SHORT STORY-TEACHER

Neenu and I are bosom friends.

We were teachers in a Government Shool. We joined duties the same week and liked each other at first our first meeting. She is fair and slom and MA in English.

I could not go to college and became taught in primary cless. I am dark in colour and somewhat bulky; Neenu used to say that I have an elusive charm. “Your eyes are wonderful and always calm soothing; were I a man, I would have married you!”

Durig holidays, she used to come to my home along with her daughters. They were welcomed by all. Eldere brother would pluck fresh tender coconuts and give them all the sweet juice and the soft krenal. During mango season they will eat to their hearts,content. Even tamarind is liked by them When she returns, a bagful of vegetables too are given. In fact we were happy.
In tne school, we all shared our dishes and ate togethr. We were the envy of other teachers and years fled away until I was thirtyfive…..
Neenu took leave and I went to her house to enquire about her. She was pale and emaciated. She started weeping as soon as she saw me. I held her hand and listened to her:
” Dear, I am suffering from leukemia. May not live long. You must be the Mother of my kids. Promise to marry my husband soon after my death”
I could not utter a word, so overwhelmed I was. Tears swelled in my eyes and I pressed her hands.
Her husband had come and witnessed the scene. We went out.
“Do not be hasty. Think well, before you take a decision. She comes from a poor family. I seldome went there. I have a good job in the excise department.”
I touched her feet and agreed for our marriage.
After a few months, a car came to fetch me from the school. It was his brother who looked like his brother, but was very talkative.
“I am a Military Officer. I came only yesterday and my sister-in-law passed away before my eyes… ”
I took long leave and remained there to look after the family. During this period, he became very friendl to me, and took me in his car to my home. There I explained my decision to marry.
During the interim period, he was always with me. The day before marriage, when all else had gone to Neenu’s famil, he forcibly laid me in the bed and hurriedly inserted his organ and emitted the warm fluid in a matter of seconds!
The next night my husband gently removed my cloths and kissed me all over the body, until I became fully aroused. He retained semen for several minutes. I thoroughly enjoyed it and lay on his body for a long time.
Aftet ten months, I gave birth to a boy. Whose baby was it?

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SAMBHARAM, KERALA’S OWN DRINK

In the north, a visitor is offered a large tumblerful of water, as soon as he is seated. Here in Keralam, water is given only when asked for. This may be because of humid climate here. We gladly offer tea or coffee.

Our traditional drink is tender coconut water which is a good source of pure glucose, and may be given intravenously, doctors say. I have never seen it done, in practice.

Coconut water is very popular in Bombay and other cities. There is a story that Marshal Tito, the communist dictator of Yugoslavia, liked it so much, when he visited our State, in the fifties, that he ordered a wagon load of  tender coconuts, which he carried with him while in India!

Another less known drink is sambharam or diluted curd. Sour curd is is mixed with eight times its volume of water, curry leaves and cut green chillis with a pinch of salt. The whole thing is thoroughly mixed and offered to the visitor, especially in the hilly areas where coconuts are scarce. It is an excellent invigorating natural drink, now sold by Milma, government dairy, in saches.

I remember a hut where sambharam used to be stored in a large stone tub, at Oorakam  centre. It is filled in an earthen jug with a small hole in the side, through which the contents are poured into the mouth. It is not to be spoiled by touching the lips. It was sponsored by some kind man, like water in a pyavu (water hut) in north India.

Now, old times have disappeared. Bottled mineral water is sold every where. At home I like sambharam!

THIRUVATHIRA – IT IS LADIES’ NIGHT IN KERALAM

 SAHIVA-PARVATHY, ANOTHER LOVE STORY

 Sathy was reborn as the daughter of Himalaya. (In Samskrutham, parvathy means daughter of parvatham, parvatham is mountain).  She started tapasya at the tender age of three, for her reunion with Shiva.

 As Shiva was in a very sad and aggressive mood, ever since his beloved Sathy’s self immolation (see my blog), he never came out of the trance and was totally unaware of the young girl’s wish. When he understood it, Parvathy, now sixteen years, with coiled hair and emaciated body, eating fruits to keep her alive, was still in her tapasya. So he came to her, disguised as a Brahman, and enquired about her wish, for which she was doing such hard meditation and prayers.

 He tried to dissuade her, but ultimately yielded to her desire to marry him. According to one story, this day, day of their meeting, is celebrated every night, as Ladies’ night, today in the Malayalam month of Dhanu. All night, in the bright moon light, they play about in the ponds, swimming and throwing water on each other, or enjoying the improvised swing, hung from the branches of trees.

 Each one chews 101 betel leaves, one after another, smeared with lime and mixed with areca nut pieces, after chewing which their lips become red. This betel chewing is common among ladies in olden days, after dinner.

 They do fasting, taking only tender coconut water and plantain. Needless to say, men are totally prohibited in this night activities.

 This is observed only in God’s own country, Keralam.