STORY-GARDEN

GARDEN

Delhi is full of gardens. It is said to be the city with the maximum forest cover. I belong to a remote village in Keralam and came here, at the invitation of my friend , who is employed in the Central Secretariat. I was curious about this city with the historic forts and monuments . As my friend lives in Lodhi colony , I used to frequent the garden here.

After walking along long , meandering paved paths , I sat on a bench , immersed in my own thoughts . I did not notice the feminine presence , so near to me on the same bench. At last I saw a young lady and was about to go , when She said:”Do not go gentleman , have I disturbed you?”

“Who are you? Can I be of any service to you?”

“You speak chaste English. I was attracted by the kind ad serene look in your eyes. Shall we be friends?”

I did not know what to say.

She must be nearing thirty. Her complexion is white and she is tall . To say something I asked :”Are you married?”

“No; I am Leela. I live with my uncle. In Noida.”

“You are quite attractive . why did you not marry till now?”

“I am afraid. Many of my friends have regretted after marriage. I do not like to experiment.

“Oh! I am Akash. I have appeared for Assistats Grade Examination. I live with my friend . I shall go back , if I do not get selection.

“For getting a job , there is no place better than Delhi. I think you are bored . I shall expect you tomorrow here. Give me your address and mob:no.”

I wrote it in her diary . :“Please sign.” As I signed it she kissed me lightly in my cheek and went away.

The whole day I was thinking about her.

When my friend came , he said:”You seem to be pleased . I did not say anything about my encounter with the lady.

The net day I waited impatiently . She came a bit late. She was beaming with joy and embraced me tightly. She opened her lips. I kissed her . Soon she led me to a shady place where no one can see us. I felt nervous . She sensed my hesitation and assured me.

“Here it is normal. Couple come here for this purpose only.

I do not know how long she slept in my arms. When she woke up, she asked:”Did you enjoy it?”

This went on for some days. When results came , I was selected and appointed as Assistant in the Sectretariat.

I was forced to tell my friend about Leela. He cautioned me :”There are many ladies who like to have a niee time. Ask her whether she will marry you.”

I mentioned it. “Let me come to Kerala and see your parents.”

“As I have just joined service , I cannot take leave.”

“Then you can shift to my house”

So the days passed. During holidays we used to go sight seeing around the Capital. She used to drive and taught me driving. Unexpectedly she became pregnant. I thought she must be using precautions . She was unperturbed “Now you have proved your manliness”. But I took leave and we went home. All the way she was happy as child. She wanted to go by train and avoided the plane. At home all were surprised to see the lady with me . I said she is my friend. We travelled in the county side in a taxi cab and went up to Kanyakumari.

On our return from the tour , I mentioned to my parents that we want their blessings for marriage. Mother was not happy , but gave in. We were married at Guruvayoor temple , without any fanfare and got registration certificates there itself. We received ten lakh as dowry subsequently.

A ROOM IN THE SKY

Wth this money , we gave contract for the construction of a new building in place of the old tiled roof structure. So we remained some days there for supervising the work.

Our house is on the bank of the river. Leela had an idea. So we built strong pillars and a room , projecting towards the river. This was to be our bed room. As she was pregnant she told me she would remain in the village. So I left her there.

On receipt of intimation , I flew in . The boy is very cute but my wife would not allow breast feeding , lest her balls may lose shape. I did not have the will to deny it.

The baby was always in the hands of Narasu , a dirty brat with running nose , who used to play with me . Now she has become mature with budding breasts . She used to look at me longingly.

During this period my wife learned to make sambar , vada etc.

Leaving the baby to the care of my mother , we returned to Delhi. Leena gave birth to two more children , a boy and a girl.. Then she left me . It was virus fever. I could not recover from the shock. When I became normal , mother told me to marry again.

“Whom?” “The girl who brought up all your children.” I Told Sarasu:”I know it is cruel ; will you marry me?”

She smiled shyly

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STORY-DAUGHTER

DAUGHTER

As the only daughter of wealthy business man , I was much pampered by my father.

After graduation , I did not know what to do. I hated business. My friends and I used to spend time , in restaurants and cinema halls , avoiding boys , who are interested only in sex and wine.

At that time , a Madrasi was appointed as accountant in our company. He is small and very gentle , always smiling . My efforts to befriend him failed , as he is always busy in his work.

One Sunday, I invited him to have dinner in a restaurant. Then I learned that he is from Kerala. He said it is actually Keralam and Trichur is his town. I said I am eager to see that area and extracted a promise to take me there, when he went home the next time. My friends asked me whether I am in love. I laughed:”He is like an innocent  boy , may be younger than me.”

It is difficult to get leave for Sanku (Sankaran is the full name) except in exceptional circumstances. To attend his sister’s marriage, he was allowed one weeks’ absence and I told father that I too will accompany him. To save time, we went by plane. It was nice to see Keralam . We got down at Nedumbassery and went by road to Trichur. All the villages are continuous ,  and looks like a forest. His home stands on the edge of a rice field . Both his mother and sister talks broken English but do not know Hindi at all.

The marriage was at Guruvayoor , the famous temple town  and took only a few minutes . The couple garlanded each other , that is all. The dinner was in a hotel. I took video of the proceedings and the scenery, almost everywhere we went, as the whole country is a picturesque scene. “Sanku, it is a pity you have to work in Bombay. Can’t you get a job here?” He smiled. I have never heard him talk. “Yes, Sir or Yes, Madam”-that is all he ever said.

“Do not call me Madam , I am Meenakshy. Call me Meenu.”

He smiled . I began helping father in his business. From eight in the morning till ten in the night , we three were working hard. Fther increased Sanku’s salary to fifty thousand . In addition to keeping the Accounts and preparing balance sheet for auditors to check , he found ways to save Income Tax . So his salary was less than what he deserved.

For my work , he gave me ten thousand. I learned the ins and outs of the company and father was pleased. We did not realize the passage of time. I became thirty and felt that I should marry. Sanku never opened his heart. On Sundays we used to go out. Once my friend Susheela saw us and called out. Sanku remained there but I went to her.

“Have you not been married ?” She asked . I told my difficulty. “You are a fool. Try him in the bed room. Remove your cloths. Any Vishwamithr will fall to your charms.”

I tried that also. But he remained calm. I removed his underwear ; the thing remained small and sluggish. I went to a Doctor alone. He wanted to see Sanku also. Then he gave some advice and medicines and things to eat to increase semen. After about one year , I became pregnant . I told father I wanted to marry Sanku.MINUTES,COUPLE

TOURISM IN KERALAM

Keralam is the Kashmir of the south. In addition to natural beauty, there are a number of magnificent, old temples like Sabarimala and Guruvayoor, attracting millions of devotees.

There is good scope for exploiting the natural beauty of our country side by a new approach to tourism.

In Nepal, many tourists stay with individual families as paying guests. This trend is not in vogue here, though there are palatial buildings, lying vacant in almost all villages. The owners are working in gulf countries and the houses are built, as there is no other way of investing their savings.

A tourist will prefer to stay in these quiet houses, away from the congested, dirty towns. With all places well connected by roads, this is an ideal proposition.

All houses which the owners are willing to let out to tourists, may be notified through suitable web site. Families, willing to accommodate tourists, both Indian and foreign, may also utilize this facility. Now, a number of middle class families are availing LTC facility provided by Government and Public Sector Undertakings. For those people, cheap stay in families will be very attractive.

I am staying in Keralam. We intend to visit 108 Shiva and 108 Devi temples considered sacred. We shall definitely prefer staying with families near the temple.

MUTHUKURSSIMANA, MY WIFE HOUSE

Once upon a time, Muthukurssi mana was a very wealthy family, owning the whole land between the Bharathapuzha river and the railway yard. The home was at the site of the presnt loco shed.

 There was an elephant, a symbal of affluence then. And now also the new rich are crazy about the elephants

 When the South Indian Railwy, a private company owned by British people, bought it, the building was dismantled and reconstructed at the present site. The hill, earlier known as Muthukurssi hill, became railway property and they built quarters there. Now it is Ganeshgiri.
The bungalow at the top was prominent in the film Julie, which was shot there.
My wife’s grandfather’s younger brother was adopted by Mundanat  Mana family and he managed to transfer the wealth to his new home;  something like that happened.

 My father-inn-law had seen the worst days, doing pooja in different temples, including the famous Ambalapuzha Krishna temple.
His one sister, who was married very late, shared the brunt of poverty. She is still alive and very cheerful, now living with her son Kollumuttathu Narayanan, at Manisseri.
My wife was put in a convent school at Shoranur. She will return home, crossing the rail line, take bath in the pond and then only have something to eat. On Mondays, she will go to Mahadevamangalam, on the bank of the river, for prayer to get a good husband and return home, almost running, before taking food.
She had seen family bickerings, almost all the time between uncles and her father; so fed up was she, that it was her wish to be a nun !

Her step sister, by father’s second wife, only fifteen years her senior, was married off to Puliyannur mana, tantry at Shreekrishna temple at Tripunithura (Poornathrayeesan). Then her father began trying for a namboodiri for her also.

Santa, my cousin, was already there, having married Sankaranarayanan. She suggested my name.

She was hardly eighteen, too innocent to think of marriege, when a cruel fate and a society that allows no freedom to a girl child, threw her into my hands.

Her father was a workaholic. He spends his time plucking flowers for pooja, collecting areca nuts and coconuts in the big orchard or  cutting grass that grow too fast. One day he fell into a well and had to shout for help, as no one was around.

As soon as the rainy season arrives, he will go out with a spade in hand,digging here and there, and sowing or planting vegetables like colocasia, brinjal, ladies’ finger and, of course, tapyoka. Santa says, in those days they never bought anything from the market, a mile away at Shoranur. My wife inherited this quality from him. Even today, her dream is to have some land and grow vegetables.

Her father got infection from the slush. Worms began  coming out of the foot. He was admitted in Valluvanad Hospital, where they, thoughtlessly, injected large dozes of antibiotics. He was nearing ninety and I think medicines killed him. His system was quite sound and healthy. No one will die of foot sore.

When they were rich, father-in law married from Tekkedath Patteri mana, a wealthy family, whose ancestors belonged to Vadakkancherry area in Cochin State.
It is said that they helped the Raja of Travancore, in conqering the Kingdom of Alapuzha; in return, they were given property in Kodamalur.
Mother-in-law named Parvathy had gold ornaments. Among us namboodiries, women folk did not wear gold ornaments. They wore bronze necklaces and bangles.
This created tensions between our branch and the rest of the Muthurssi clan.
 Mother-in- law remained for long periods in her home and shorter periods at Guruvayoor, where Radha, my wife accopanied her, before her marriage.

 My first visit to that famous shrine was immediately after marriage.
It was very quiet then and we made several rounds (pradakshinam), every time standing before the deity and praying. I don’t remember what were my prayers. My world was my wife. She being so near, what else do I need?

Our annual pilgrimage to Guruvayoor continued till I retired. Radha’s sister Parvathy and step sister Nalini who were  in their teenns at the time of my marriage, always accompanied us.During our last visit in 2007 or so, I was so disgusted and tired, standing in the que and then pushed off as soon as I came in front of the sanctum, that I decided to  stop this meaningless suffering.

WEAKNESS OF ALLOPATHIC SYSTEM OF MEDICINE

The allopathic system is the product of science.

There was the Unani system, the Acupuncture system and Indian Ayurvedic system etc. which came up automatically, after thousands of  years of experience and observation. Our doctors simply reject it. This is unfortunate, to say the least.

The recognised system treats the human body as a car or as a computer, without soft ware. Surgery is miraculously advanced. The surgeon can work wonders. But they are helpless when it comes to the mind, our soft ware for making the human computer work.

THE MIND CAN DAMAGE THE BODY.

It is like the computer virus. This can be removed by curing the mind of the virus. The importance of gold has been commented in my blog. Our babies were given gold with vashampu (vayampu) and ghee for some years. Ghee is a compulsory item in namboodiri diet. Unless it is served with a small quantity of rice, we cannot begin eating our food. Afterwards it became a farce. A strip of plantain leaf is dipped in a spoonful of ghee and hundred people served, by just shaking the leafy spatula over the rice to show that ghee has been served!

Snehapanam is a course of treatment in Keralam. Ghee is served in small quantity initially. The doze is increased slowly under medical supervision, till as much as one  hundred gms. a day. I have only heard. They say even the sweat smells of ghee! It is worth experimenting in ayurvedic hospitals.

Kizharnelli, a plant which grows in plenty, during rainy season, is the only treatment for jaundice. In the north, a special variety of sugar cane is normally given. The juice of the middle white cylinder of the plantain tree after the fruits are cut, dissolves kidney stone.

Sorry for the digression.

I was speaking of the mind.

As a computer is damaged by voltage fluctuations, our mind gets upset by emotions. Even an otherwise healthy person, may be subjected to emotional voltage disruption, inducing even suicide. Under happy surroundigs one may never even think of it.

An eighty year old namboodiri, well versed equally in Engish and Samskrutam, now helping Calicut University, in cataloguing old Samskrutam books written on palm leaves, obtained from the palace of Samoothiripad, with whom I had the good luck of travelling in car, told me one thing: if the origin of the disease is in the mind (read software) the latter should receive treatment. How wise a statement!

He told me another fact: if a floating substance is placed deep down in the sea, it will sink! Some university can experiment it. Why are dead bodies of whales etc. not floating in the seas? Are they not sinking down?

He could easily respond to my new theories in science. May He give him long life to serve the university.

The present system of dumping “mental patients” in godforsaken hospitals is a case of Human Rights Violation. We treat our animals better than the unfortunate lunatics.

Even the body of all people is not alike. In our Ayurvedic system, the patients are of three types: vatham, pitham or kapham. Some have combinations of both. So, before prescribing medicines, the doctor first decides to which type a patient belongs.The individuality of a person is taken into consideration in homoepathy too.

When it comes to mental cases, allopathy is helpless. The yoga may help in reducing tensions unavoidable in modern life. Tension can cause any number of diseases from cancer to depression.

The large number of devotees thronging the temples at Vaishnodevi,Tirupathy, Sabarimala, Guruvayoor etc. where they get only a glimpse of the Lord, after waiting indefinitely for hours, travelling for days, undergoing all sorts of hardships gladly, is a proof of the agonies of the generation of our times.

I suggest a combined approach by the varios branches of medicine, taking into account the age old wisdom of natives, including tribals, to find the Indian way as opposed to blind imitation of the West.

RELIGIOUS HARMONY IN KERALAM

In Keralam, we were not aware of religion. All sorts of people live in the same locality. There are no special areas for different groups, as in Gujarat.

In RAPP, Thomas, Xavier and myself used to meet often during lunch time. It never occurred to us that we belong to different religions.

Samoothiripad, the ruler of Malabar, had Kunjali Marakar, a Muslim as his Naval Commander.

Muslims offer special vazhipad (pooja etc.) at Sreekrishna temple at Guruvayoor, where they are not allowed inside!

But  intercaste or inter-religious marriages are strictly forbidden.

EKADASHI

Today is Guruvayoor Ekadashi.

My wife observes it by abstaining from eating rice. In the evening she will fast.

In the early morning, we all went to the Guruvayoorappan temple at Mayurvihar, Phase 1, in Delhi.

I wonder if Ekadashi (eleventh day after full moon/ new moon) is observed any where in the north India!