I MISS MY KERALAM

I MISS MY KERALAM

Now I am in Delhi for the last two months ; I miss the green rice fields , the rows of coconut trees , the rivers and the Western Ghats , guarding the land and causing torrential rains. I miss the people I used to meet , while selling books. The daily bus journey , often very crowded , the waiting for the bus for Chathakudam, at Trichur and the hot tea and vada at Radhakrishna coffee house .

Above all , I miss the ‘deeparadhana’ (arti) in the evening at Sastha temple at Chathakudam ! From six to seven in the evening , I spend in the temple .

The journey to Guruvayoor temple each month, on the first of the Malayalam month, is another memorable journey. It costs only Rs.20 bus fare , from Trichur to Guruvayoor. The crowd in the temple is horrible , but I patiently stand in the que. Even if I get preference as senior citizen, the people press me hard , as we near the sanctum. Even if only for a few seconds, ‘darhan’ fills my soul with nectar !

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WHEN I ALMOST COLLAPSED

Several times have I read in Malayalam newspapers about people collapsing and dying at railway platforms, work places etc.

Two days back, I had this nasty experience.

The whole night I could not sleep because of loose motion. I became extremely weak.

In the morning, I avoided break fast, for fear of further trouble. So I remained in bed till about 9 AM.

Afterwards, I had strong coffee and had to walk a little in connection with the ritual (upanayanam-janyu) to attend which we had gone there. I remained with other guests for some time and slowly walked back to my room.

To my surprise I found that ladies had occupied my room; so I tried to climb upstairs for a place to lie down. In the exertion, I lost consciousness for a few seconds and collapsed on the staircase . I vaguely remember some lady (it was Sheela) helping me to get up and continued climbing the remaining steps.

Soon some one placed a pillow over a mat spread there in a hurry and I felt all right after a minute. To satisfy the small crowd around me, I sat up for a few seconds and then I was left alone.

I was given water with a small quantity of sugar.

I THOUGHT THE END WAS NEAR. It was a flickering sensation. I did not like to die, because I have a lot to write  ….

SAMBHARAM, KERALA’S OWN DRINK

In the north, a visitor is offered a large tumblerful of water, as soon as he is seated. Here in Keralam, water is given only when asked for. This may be because of humid climate here. We gladly offer tea or coffee.

Our traditional drink is tender coconut water which is a good source of pure glucose, and may be given intravenously, doctors say. I have never seen it done, in practice.

Coconut water is very popular in Bombay and other cities. There is a story that Marshal Tito, the communist dictator of Yugoslavia, liked it so much, when he visited our State, in the fifties, that he ordered a wagon load of  tender coconuts, which he carried with him while in India!

Another less known drink is sambharam or diluted curd. Sour curd is is mixed with eight times its volume of water, curry leaves and cut green chillis with a pinch of salt. The whole thing is thoroughly mixed and offered to the visitor, especially in the hilly areas where coconuts are scarce. It is an excellent invigorating natural drink, now sold by Milma, government dairy, in saches.

I remember a hut where sambharam used to be stored in a large stone tub, at Oorakam  centre. It is filled in an earthen jug with a small hole in the side, through which the contents are poured into the mouth. It is not to be spoiled by touching the lips. It was sponsored by some kind man, like water in a pyavu (water hut) in north India.

Now, old times have disappeared. Bottled mineral water is sold every where. At home I like sambharam!

DISCONNECTED

During train journey, I felt like a bird whose wings have been clipped. I could only hop around.

This is because I am addicted to blogging.

The journey by train was pretty boring. It was an old sleeper coach converted into AC three tier coach. The food was horrible. The pantry car was making only tea and coffee and few snacks like mashed potato dipped in flour and fried.

The door of one coach was without spring.

Will E.Ahmad listen?

SHORT STORY – ANANTHU’S FAMILY

My name is Ananthapadmanabhayyar. As it is too long, all called me Anathu. As we lived in a remote village, father put me in a school in Bombay where my uncle lived.

I had some school mates who led me to women of undesirable character and soon I knew things which were very tempting, including alcohol.

Uncle arranged a stenographer’s job for me. I was very quick and accurate; so much so that I got several jumps in my factory. Then father thought of marrying me to a girl who was related to him

There was no thrill of the “first night”described in novels and shown in films; still I enjoyed deflowering her. For the first time, I saw hymen!

 She was plain but very docile and enjoyed our new life, seeing a city like Bombay for the first time.

We were living in the quarter allotted by the company. I found that my wife, Nina, was becoming very popular with the neighbours and one or two were always there, when I came home. I didn’t like it but could not find a way of convincing Nina, who was too innocent to suspect their intentions.

I was happy to leave her in her home in the village as soon as she became pregnant. I reestablished contacts with my night lovers who were too eager and adept in making love.

When she came with a son, everything changed. I never knew that a baby could be so sweet and precious. As son as I came home, the boy would come smiling and the next one hour would be spent in playing with it. On holidays, we would go for a movie or to some friends’ flat. Or simply moving around in parks or temples.

The years passed and my son was enrolled in a good school. As soon as the school bus moved away with the kid, I would be uneasy until the boy returned safe and sound, at two in the afternoon.

We used to attend parent-teacher meetings. The teachers were full of praise for our boy, except that he needed improvement in maths. So we engaged a tutor for him.

One day I returned at noon from the factory to search for some document. I saw a pair of shoes in our front veranad. The door was locked from inside.

I quetly went round towards our bed room. There were sounds from inside; when I peeped through the window curtain, Nina was lying on the bed with her skirt drawn up and Pawar was pumping with gusto…. More forcefully, more forcefully: she was shouting…….

I was dazed and completely lost my senses.

 Somehow, I managed to walk away towards the railway station

I was sitting on a parapet on the road side, where the road and the rail line were running parallel. I do not know how long I sat there, watching the movement of suburban trains and the red buses. A woman came and sat beside me. It was Mary. Both of us had learned short hand in the same institute together.

She said: after a long time I am seeing you; what are you doing here? You look terribly upset.

I was in no mood to speak. We new each other too much and all attempts at evasion were futile. I spoke out, about what I saw in my bed room.

She kept mum for some time; then she urged me to go with her: my mother is not well. That is why I am here.

We walked along, talking. I just listened.

I am working in a private company at Nagpur. You know I can manage any boss with my beautiful body. Now I am getting handsome salary. Still unmarried. I don’t say you marry me. Let us live together. I shall fix up a job for you. I have just to ring up my boss.

We reached her place. It was a rented house which her parents occupied long ago. Her father was no more.

Her mother was very pleased to see me She told me to sit beside her in the bed and kissed me on the cheek: I am seeing you after a long time. Now you have become a man. Aren’t you married?

Yes, Maji. How are you?

I am beyond hope. My daughter gives me all sorts of medicines. I tell her not to waste money on me.

Mary brought coffee and biscuits. Afterwards, we went to her room.

As was our habit, we lay on the bed. She cuddled towards my body and whispered in my ear: I am yearning for your warmth.

I was in no mood. Yet, can any man resist it? How long? Soon we were converted into the Khajuraho postures.

At last, when fully satisfied, she opened the subject: you must realize that circumstances make us virtuous or not. What will your wife do when you are away in the factory and the kid in the school? And this neighbour, having done his night duty is ready all the time. It is not a new thing. Fashionable ladies are always eager to have a fling. They are just afraid.

I told her I can come with her.

The first few months were somewhat pleasant. But I missed the joy we felt at home, with the boy a source of great comfort, especially when I return from the factory. He was a tonic, better than a glass of fresh fruit juice.

And those barbs…….Poor Mary has to satisfy her boss in the office and Ananthu at home…. some wags would say.

I told her about it.

She said: if you want, I shall give up my job.

That is a good idea, but I want my boy.

We decided to go to my quarter in the factory, but my family had already left.

One day I just went away, in spite of Mary’s protests.

First, I went to Hardwar and then Rishikesh. In those days the mountainous Rishikesh was somewhat scarcely populated, especially upstream along the bank of the Ganga. In my state of mind I approached several sadhus living in caves. No one impressed me, but their very presence was soothing.

A well known Guru in a math was different. He advised me about life in general.

He said: sanyas is not for young people like you. You have done Brahmacharya (schooling). Now you must complete your Grihastham, including looking after business, property, children etc. When all things are settled and your children grown up and able to look after the business, should you think of Vanaprasth. You may wander the whole Himalayas even now, as it will change your narrow out look and enable you to see things objectively. Stay here for some days and go through the books in my library.

I followed his instructions literally and then returned to my village, after wandering in the Himalayas for full six years.

I was able to locate my family after some enquiriesthough her people had shifted to Salem.

 Nina appeared like a shadow of her former self, very thin and wiry. The boy was grown up and could not recognize me. In spite of the presence of curious on lookers, I went and embraced them.

WHEN WE REJOINED, IT WAS A NEW LIFE.

SEX EDUCATION-3 – WANT A BABY?

 CALENDAR OF OVULATION

 First, brush up our knowledge of biology.

 There are two ovaries with each one studded with thousands of ova of various stages of growth. Every 27 days, one ovum (egg) matures and get detached from the ovary. The next one will be from the other ovary; thus there is a continuous chain of eggs, coming to the uterus, except during pregnancy. This is called ovulation.

 Even if not fertilized by a sperm from the semen, the ovum tries to develop a rudimentary placenta. Then the whole thing is thrown out of the uterus. This is the monthly, bloody discharge.

During ovulation the temperature of the woman’s body shows a slight increase. So the first requirement is to prepare a permanent temperature chart, with which we can even predict the next menses time.

 The ovum remains alive for some five days. The sperms in the semen, too, have a life span of two days. So if sexual intercourse is done during ovulation, pregnancy chances are more. Care should be taken to take the temperature of the woman, before she gets up from the bed, without taking any food, not even bed coffee. Three days after the ovulation, chances of pregnancy are rare. So sex should be confined to the day of ovulation, so that maximum accumulation of semen can be ensured. After the first intercourse, keep up the tempo for two more days.

The calendar can be useful for birth control too. Avoid sex during the week, beginning from three days before and ending three days after ovulation.

 ROLE OF SOYBEAN

 Apart from improving general health, regular intake of soybean will ensure better health of sex organs, including sufficient build up of semen and increase in the number of sperms in the semen. In case of hyperinsulinamia (see my blog Protein power), eggs in the ovaries whither away, causing infertility. If starchy food is totally avoided and a diet of soybean, eggs, meat, milk, vegetables etc. strictly followed, the insulin level will come down. The ovaries will retain the ova and thus help in pregnancy.

TENSION

 In modern life, the man is subjected to continuous pressure of work, resulting in temporary impotence. The favourable days of the menses calendar should be ear marked for tension free sex. Understanding between husband and wife is a must.

Yoga may help.