Upholding the true spirit of Onam, which proclaims the unity of mankind and equality among the people, Onam celebrations of KMPA members held at Nandanam Hall at BTH Sarovaram, Ernakulam on 2nd October 2016 turned out to be a celebration of cordiality and solidarity.
Apart from the spirit of friendship that was obvious all through the celebrations and cultural activities, the launch of Ladies Forum, a new and innovative venture that further strengthened the family bonds of the KMPA members, was also a testimony to the augmenting unity.
Celebrating a new beginning
The celebrations began at 10 am with a prayer. In the welcome speech that followed, Mr. Shaji Antony, the Co-chairman of Hospitality & Recreation Committee, specially thanked Mr. Shaji Manjooran, the Chairman of the Committee, for his valuable support rendered to conduct the programme.
In his Presidential Address, Mr. S. Saji, the President of KMPA, expounded on the relevance of launching the Ladies Forum of KMPA. The family ties among the members are being brought closer through this forum, he said. “This relation can develop only by involving the spouses of the office-bearers. An association can progress only through the camaraderie among its members. The launching of the Ladies Forum is the humble beginning of such an initiative.” He also added that noted Malayalam writer Thanuja S. Bhattathiri would be the Chief Guest, who would also inaugurate the Ladies Forum.
The President also solicited the whole hearted support from the members of the Association for the newly elected Management Committee. He also presented mementos to the previous office-bearers.
Mrs. Smitha Venugopal, wife of the Immediate Past President G. Venugopal, introduced Ms. Thanuja Bhattathiri, the Chief Guest of the celebrations. A renowned writer, specialized in short stories, Ms. Thanuja is also PRO at Medical Trust Hospital, Ernakulam. Many of her writings have been translated into Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and English.
Inauguration of the Ladies’ Forum
It was followed by the historic inauguration of the Ladies’ Forum amid a grand ambience. In the inauguration by lighting the lamp, Ms. Thanuja Bhattathiri, the Chief Guest was joined by five female personages Sarada Rajendran, wife of late Rajendran, Founder President of KMPA, Daisy Jose, wife of late Jose Joseph, Usha Venugopal, wife of Past President O. Venugopal, Mary Joseph, wife of Past President Joseph Muttathottil and Smitha Venugopal, wife of G. Venugopal, the Immediate Past President.
Inspired women inspire the society
Ms. Thanuja Bhattathiri delivered an inspiring speech on the role of women in society and the need for more women to surge into the mainstream. “It’s good to see that women in all spheres of life are getting together for various causes. I am closely associated with such groups” she said.
Ms. Thanuja then spoke about the source of her inspiration: “The inspiration I had very early in my life to involve in women’s initiatives was my grandmother Late Lalithambika Antharjanam, who was born in a very traditional Kerala Namboothiri family, broke the shackles of orthodoxy and came into the mainstream society to become a role model to women in this state through her literary activism.” She also expressed her conviction that KMPA Ladies’ Forum, an important initiative, will definitely bind the members of the fraternity more closely.
One of the prominent members in the Ladies Forum, Mrs. Sarada Rajendran expressed her optimism on the newly launched Forum. An accomplished activist and entrepreneur herself, Mrs. Rajendran also wished every success to the Forum.
Merriment with Maveli
The most exiting session of the day, a merry time with Maveli, the star of Onam celebrations, started when the members of ladies’ forum welcomed Maveli with the traditional song: “Mavelinaaduvanidumkaalam…” R. Haridas, a prominent member of KMPA, dressed up as Maveli and won the hearts of the audience with a hilarious speech. The audience often burst into laughter by his witty remarks.
Awards for excellence
KMPA, always in the forefront to identify talent and acknowledge them, bestowed cash awards to 15 top-scoring students from CUIET Calicut, IPT Shoranur and Vocational Higher Secondary Schools. The awards were sponsored by 15 KMPA members.
On the occasion, prizes were also distributed to the children of KMPA members who excelled in their studies and extra-curricular activities. The award winners were: Shilpa Elizabeth Biju, Roslyn Paul Dominic, Milan Antony Jose, Anjali B. Theruvan, Sajna M. Saju, Reshma Manoj, Anna Shaji, Karthik Biju and Sona Davis.
The official programmes ended with the Vote of Thanks delivered by G. Rajesh, the General Secretary.
Sweet songs, delightful dance and a striking skit
The cultural entertainment session began with an enchanting Mohiniyattam performance by Nanditha Rajesh, daughter of G. Rajesh, the General Secretary of KMPA, which was highly appreciated. G. Venugopal, Manmohan Shenoy, Raju N. Kutty and Mrs. Sindhu Saji entertained the audience by singing solo songs in Hindi and Malayalam. The duet performed by Mrs & Mr. Sabu was a memorable experience. Thiruvathira Kali performed by the members of Ladies’ Forum added a traditional Kerala flavor to the celebrations.
The highlight of the cultural programmes was a musical skit performed by KMPA couples. The President Saji and his wife led the league, followed by Mrs. & Mr. G. Venugopal, Mrs. & Mr. G. Rajesh, Mrs. & Mr. K.P. Sabu and Mrs. & Mr. Manmohan Shenoy.
Lingering taste of happiness and unity
The true joy of Onam was experienced by all, and was evident on their faces throughout. In the lucky dip held during the intervals between the programmes, K. Madhusoodhanan, Manmohan Shenoy and T.P Radhakrishnan won a gold coin for each. Mrs. & Mr. K.P. Sabu won the prize for the ‘Best Dressed Couple’. A flavorsome OnaSadhya that topped the memorable day remained as a delightful experience to all the members of KMPA to cherish for a long time.