Every Sunday , I used to go to the Public Library . One day , a young , fair lady passed by me and stopped. She smiled and wished my good morning :”Are you not Sham”, she asked.

“Yes . And you? How do you know my name?”

“I came to your Thaluk office . I am Sunitha , My family is Paliyam” “That is a big aristocratic family ; you used to rule that area” “That was long ago ; now we are bankrupt”

“I cannot believe it. Come, we will sit in the garden and talk” We became friends.

“We are a large tharavad. After land reforms, we lost our land . Men indulged in drinking and sold our home land , piece by piece”

“You can approach the Court and get an injunction”

“That is all cumbersome. Let us marry and take me out of this hell.” “Take me to your home ; I shall approach your father.“

The next Sunday we went to her home. She categorically said that she will marry me only. They enquired about my details and were satisfied. Then I took her to my house . Mother was glad because she had been pressing me for marriage .

Now both familie met and date of marriage was also fixed.

We were walking along the road . A speeding motor bike knocked her down. People surrounded her and took her to the hospital. Doctor did surgery and then told me: “She may never conceive” I never told her .




While I was going to attend a marriage, a very amiable gentleman came close to me . “Who are you? What do you want? “ I asked irritably. He was tall and has a likeable face with curly hair . But a lady cannot be comfortable, if followed by a man.

He replied:”I am a wanderer. I thought I may get food in the feast, if I pretend to be your companion. I have no invitation.”

I could not help laughing , but did not want to offend him. In a marriage party, anyone can come and eat. Is it necessary to have a friend?

“You must be having some job, a family in the town or some background. Tell me , I may be able to help.?”

“I worked in the army for some months; but was disqualified after Police verification. They found some leaflets circulated by my Communist friends. Actually I have no connection with Naxalites. At home I have my parents and a sister, studying in the college. I belong to Wynad.”

I felt sorry for him. The marriage was to take place later in the night and we sat at the same table and began enjoying snacks and sweets. My companion (Sunil) ate voraciously . Poor guy might not have taken food in the day. The microphone blared songs for some time and then it was announced:”If anybody can sing , he or she is welcome?”

Immediately Sunil went up and began singing a beautiful Hindi song of some fifty years old. Pin drop silence prevailed and there were cries:”More and more” After half an hour , when he stopped, there was thunderous applause.”Who are you?”, the man at the microphone asked.

I stood up and cried :”He is my friend, Sunil by name.” The bride had come by my side, by this time and she asked me:”You never told me about this wonderful chap?” I explained the circumstances . When Sunil came, the bride shook hands with him. I felt proud .

We three talked for some time. Then her father also came. All guests crowded round the new hero. After the wedding I invited him to my house. Father had come by his car and we all went home. I showed him the guest room and wished him good night. “You must be very tired . At what time do you have bed tea?”

“As early as the maid can prepare it.” “I will make the tea or coffe?”

Tea at five in the morning and then I go for a walk.”

His stay continued. Father contacted some film guys and soon his recordings began. He got more offers.

Our happy days came to an end when the Police located their Naxal prey.

As I had his home address, I went to his home. I told them of our efforts to get his release. Unfortunately, Some Naxal activity was reported in Wynad. Still his sister and myself went to Wynad and contacted Police station. They confirmed his presence but refused permission to meet him. They were sympathetic as Sunil’s song CDs were very popular . Many pictures were released . Everywhere it ran ‘house full’

Meanwhile, there were demonstrations in all districts.”Rajan case must not be repeated “ the crowd demanded. Matter was raised in the assembly. But nothing came out. As the arrest was under the National Security Act, the culprit cannot be released, until his innocence is proved.

I missed my monthly period. I did not panic, because I had decided that I will not marry any other man. I told Sunil’s sister the good news . As I knew that my father will not allow marriage with a Terrorist, I went to the US to my close friend’s house and remained there till delivery. It was a cute girl ,resembling its father. I felt I am the happiest woman in the world. I used to contact his family and gave them the good news. After some time , I returned to India and gave the child to its grandmother. I stayed in my house, as if nothing had happened.

The fight for Sunil’s release continued . As a special case, the court gave him parole to work for the film industry. After his release, we registered our marriage.


The Panchayath is supplying irrigation water during the summer. My plot has enough fertile land to grow vegetables, banana trees etc. So I decided to invest some money to connect a pipe line.
For laying the pipe line,a long trench, two metres deep, has tobe dug; a workman is working for the last ten days. As I watch him work, I engage him in conversation about my project.
he happens to be a good agriculturist as well; so I decided to engage him round the year!
He has worked in different places, has a daughter with children and my help will ensure steady income for the family.

It will ensure income as we can sell the products, after our use. It is a joy to see plants growing. We have a dozen coconut trees. Some thierty more trees can be planted immediately.
The New Year seems to be promising!


If a family getting five thousand a month, spends ten thousand, by borrowing money, we say they have no budget.
The Central Government is actually spending much more than the income from taxes, mostly for Defence, even though there are no chances of an invasion by our neighbors, we can say the Government has no budget!
What is presented to the Parliament every year is just a statement of income and expenditure.
There must be a law to restrict expenses to the tax receipts.
The Government of Kerala is spending all the money for paying salary to the government servants and teachers, including those in private schools. For development expenditure, they look to Central Government.
When will good sense prevail in Government circles?


“Why don’t you marry? You are already thirty five.” That was my colleague Chandran.
“Are you joking? With three unmarried sisters, around thirty, and a brother in the collage, can I abdicate responsibility and go my way?”
After office hours, I coach students for competitive examinations and reach home by ten in the night. After meals, I readily go to sleep. I do get up early and attend the vegetable garden. By 8 AM, I have to catch the bus. On the way I meet Sundary. She is a mentally retarded girl of about twenty, belonging to a wealthy family. She will smile brightly and will always repeat the question “Will you marry me?”
“Oh sure; tell your papa.” And she will run off into the house..
Susan will join me in the bus; we share the same worries and, like bullocks harnessed to the same yoke, cling to each other for comfort.
“One day Jesus will hear our prayers”, she will say.
Chandran knows about our attachment to each other and encourages us to marry.
“You are working and independent; go and get your marriage registered.” He would say.
Eldest sister Subhadra is a teacher. She got a marriage proposal from a business man. He did not demand dowry but insisted on marriage on a grand scale.
“What shall I do?”
Susan thought for some time and replied, “I think we should not allow this chance to slip.”
I too felt the same. Almost in all matters from politics to books, we agreed in our tastes and opinions.
Some fifty thousand rupees is required. Susan agreed to borrow twenty from bank. I had some thirty in my savings. So we managed it. Susan is not rich; I wanted to repay the money as early as possible. This added to my worries. Sometimes I was tempted to marry her; but better counsel prevailed.
We both attended a Christian marriage. As neighbors, I too was invited. We all travelled in a charted bus as the place was far away. Susan saw to it that I sat by her side. We discussed the comparative merits of Hinduism and Christianity.
“I do not feel the sense of awe and devotion in a Church. A temple has the power to sooth me.”
“I think Marx is right; religions function as spiritual opium.”
“Is it not better than real opium?”
“ But exploitation of money. How will you justify it?”
“Hinduism is liberal. You are free not to attend a temple.”
“But those pundits are ignorant and greedy.”
Before we knew it, we had reached the Church.
Susan was very excited. After the ceremony, we sat for dinner. I confined myself to vegetarian dishes. She gave me a piece without bones and encouraged me to eat it.
“No taste. Our sambar is much better.”
“Will you become a Christian to marry me? I shall become vegetarian”
I did not respond.
The following week I met with an accident. A bull charged me from behind and I lost consciousness. It was in front of Sundary’s house and she carried me to her house. When I regained my senses, she was sitting by my side.
“Papa, come”, she shouted and he came.
“There is nothing to worry; it was the shock.” He assured me. Sundary surprised me. She is not a half wit. She seemed extremely happy to be very near to me.
“Sundary, How did the bull attack me? I did not see anything.”
“It was Vijayan’s bull. It butted from behind. Its horns are small. Otherwise, it would have pierced your back.”
Who said she is half-witted? She seems to be quite normal. My injuries, not very serious, were in the knees face, because of the fall.
It was the first time I entered their house. They are quite rich. I could see that she really loved me, though I took it as a joke. The way she sat very near to me, anxious, and, at the same glad to be so near to her heart’s choice, invoked a feeling of guilt in me, because I failed to gauge her feelings.
Meanwhile, her father came. He suggested that I am in a position to go home.
I debated with myself. Why not marry Sundary? She loves me. Does Susan love me? Why did she mention about my conversion to Christianity? We are very close to each other. But do we love?
People had seen us on the wedding day in the Church and the news spread about our “affair.”She too knew about it, but kept mum. In a village, inter caste marriages are not possible. We have to live in a society which does not approve of love.
Sundary fell sick and I used to see her regularly. It was jaundice. There was nothing to worry.
Her father used to talk to me. He never mentioned about Sundary’s love, but I sensed that he is quit willing, as no one may come forward to marry her.
At last, I asked Susan about it.
“Do you love her?”, she retorted.
“I do not know. Love is in novels. In real life we have to be practical”
“Then marry her; you will get money.”
“Will you be my friend, even if we marry”
“Sure; go ahead.”
“Thank you dear.”
For the first time, I kissed her warmly.


Yudhishtyr is a born gambler. Suyodhan took full advantage of his weakness and he lost his Kingdom and was forced to flee into the wilderness.
To satisfy Suyodhan’s demand for the throne, the country was divided and Yudhishtyr was given half the territory. There he built a magnificent palace, built by the famous architect Maya. To show off the splendor, the Kauravas (Suyodhan’s family) were invited for house warming ceremony.
On the way, they saw nothing. But they found themselves knee deep in water! At another place, seeing water, they drew their dress up. There was no water and all onlookers laughed. Among them Draupaty’s laugh was the loudest and Suyodhan was infuriated. He vowed revenge then and there.
During the games, Yudhishtyr was cheated by Shakuny; still, the games continued, Yudhishtyr pawning away all he had, including his brothers. Then he gave away Draupathy.
She was brought from the zanana and disrobed in the presence of all.
She pleaded for mercy: “Is it right Bhishmachary?
“ Dharma is complicated” was the reply. At least, he could have walked away from the hall
I am unable to say who is right. In the end, Gandhary, Suyodhan’s mother, came out and abused all men present there and saved the hapless Draupathy.
At last, Pandavas fled and Suyodhan ruled all territory
It was Karn who pulled away Draupathy’s dress. This act was heinous, no doubt.
I think it was because of his friendship only that Karn did it
After the period of exile was over, Yudhishtyr came and demanded his share of the territory which was flatly refused by Suyodhan. All efforts at mediation failed and war became inevitable.
It was just a family feud, but all the Kings of North India sided with one party or the other. Hence it was known as Mahabharath War. It is difficult to see how it can be a DHARMAYUDH. It is supposed to defeat Adharma and establish Dharma.
In any case, the war which lasted only eighteen days, saw complete devastation; something like the world, after a nuclear war! It is stunningly similar to the scene, after the bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The weapon is termed brahmasthr.
In the end, only widows and children were left.
Obviously, the author wanted to tell the world that war is no solution.


Even as a child, I used to accompany my mother, who is entrusted with the work of cleaning utensils, used for cooking rice, pudding etc. for offering to our Deity of Lord Sastha, making garlands for adorning it and general cleanliness inside the temple. Only the family specifically allotted for the work, may do it. People belonging to other castes are not allowed. At thirteen, I could manage alone, when mother was polluted during her monthly periods.

The poojary was a very old namboodiri, past eighty, somehow performing his duties. One room in our house was kept ready for him to sleep. After 8 in the evening it was impossible to walk two miles along the narrow path, which was a water channel, during monsoon. Our temple is in a forest. There were none living near by.

After the morning duties, the old man will leave for his home and return by five in the evening. He will take bath in the temple pond, before entering the temple.

Father worked in a factory in the town. He keeps his bicycle at a house, in the road to the town, which becomes a dust zone, whenever a vehicle passes along. There were few buses. People will wait for half an hour to get a bus.

Mother died when I was fifteen. I suggested that we move to some temple in the town, where we may get more money for our work, from offerings to the Deity. Father said that we are working for Him, not for money.

I could not go to a school. Father thought it unwise to allow girls to go out alone. He taught me Malayalam and simple arithmetic. I used to read the newspaper brought from the factory, when father returns.

I became tuned to loneliness. From our temple, which stood at a height, I could enjoy the scenery. The colour changed in the morning freshness and in the quiet of the evening. I could see the trains passing, running slow, it seems from the distance.

In the winter, when the sky is cloudless, I would watch the stars, appearing one after another. Father knew much but I too recognized some bright ones. Probably they are planets like Venus and Jupiter.

When the old man became too weak, his son started doing the rites. He was almost my age, seventeen at that time. It was a welcome change. The boy was handsome and very talkative. Most of the time, we were alone and I helped him in cooking too, as he was a novice. Once father saw it and scolded me: in another year, you may get married. Be more circumspect.

My marriage was fixed long ago, to my uncle’s son Krishnan, who is studying in the college. He used to come during vacations. Several times I enjoyed sex with him and now I used that experience, to seduce our young poojary. We did it even in the temple kitchen. No one enters the kitchen.

Once I accompanied him on his way back, after completing the morning rites in the temple. After about half an hour, we saw a big hill on the left side. I like climbing hills and suggested going up. It was very steep and somehow we made it to the summit. A breath taking view, with the river meandering through rice fields and hills, a number of tall buildings in the distant city and blue mountains in the Eastern horizon…God is an imaginative architect in landscaping!

My friend pointed out excitedly. I turned and saw a dilapidated structure, resembling a temple. We traced our steps towards it.

There were only small sections of the wall still remaining. The sanctum was intact. Poojary scrutinized the image of the deity and confirmed it was Satha! We hurriedly came down and reached the junction of the dirt road, with the bus root.

There was a bus going to the town and we went immediately. I called Krishnan on phone. He had some friends in the press and they all came to see the new Shabarimala. Soon the local papers mentioned my name as the discoverer of this ancient temple. A flurry of activities followed. The dirt road was widened. A new road, with stone steps where the land was steep, culverts for crossing small streams etc. began, with money pouring in from all over India and outside.

As the new road began from our temple, we became the focus. Our earnings went up. Father maintains that it is all His will.

I married Krishnan and managed to give the poor boy a stolen kiss!