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 .


SNAPS FROM MY LIFE-good Samaritan

SNAPS FROM MY LIFE-good Samaritan

As usual, I got down from the bus at Kokkala crossing  and was looking for an auto, to go to the Railway station. There used to be an auto stand there. Yesterday there was no auto.

“Where do you want to go?”, A very youhg girl asked. I said Railway station and she said:”Do not worry; I will find one auto.” She tried but could not succeed. I suggested crossing the road and she held my hand we safely went to the opposite side. There she stopped one auto. When I was safely seated, She smiled and said bye. I wondered why she took all this trouble. At least, I should have asked her name.


I used to wonder how this name came about.

In Malayalam, it means single bridge. Otta is single and Palam is bridge. The only bridge here is yet to be completed! People have been agitating for it during the last seventeen years.

A casual talk with a friend, over the telephone, cleared my mind. He is at Edapal, near Kuttipuram and and is well versed in local history.

He explained that Samoothiri, the ruler of Malabar, attacked Cochin State, a buffer between the former and the powerful Travancore and stationed his troops at several points like Edapal, Rapal, Thottipal etc. near our village. Palayam or cantonment, became pal in course of time. There is Metturpalayam near Coimbatore.

Now, our Ottapalam is actually Ottapalayam, where Tippu Sultan stationed some of his troops, during the period he occupied Palakad, where he built a strong fort, the outer walls of which are intact even now, and continues to be a local attraction.

Former President , late K.R. Narayanan hails from Ottapalam.


Shashi Tharoor is always in the news.

First, it was a reference to cattle class in the airlines. It made the twitters busy.

Then the word “interlocutor” made people search in the dictionary.

Now Lalit Modi wants him prosecuted. BJP WANTS HIM DISMISSED.

I think it is all “much ado about nothing”.

As I am totally unfamiliar with the sports column in newspapers, I do not understand the issues involved.

Cricket was a gentleman’s game. Only England and Australia played that game. In those days, it was the sailing ship which took six months to reach Australia and the game was played on board, to while away the time. What they brought back was “ashes”.

Things have changed a lot and now the players are auctioned like slaves in New York market, before slavery was abolished.

That gives me ideas. Why not auction our Members of Parliament?

First, I must float a company like the old “East India Company” which was a commercial enterprise in name only. Actually, they conquered the whole country.

My secret firm, with at least one crore rupees per share, will welcome all businessmen and political parties and mafia kings to buy shares. It will have a private detective force, to collect all details about those contesting elections, to estimate their price.

It will engineer splits in all parties and encourage rebel candidates, dummy candidates and also booth capturing, rigging and all such activities, now being attempted by clumsy uneducated hooligans. They will be given proper training, so that even TV reporters will not be able to smell what is going on. The aim is to produce a hung parliament, with maximum unattached individuals, where our firm can make trillions of rupees, by auctioning them. Don’t you believe it? Even CIA may offer a few billion dollars!

All profit made by our firm will be deposited safely in Swiss banks.

Keep it a top secret


A lot of importance is attached to names.

For one thing, you cannot call a spade by that name. People will get annoyed.

Names of places have changed several times and historians find it difficult to recognize the places. The original name of Allahabad is Sangam. Local name of Mt. Everest is Sagarmatha. Mr. Everest was the Surveyor General, when its height was measured, for the first time.

Bombay became Mumbai, Madras was renamed Chennai (in our language Malayalam, it means wolf); will not future historians be confused?

When they want to abuse, a handicapped man is addressed, using the term indicating his short coming. Kana (blind man), langda (lame man), behra (deaf) etc. are freely used. It is really agonizing. The poor fellow is hit where he is badly hurt. Why are we so cruel.

When we want to be sweet towards some one, endearing words like honey, is chosen. That is good and we should always use those words, for the handicapped as well

The young couple will search wide, to find a suitable name for their baby.

My daughter was called Sudha. When I asked my mother afterwards, she said mockingly: Radheya would have been better (In Samskrutham it means daughter of Radha (my wife). I caught the hint. According to tradition, my mother’s name Kali should be my first daughter’s name.

Among Red Indians, they go on changing the names according to the nature of the child, till it grows up. The Arab way of prefixing bin (son of) is good. Bin Laden merely means son of Laden!

I hate my name . It is too cumbersome to write, but I never thought of changing it. My cousin changed his name Neelakanthan to Neil O Cant (a German name; he admired the Germans)

My ID waterfriend was given by the cyber café boy, whom I approached, when I wanted to send my paper to universities for their consideration.


This day, on 23rd March 1931, Bhagat Singh was hanged by the British Government.

The newspapers are silent about it because now, his name is an inconvenient truth. Gandhiji refused to plead for mercy, as he believed that he was a terrorist.

Before throwing the bomb, a crude country made device which can only make an explosive sound, in the assembly, which was the forerunner of the parliament, the Sardar boy made a brief speech. He explained that he had no intention of killing any one. He was recording his protest against the alien rule.

The British Government murdered Bhagat Singh .

His mission is being taken up by thousands of young men and women, fighting against a government, which claims to be Indian, but actually behaves like a lackey of American Imperialism: be it the nuclear deal or the attitude towards Iran or the fight in Afghanistan.

The capitalist press too likes to forget Bhagat Singh.

Long live revolution !

Along with him, Sukhdev and Rajguru were also hanged.


I beg permission to use few Malayalam terms like aana (elephant), kompan (tusker) and pidi-aana (cow elephant) in this write up.

A sad news item that a wild aana attacked and killed a pidiaana, in a wild life sanctuary at Parambikulam in Keralam is the inspiration for choosing this topic.

Tuskers do attack each other for supremacy or simply because of envy; but one killing a pidiana is unheard of. My suspicion is that refusal to have sex may be the reason. Rape is impossible in the animal kingdom, the tail being an effective lid for the vulva. In the case of aana, it is all the more difficult because the pidiaana has to remain in the same position for some time.

The tallest aana’s skeleton is preserved in the museum at Trichur. This aana belonged to Chengallur family. It stood in the centre, being the tallest, in pooram festival at Aratupuzha . On its side, was the aana (Govindan is its name, I think) belonging to my grandmother’s maiden home Veembur Kadalayil. Normally this one used to occupy the centre, proudly bearing the deity of Sastha on its head. In a fit of rage, it pierced the neighbour with its tusk and the victim died.

In Karnataka State, the tip of the tusk is sawed off, but here in Keralam, the tip is occasionally chiseled to make it pointed, as a beauty treatment.

Every year a number of mahauts are killed by aanas, because of ill treatment by the former. They are crushed with its foot, kicked off like a foot ball or caught by the trunk and whirled in the air, before being thrown off to a distance.

Once, Kirangatu Kesavan aana was being made ready for the pooram at Peruvanam, by putting on the caparison with golden embroidery, by the mahaut sitting on its neck. The one standing at its side, was trying to pull it for adjusting properly ( like ladies tucking their sari). Suddenly the aana tried to pin him against the platform made of masonry for visitors. The mahaut deftly moved away and the tusk pierced at least one foot in. My uncle who actually saw it, sitting on the platform, described this to me.