Every second, our body is releasing hormones into the blood.
A naked woman, a beautiful scenery, scenes in the animal kingdom etc. are examples of mental reaction to imagery. When confronted with a cobra, it is actual command for action, induced by reality. This too is caused by hormones.
Pavlov operated a dog and fitted a tube through which, gastric juice produced in the stomach was collected and measured.
Every day the animal was given food, after ringing a bell. Afterwards he found that the sound of the bell caused production of juice, even when no food was given. This is known as conditioned reflex.
There is a joke about an old man who enjoyed sex much beyond his capacity. Even when he was unable to perform, he enjoyed seeing it done by his servants. A time came when the mere sound of the couple coming to his room, produced ecstacy in the old man!
Saints and their disciples pray and spend time, reading and hearing lectures about spiritual topics. This induces hormonal changes causing indifference to sex. We call it sublimation.
Elderly people get engaged in politics or devotion to God. As their obsession with these topics increases, hormonal changes become inevitable.
A sick prson broods about his illness; this adversely affects his recovery.
Thus the body influences the mind and vice versa



History is replete with instances of childlessness.

King Dashrath of Ayodhya conducted puthrakameshty yagam (Yajn) to invoke divine power to produce children.

Heroine of freedom struggle of 1857, Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, was a close friend of the British. But she failed to have a son and the British refused permission to adopt one. She was so much annoyed that she herself fought against the British forces, in the ensuing war.

This trend has gained momentum in recent times. I know several couple who would pay any price to have babies, male or female.

Has the modern life style contributed to what is called anapathyata (infertility)?

I BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD NOT ASK FOR ANYTHING. Our Father in heaven knows what is best for us.


There are newspaper reports of sacrificing six children in order to have a son. In fact, a tantric advised the couple to sacrifice eleven children, but the whole thing became public and they were arrested by the police.

New born babies were routinely sacrificed at Kali temple in Calcutta, where sacrifice of goats is still taking place. At Kodungalloor Kali temple, hundreds or even thousands of cocks were killed, by wringing their neck, during Bharani festival, before it was banned. During Dussera, baffallows are beheaded in Nepal.

Self torture is another shameful practice.  One day I saw a young man pulling a car, tied to the skin of his back, by piercing the skin. A large number of people were watching and encouraging the poor fellow.  This happened right in the capital of India.

Piercing thick needle through the cheeks is still common during kavidiyattam in Murugan covil.

Real Hinduism is just enlightened philosophy. In ancient India there were no temples even.

Many great men tried to enlighten the uneducated public; but nothing succeeded. We are still feudal; only industrialisation and universaal education can achieve the results.


Our mental horizon is different from our physical world.

The experience of our childhood make an indelible impression in our mind. This world we always carry with us.

 The books we read, the friends and hostile people we met during our youth, the TV shows and a variety of scenes we witnessed- all these contribute to our mental horizon. As this spiritual world is different for each individual, sometimes we do not understand each other, even when we speak the same language.

“Hang him, not let him live; hang him not, let him live.” A comma makes all the difference ! When we talk, how can we put the comma? The result is break down of communication.

 Many newly married couple fail to make it, because they cannot appreciate the view points of another, as each one’s spiritual horizon is different.

Rural and city people can never appreciate each other. Patience is a valuable asset in the success of married life, as also in the office and on the road. Alas ! We are very much deficient in this respect.

Instead of making a cushion, our words sharpen the edge, when we use each word as a weapon.

Yet we are eager to have friendship and love.


 With the break of the joint family, members of the clan meet but rarely.

Now  social networking through the electronic media is becoming popular.

 Long ago I remember a marriage in our ancestral home. Relatives started coming in, even weeks before the event. There will be any number of children to play with.

 The day before marriage is ayini oonu That day all the relatives, even very distant ones, assemble to watch the bride or the groom eating! She sits on the floor, in front of a large plantain leaf and lighted bronze lamp, with her best friend seated on her right, in a similar style. All the dishes are served, even if the time is six in the morning and a hot cup of tea may be more welcome!

The time is determined by the panditji (we call him odikan or oikan). Even now this drama is performed with the video camera man doing his work.

All people will be busy talking, as some of them may be meeting after ten or twenty years. On one side, an improvised kitchen will come up, two days before for frying banana chips etc. In our home there are plenty of rooms for cooking, eating and other purposes.

After the oonu, the bride will not leave the house. The next day, all the boy’s relatives will come to attend the formal marriage, the ritual lasting four days after the marriage, during which period the couple are not allowed to meet.

 During the four days, the girl is offered to different Gods! On the fourth day, the odikan instructs the couple how to do the act (in those days the age of the boy and girl may be fifteen and twelve). He actually shows the way, the dhoti is removed to one side and the member exposed, they say. I have not seen it. After the act, they have to take the ritual bath.

As there will be a number of marriages in a year, all clan members have ample opportunity to meet. That is real networking!


When we feel like talking, some one should listen.

Now all want to talk.

 Once my colleague in Audit department was sent on deputation to our Embassy in Sweden. Beng alone, he went to a public park and sat on a lonely spot, watching the people around, mostly elderly ones.

After some time, an elderly couple approached him. Seeing an Asian, they were curious to know more about him. They knew some rudiments of English and the started a conversation.

They were happy beyond words and invited him for dinner. When my friend realised that it would be cruel to refuse such show of affection, he went with them.

Therafter, he used to visit the old couple every Sunday.

They had a son who used to come occasionally to visit them; but their meetings were rather formal. The warmth which makes conversation lively was missing.

I too feel like the Swedish couple, unable to have a rapport with the members of my clan. The same feeling of loneliness comes, when I am in a crowd, even if it is in a marriage party or a new year party.

You must excuse me for sharing such personal feelings.


Birth of KPC

I have to fill up some gap in the narrative.

About two centuries ago, a girl in my kk family fell in love with a boy in Kunnathur mana (Padinjaredath, after the split into Kizhakedath and Padinjaredath). As he was a younger brother, he should not have married from his own caste; but the lovers managed to marry.

In due course, a bonny boy was born to the couple who lived in-cognito. The boy was regularly brought to the Peruvanam temple for Darshan of Eratteppan (it was recently that I knew about it. Eratta = double; there is a big lingam and a small one, side by side). The smart boy invited the attention of Ittivasu-aphan (Brother-in-law of Shaktanthampuran) who was meditating in the mandapam.

 On being asked: which is your family?

The boy said: Padinjaredath which surprised the aphan!

A boy in my family, unknown to me?

When matters were clarified, he persuaded the elder brother to bring the young family and both lived happily ……till fate ordered almost a violent implosion. My uncle (eldest) and father of the present kpc generaion hated each other, like Duryodhana and Bhima. My brother may know all about it. A separate kitchen was set up. Maternal grandmother who knew Mahabharat so well failed to intervene. Her opposite number was a simple village girl. After protracted cold war, it was decided to partition the property. Neither party had enough money to pay compensation. So they approached Raja of Travancore who purchased the house. Now some social activities are going on there.

Uncle moved to Kuttapuzha which is very fresh in my memory, as construction of the new house at Naruvakulangara was going on under the supervision of my father. There were a number of wooden vessels used to store sambar etc during feast and we used  to play in them as boats !From Kuttapuzha house we would climb the broken corner wall of the temple and collect marod- a long flat piece of baked earth used as tile-rendered waste after the temple was renovated, with manglore tiles. We would make multi storey structures with marod. Krishnammaman, of my age, was my playmate. Ma’s father married a second time to dispose of my ma’s elder sister(here was a tragedy before which ma’s fate pales into insignificance; at least, ma enjoyed brief spells of affluence and happiness) Krishnammaman was son to the second wife.

One day there was a commotion. My stepsister was running towards the fence. Maheswaran’n elder brother, who was later to be closely associated to me, was trying to come down from a bamboo tree. A thorn had pierced his eye. They took him to Nambisan’s clinic at Trichur, but could not save the eye.


My guru died, followed by several of his brothers, on account of some epidemic, I think. Vedic education came to an end. I wanted to go to school inspired by the fact, perhaps, that all my cousins in ma’s house went to school.

Somehow, I had a half shirt and half trouser. I changed into this new dress and approached uncle Vasudevaphn, who was working at high school at Cherpu. He was reading something at his bungalow at kottical. When he heard me, he quietly gave me a four anna coin (25 paise) and dismissed me.

I went straight to ma’s house at Naruvakulangara and requested the one-eyed Aniettan (Neelakanthan)to help me. Next day at 9 am we started for the high school, where he was studying. In front of the Karayogam School, he asked me to wait and proceeded further. At 10 the bell rang. I panicked and followed the children who went into the first standard. I sat with them on a bench. There were no desks. Ramankutty master (there male teachers were called so) must have been surprised. He did not say anything. I immensely liked the new atmosphere .The masterji drew a fine pumpkin on the blackboard which looked like a real one.

At lunch break, he gave me a form and told me to get it filled by elders. I do not remember who signed it. Perhaps my second uncle. I dutifully handed over the form to masterji.

That was the happiest day in my life! Goddess Saraswatiy must have been very pleased. My parents or anybody in my family, probably, did not know about it, until I returned on Friday evening.


After partition of property between Vasudevaphan and our family, when we came away, we became refugees in our own village. Who would take responsibility of a young widow and her four children without any wherewithal? We were housed in an old uninhabited cottage. A faithful maidservant remained with mother even in her woes. Across the fields my brother and I would run to join our cousins who are children of Ramaphan, who happened to be patrnal great grandfather’s youngest son. Recently I happened to see the latter’s cousin, something like a character from history. I did not know that such a person ever lived. This is a peculiar nature. I never cared to know anything about anyone. Now I want to have a record of each member of our clan. Living ones are more than sixty in number.

Ramaphan’s son Unni (KRS) is only slightly elder to me. At that time, we were about thirteen. Next comes Vasudevan and Raman. Their orchard is very large and has a big pond and two or three wells. In the night we all used to sleep together.

At the Shiva temple Othootu was going on. Yajurveda would be recited every day for forty one days continuously, from morning till midnight with lunch break of an hour or so.

Morning breakfast at 8, lunch at 1p.m., evening light food at 6, and dinner at midnight .There were oil and vaka (powdered bark of a tree) and crushed leaves of hedge for shampoo (what a healthy life style !) at the temple tank for our use (only for Namboodiris) Our bath may take a long time, massaging, talking and swimming…..

Practically we children enjoyed the time.

Poor ma once woke up in the night and saw something hanging from the roof .The only light was from a small bottle lamp (filled with kerosene and fitted with a perforated lid through which a wick is inserted) She woke up the maid. It was a SNAKE, probably poisonless (Rat snake) chera, but remember that father died of snakebite !All through the night, they kept vigil lest it may harm the sleeping girls…

Thiruvallakavu temple, now famous for initiating kids into the world of letters, is only two miles from our house. People offer appam (rice powder and jaggery mixed and made into balls which are then fried in pure cows’ ghee) We walk the distance , circumventing the hill, with hardly any dwelling in that are (now there is bus service, tarred road, plenty of terrace buildings and Santa Maria School) and stray dogs with menacing looks, reach the main Trichur-Kodungallor road. At 3pm is the pooja. The appetizing fragrance of ghee diverts our attention while praying for sadbudhi (wisdom). We may eat the appam then and there.

One day a stranger appeared, wearing khaki trousers and half-sleeved shirt. He smiled at us and started talking, as if he knew us. He was hefty and well built and had leadership qualities. He organized local farmers to form a Kisan Sabha.We were easily entangled into a Balasangham.He became a hero-comrade M.N., later; a warrier also became an activist.

Our Cochin state was an independent entity, ruled by a king, area comprising of the land south of Bharatapuzha and Travancore state in the South, beyond Ernakulum district. There was demand for peoples’ representation in the administration and people were becoming politically conscious. A private road leading to a temple was closed to lower castes. They were agitating for the right to use the road. Police mercilessly beat them up. M.N. was among them. We saw him coming with several injuries. Our tender hearts melted, we gave the appams we were carrying, to comrade.

At that time I took Savithri, my sister to Vallachira School and enrolled her there. I do not remember any of our relatives visiting us. Not even maternal grandmother!

Avanavil mana had three elephants. The youngest Ramachandran became out of control and refused to come out of the temple tank. We all went to see the fun. It was spectacle worth watching. The animal was swimming and diving, sometimes only the four feet visible above water, moving from corner to corner within seconds, muddying the water, putting the mahouts to an ordeal. They taught him a lesson, after he was ultimately enticed with a bunch of plantains, beating him right and left. The poor creature was simply enjoying a dip in water. He was a waterfriend. I almost wept. Why do we not allow these forest animals their freedom?


Ultimately Veembur kadalayil mana adopted us and we moved to a cottage adjoining their’s, purchased from a nair family, marking the beginning of a lifelong relationship with V.B.S, my guide and mentor until I left Keralam for good.

The lady in white, my maternal grandma ,belonged to this house which was earlier located at Thalore.

 Pazhai(gone waste)

 The very name is a thrill. In the village library, I found my first novel(Translation of  “The Wreck by Tagore “), I devoured every word, like a thirsty man drinking dew drops. I was disappointed, when Kamala returned to her lawful husband, whom she had never seen! The love between her and  Romesh, the hero, was pure and devoid of selfishness. Alas, such love wilts under the heat of married life!

There was an ashram of Vivekananda Mission, near the river (now under RSS).The plot was donated by maternal grandma’s uncle. The library had children’s English books which I greedily read, though half the words were unknown to me.

VBS’s cousins and their children, my maternal uncles and occasionally, politicians used to frequent the VK house and, in short, a certain intellectual air prevailed there, very stimulating and invigorating. There, I learned the basics of Marxism. Gorky’s books were a favourite. Ralph Fox, Steinbeck, Howard Fast etc. were too familiar, even though, Trotsky’s autobiography was read only recently in Dyal Singh Library (he was unjustly maligned by Stalinists. He was a genius of the rank of Lenin, M.N.Roy, Mao etc).