It is that day of the year when every little eye preys on the coffers of elders. Old or young, the charm of Vishu is all about a patient wait for ‘Vishu kaineettam’. The excitement eludes as we grow older. There is no escape from it even as the taker transforms into a giver. Nithin S.R., software professional, is testing if it is possible to bring the old-little self in him out this time. Gone are the days we anticipated coins or currency notes. He has clear plans to demand his uncle a ‘share’ of kaineetam through a UPI (Unified Payment Interface) channel – thanks to cashless India.
“UPI has been very much a part of every transaction carried out within our offices. It has been so popular among our tech community and we have been enjoying the cashless way of life so much. That’s why this Vishu I planned to ask my uncle for my kaineetam. It’s so easy like sending and receiving an email or text message. We both have our UPI ids. He just needs to accept my request, and my kaineettam is instantly in my account,” says Nithin who works with an IT firm in Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram. He finds it quicker and easier than any payment gateway, particularly when there is a dearth in availability of hard money.
The dried up waterholes on highways is palpable. Tipplers won’t admit it so easily though. Yet the serpentine queues on available outlets show the ‘dismal’ state of affairs. Those who make festivals a reason to make merry with a bottle of vintage are hard passing the tough test of endurance. Ullas Uthaman, a regular cyclist, couldn’t help his mouth from falling open while riding past a disciplined queue before a beverages outlet in Kochi on the penultimate day of Vishu. “I think it was about a kilometre long. About three-four bars have downed shutters next to my home since the ban came into effect. Now the tipplers have no other way, but depend on the available ones. Prior to the festive occasion, some people stock upon the thing a day or two before. Only last-minute planners are spotted in the long-winding queues. When these available stores run out of stock, the consumer will have little choice and take home what is left,” says Ullas who resides in Paravur.
This time around, there is a rare coincidence of Vishu and Good Friday which reminds us all about the importance of giving in different cultures. Actor Anu Sithara doesn’t need such a thing to fall upon. Vishu days since her childhood have been occasions of religious harmony. Raised as the elder child of parents who united beyond religious barriers, Vishu is another occasion that reinforces the need for togetherness. “All our family members show up at our home on Vishu. Being the darling granddaughter of my Ammumma (maternal grandma) and Ummumma (paternal grandma), together they prepare sadya. Ummumma used to be in the forefront actually. After getting married, I celebrated Vishu at my husband’s place once. By afternoon, we visited my home. This is my first Vishu on the sets. I really miss those good moments I cherish. I hope there is some surprise coming up for all of us,” says Anu from the location of Jayasurya-starrer Captain. She has two more movies, Ramante Eden Thottam and Achayans gearing up for release. After all that is being said and done, the collective conscience wants to celebrate Vishu most peacefully, Most people are keeping celebrations a less noisy affair with less crackers and revelry.