladies in their immaculate white and gold Kasavus, flaunting heirloom jewellery proudly handed down generations, their oiled tresses draped in strands of fragrant jasmine, men with luxuriant moustaches in their white mundus and spotless white shirts; the hysteric delirium and naked adrenalin rush around snake boat races along serpentine palm-fringed green-black canals; the intricately designed pookalams in an explosion of hues – yellow and orange marigolds, red and yellow roses, white pearls of jasmine, the odd pink lotus, to name a few; the subtle expression of Kathakali recitals, the ecstasy and trance of the Theyyam to the feverish rhythms of the chenda, the animated effervescence of the Pulikali; that delectable Onam Sadhya, a feast befitting royals – This is life at its pristine best, here the elements too conspire to welcome their favorite king back to his homeland !!!!

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