STORY-KRISHNAPURAM

Story

When we retired from service , we had no home . I was staying in my father’s house in Bombay . But my wife liked to settle in Keralam and so I enquired from my friends and relatives . All had the same story- the land mafia has bought all land!

My wife said she knows a place called Kodumunda which is cut off from the world by the rail line in the East and two rivers on the other side, leaving some land inside the triangle , where her relative lived :”Why not go there ? She will be happy and we can enquire about some land for building a house”

Only one local train stops there. There is a small cabin which is the railway station. There is no platform. The ground is cleaned and passengers , if any , stand there . When we got down there , we were alone . My spirits evaporated quickly but wife became enthusiastic She almost ran along the trodden path through the rice fields and I followed her . On the way there was a pond full of lotus flowers :”Please pluck some ; we shall offer to the Krishna temple .“ I removed my pants and carefully entered the water. Mud came up . Somehow , I managed to pluck many flowers , as the water was not deep. Wife was happy.”I told you to wear mundu; here pants are cumbersome.” I washed my legs and she gave me the pants. “How longer have we to go?” I asked . She laughed. A woman came and crossed us:”I have not seen you. Who are you? Where are you going ?” I grumbled in English but she patiently replied to the woman. “The people in the village are curious and like to know everything. We must be patient “ After another half an hour , there was a small river:”This one is a tributary of the main river “,wife explained. There was a coconut tree trunk placed across the river as a bridge. Wife ran over it like a goat and I stood hesitating. She laughed “Should I come and hold your hand?”

Seeing my plight , she came back and held me tightly and we walked slowly . At last we reached our destination. It was near the temple . she went and knocked the door. An old woman came out. Wife:”Is Ammukutty here? I am her relative. “

Presently , a beautiful lady appeared .”Oh! Saudu.How have you suddenly appeared , as from the sky?” The two embraced and kept smiling . Then we all went inside . They went on talking . The elder woman brought tea . It was a small house with a permanent tent with thatched roof ; there were chairs there for guests. “You must be hungry ; I shall make fried pokodas”.

After wards we talked about our intention to build a house. “If you like a ready house, there is one very near the temple” . “ Let us see”, I said . We walked only two minutes. I did not like the appearance. “The owner has constructed a house on the other side of the rail line . Now no ne wants to buy this . You may get cheap.” She obtained the keys from the neighbor and opened the door. The house had several rooms with small windows . Wife seemed satisfied:”We can rebuild it afterwards.”

That evening we took bath in the cool water of the temple pond and went inside the temple with the lotus flowers. The poojary was happy . We were introduced to all present there .

The next day we went to see the owner of the house . He was really glad of our offer but declined to reduce the price. I said:”You see , we have to rebuild it. We are interested in the plot only. The price I have mentioned is the maximum we can pay. We will enquire on this side of the rail. Here it is ideal” That decided it . He agreed for one lakh!

On our return , Ammukutty congratulated me. :”I did not know you are such a good tactitian! Saudu , you are lucky!”

“We must get some carpenters and masons and start demolishing the old building immediately. I am a civil engineer ; I can supervise the work. We must build a cattle shed and buy some cows. Next , we must collect signatures for a representation, one for a panchayath road to the temple, another for a railway level crossing , to be submitted to the DRM, Palakkad. I will meet him.”

While I supervised the works, Ammukutty and Saudu went from house to house , collecting signatures. The whole area became alive. People came to me and expressed their willingness to support my efforts .I told them:”The road work can be discussed with the owners of the rice fields. Can we organize a meeting?”

The meeting was held in a week. We arranged tea and snacks. When I explained to them , they readily agreed. Some helpless women owners were given cash . In short , the road was ready soon. “I am casting a concrete slab . It must be placed over the rivulet , to make a bridge”. The day the bridge was ready, turned out to be a festival there . In another six months ,the sanction of DRM was received for the level crossing.

In the next Panchayath election, I was unanimously elected the President. Ammukutty became ward member. We two became too close for comfort.

I asked:”Where are your husband and children?”

“He is in Dubai ; children are in convent school”

“You are young and ravishingly beautiful . I love you . Will you mind….   ?” She smiled warmly and pressed my upper arm.

Some anonymous letters reached my sons in Bombay. They sent it to Ammukutty and Saudu. They only laughed!

My sixtieth birthday was near. The rail crossing had become a reality. The Panchayath decided to celebrate it. My children came to attend it. All agreed tht I could not have located a better village to settle!

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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.

MOON

After a long time I saw the crescent moon.
I miss it when the western sky is blank.
I had gone to the roadside temple at the end of Indirapuram. The road is dirty and dusty, like any village road in Uttar Pradesh; but the very rustic nature has a weird attraction for me.
The Sun had set and I espied the Moon, still very weak and narrow. Now we can see it becoming bigger every day till the next full moon.

WATCHING PISSING IS FUN =’text/javascript’ src=’

If some one is watching, I cannot do it. Most people do not bother; they can stand in a row and piss.
Once a party of close friends (my former colleagues) were walking along the road. One of them wanted to piss. He wondered aloud: where can I do it? Immediately his friend cupped his hands and offered. The fellow opened his pants’ zip and emptied a whole tumbler-ful.
Think of it; why does the penis swell when about to piss?
It is really a sight to watch elephants do it. Normally their organ is fully withdrawn inside the body. Nothing is visible outside. When the urge to piss is felt, it slowly comes out of hiding and shows its head, much like the head of a tortoise. Every second it grows and elongates until the the tip almost touches the ground. It is proportionately thick and we call it the fifth leg! It bends slightly backwards and is worth photographing!
Then the animal discharges a bucketful of smelly urine.
During pooram festival, all the fifteen animals do it at the same time.

RULES TO HARASS THE CITIZEN=’text/javascript’ src=

If I build a house in a remote village, without electric connection or road, I have to obtain approval of the Panchayath who will study the plans and estimate. Why?
A toll is collected for building a bridge, which is a public utility. They go on taking money even after the cost is recovered. I hate all tolls for high ways and bridges and monuments and zoos. We can easily find money, if we cut defence expenses, a senseless waste of money, in any civilised society. Can we not avoid war?
My friend was publishing a magazine, which was discontinued for some years. Now he wants to resume publication. He is tired of answering to the queries raised by senseless bureaucrats. The formalities are so cumbersome that all are forced to give bribe to get things done.
I cannot cut a sandal wood tree in my own house because there is some rule forbidding it. Mafia cut these trees from the forest and make oil used in soaps
The list is endless.

FUN – IN SEARCH OF A BARBER

If God appears before me, I would make a simple request: please remove, forever, all hair from my body and head. Have you not heard of Darwin’s theory? As we have no need of hair, why do you curse us with the long hair?

As it is, we cannot avoid the barber shop, now called Men’s Beauty Parlour. To avoid waiting inside the shop, I wanted to go to a remote area, where the barber may be under employed. So I went along a road which is not a high way, even by village standards.

To my disappointment, I failed to locate a shop. People told me there is a shop, further along the road.

At long last, I saw a board ZION GENTS PARLOUR, in English, where they do not know even to read CAT! It had a posh modern look. An elderly man was sitting in the front veranda, surely waiting for a customer, I presumed.

I like to have a hair cut, I told him.

He looked at me from head to my toe, as if he could not believe me. Then he said: this shop is closed.

Clearly, it was a disappointment. I thought of the poor fellow who established it. Did he not make a survey of the heads available for his trade? Or was it the modern look that belied his hopes?

Had he simply put up a board, with letters in Malayalam, indicating BARBER SHOP, written with a piece of chalk, with just a chair and looking glass in the veranda, village folk may not shy away from  the place. If he had written Rs. 10 per head and Rs. 3 per beard, it would have been a grand success!

WATER SUPPLY SCHEME AT ARATTUPUZHA

At the right side of the scenery you see in the” home” background of my blog, is a steep hill, which one has to climb, to reach the Sastha temple at Arattupuzha.

To the west of this temple is a vast open ground. earlier rice fields.

 I enjoy the cool breeze in the evening. I prefer it as the destination of my walk.

The river runs parallel to the road. Between the river and the road are several Harijan colonies which have come up after my childhood days, and un-tarred roads connect these settlements.

Last evening I walked along one of these and was surprised to see huge tanks coming up which reminded me about reactor building in an atomic power plant. Of course, it is imagination.

The workers were taking bath in the river, just a hundred metre down stream from the house which father built. Being deep, the water is clean here. I envied them. I have a liking for project site, cut away from the “madding crowd”. All those employed in the project have a sense of cameraderie and the structure is a triumph of human endeavour.

The water purification tank and the water tank are designed to supply drinking water to vast areas, I was told by one of the workers.

There is plenty of water in the rivers. We must uilise it; that is all.