Being Janmashtami, my wife wanted me to go to Utharaguruvayoor temple . So I avoided eggs for break fast and wore dhothi and kurtha ,like a true Malayali.

A cycle rickshaw was standing at our gate and he charged hundred rupees . I grumbled but paid it. There was along que , but I ignored it . Being pretty old , no one objected . I paid Rs. Ten and said Radha’s name ad Ashathy nakshathr, for archana.I prayed at the man temple and then the deity of Shiva and Chottanikara Bhagavathy. Then came Ganapathy ad lastly Ayyappan outside the main temple.

Coming out , I gave my blood sample for testing sugar level.

I happily returned home and gave my wife th sandal paste and flowers (prasadam) She was happy.




Onam is on 28th of this month; but the Kerlites of Mayur

Vihar Ph 2 celebrated it at Ganesh Mandir in Ph 2’

In the morning I went to that temple and prayed there. Apart from Ganeshji , there were Subramanian , Shiva and the navagrahangal like sun, guru , shani shukr etc.

At noon I went again to partake in the dinner. It was very sumptuous and included two sweet puddings.

One fellow came to me and said:”I do read your blog”.


According to legend , it was Parashuram , who cleared the forests (his weapon is the axe) and reclaimed the land of Keralam. There is only one temple in Thiruvananthapuram where the Deity of this hero is installed. Every year in Thulam month , there is a festival here with two caparisoned elephants and beating of drums . (normally the number of elephants is odd)
Parashuram’s father suspected his wife Renuka, of infidelity and ordered his son to cut off her head. After faithfully complying with his orders , the father asked the son for a boon. He said:”Give me back my mother.”
So Renuka became alive and Parashuram brought her to the new land of Keralam.
The heroic fighter was the bitter enemy of Kshthriyas who ruled the countries of North India. (ironically , the two factions of the Indian National Congress , were led by Kamalapathy Tripathy (a Brahmin) and Gupta (a Kshatriya) .
Similarly , Ravan was a Brahman and Ram a Kshathriya.
Parashuram defeated Kshathiyas eighteen times in war . He had the Pashupthasthram , gifted by Lord Shiva.


I Had reached the Sastha temple at six in the morning. What is it in the western horizon? Oh! It is a rainbow. I showed it to the poojari and the warriar. I do not know whether they realised that it is very rare. The rainbow was very clear and intact for more than half of its length. Normally w see it in the evening in the eastern sky.

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I have a problem of recognizing my own shoes. One day I left my chappals in front of the temple and came back home, wearing foot wear belonging to some one else. The next day again, I went to the same temple, quite near our house. The poojary recognized his chappals immediately and I had to cut a sorry figure! Luckily he knew me and laughed it off.

Once in Delhi, I was not so lucky. To enable me to recognize my shoes, I make it a point never to polish them. For a lazy person like me that is the best option. I can take the dirtiest pair and if it fits, well that is all right.

But this time I had some difficulty with my right shoe; it was a little loose and came off easily. Apparently, there was another devotee who preferred dirty foot wear. When I came home, my daughter cleaned the shoes, when she saw that both shoes were of different brand! She purchased a new pair for me.

Another namboodiri, who was Deputy Collector of Trichur district, was traveling in a bus. He was sitting between two other passengers. All the three were comfortably relaxing with their slip- in chappals off.

When his destination came, the namboodiri put his left foot in one chappal, not his, on the left side and he inserted his right foot in his neighbour’s foot wear. The bus went off. The person waiting for him was embarrassed. The man, Deputy Collector, had chappals of different colours. Then only the namboodiri realized that neither chappal belonged to him!

My cousin Vanthu, though the richest among us and extremely miserly, used to choose chappals from a heap of used foot wear, sold dirt cheap on the foot path. It could easily be recogised that left and right ones are not matching. He says: what does it matter?

I know at least two namboodiris who go bare foot, even now, as we all did in my childhoood.

When I got a job, I had money to buy shoes. My colleagus at Ajmer, where I was working, advised me to approach a cobbler, to save money, as Bata shoes are costly. He marked the outline of my foot on paper and told me to come after a week.

When I put on the shoes, it was hurting too much and walking was impossible.


I was lonely among Muthurssi family clan, assembled for a marriage. To escape from them, I proceeded to Mahadevamangalam, a picturesque spot on the river bank.
There are not many Shiva temples on river banks in Keralam, like Kashi temple.
As I could not get any auto, I walked leisurely and by the time I reached the temple, the sun was about to set.
I hurriedly climbed down the steps leading to the river bed as the water level was low. It was clear, shallow water full of slippery stones; but the bath refreshed me. The evening arthy was about to begin and I waited patiently, my heart full of joy and devotion.
This Shiva temple is on the bank of Bharathapuzha river, a few miles downstream from Shoranur. There is a big stone hill on top of the steep bank, from where we can enjoy the sun set. This has been referred in my story PREGNANT AT THIRTEEN.
The poojary has to bring water from the river for use in the temple, though there is a well there.
Now the door opened and arthy began. I took out a five rupee coin from the purse and offered it to Him. Now it was very dark and I hurried home.
After about half a mile, I got an auto and was glad to get into it. It was then that I examined my purse. To my consternation, it was empty! The driver chided me for travelling alone, at the age of 78, and told me that he would take me home, even if I had no money!
At last I reached home and borrowed money from the first person who appeared.


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!