The festival of Malayalees, Onam, is also a festival in UAE, especially for the department stores that make everything a consumer product. This time there were flower carpets, big and small, in most places. The ona sadhya (feast) is served in banana leaves, and Aisha wanted one leaf when she saw stacks of it in the store. So we
A small flower carpet.
too decided to cook a sadhya for Onam. Sadhya is a pure vegetarian meal with lots of side dishes along with rice. We flipped through cook-books, browsed the cookery sites and asked our parents for suggestions of experiences. Shopping for the banana leaves and vegetables was the next step. We bought six leaves for everyone of us, and Aisha and her cousin divided it themselves from the store.
Eating on a banana leaf was new to Aisha. It is a common practice in Kerala to serve on banana leaves. The senior citizens still believe that food tastes better when served on banana leaves. Aisha was impatient for having to wait for so long to eat on a banana leaf. We prepared dinner so that everyone can join in for it. But Aisha and her cousin couldn't wait to be served on leaf and so they had their dinner earlier, before Dad reached home.

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