At their apartment in T. Nagar, Chennai, the newly-wed Basil Joseph and Elizabeth Samuel are busy preparing for Onam. They moved there just a few days ago and are starting from scratch. “This flat has not been in use for two years. So, we have to take care of every aspect, from painting to plumbing,” says Basil.
It is the couple’s first Onam after their wedding. It marks a new beginning for them. And they are striving hard to make it memorable. They are on a mission — to get the apartment ready by Onam to begin their new life there. “We are planning to invite our friends and cousins over here for Onam celebrations and serve sadya. We will buy some flowers and make a pookalam,” says Basil and quickly adds that both of them are not good at cooking.
“But, we want to cook for our guests. Hence, we are surfing YouTube for cooking lessons. I know at least the basics. I am better than her at cooking,” he says with a chuckle.
And, Elizabeth joins, “Last time, we, friends had prepared sadya, which was a success. But then, at least one person knew how to do it. I have no clue about it. Now, I will have to depend upon Google,” she says with a laugh. “But before that, we will have to set up our home. We have to wrap up the maintenance work. Yes, we are excited. It is our first Onam. We are in our new house and preparing hard for the day,” she adds.
It was after seven years of courtship that Basil and Elizabeth tied the knot in August. “She was my junior in college,” says Basil, who first saw Elizabeth in saree during Onam celebrations in college. “She was wearing a traditional set saree and I was in mundu and shirt. Ours was a secret romance and we never interacted much on campus. We admired each other in traditional attire from a distance,” says Basil, describing the situation, humming the song Kannum kannum thammil thammil….
Quiz him about his Onam memories and he says, “I think the Onam mood has changed in Kerala. Many times, I have felt that in Kerala, the spirit of Onam has reduced to celebrations at offices and wearing traditional attires. At the same time, Malayali communities living outside are very keen about the festival. They plan months before Onam and invite guests. For them, it is like a reunion.”
Basil’s previous project Godha, starring Tovino Thomas and Wamiqa Gabbi, was a success. He will have a leisure time after Onam, before starting his next project starring Tovino Thomas and Mammootty.
“We have just announced the new project. The script is by Unni chettan (Unni R.). He is right now busy with his other projects. Our project will begin in 2018 once he is free,” says Basil.
Till then, as Basil says, he will be enjoying the new role in life. “I will be experiencing the role of a Grihanadhan,” he quips....