Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Puthucode-An introduction

There was a great   write up in Malayalam about our village by Arjun Seshadree Puthucode . It Warmed   my heart  .I am translating it in to English so that  people who do not know how to read can enjoy(THis may include  Puthucodians also,)  Thanks Arjun

Translated by

Puthucode-An introduction

Puthucode is a very small  village  35 km away from Palghat, Great people have not k lived there,There are no  wonders of the world there,Nothing is happening  there  which couldshake the small kerala-Because  of that  it ab unknown but peaceful village.In centre of the village   there  is a temple for the goddess. On four sides of it   are for villages  south village  , east village, north village and west village. On both sides there are rows of houses  sharing a common wall.
From the age of 15  till I attained  23  , I  spent  my life  in four hostels and four different corners  in India.>in between them mud roads   with  stone jelly,You can see here and there  few wells there. 
There are a group of people there   who wake up hearing the song of  the  temple.Some of them would   wake up even before that-for example my grand prents ,But the alarm sound which makes up majority of the people  continues to be the song of the village Till 9.30 Am there   would be some movement  in the villages-people going to the temple, people going to buy milk from the society in front of the temple, the children going to Sarvagna   temple  altogether  lots of dust.
  Once the ruxh of the morning is over the village  would become silent
   Elders take foiod before 12.30 PM  and have  a slight nap. –Afternoon they go to buy milk from the society  -because in the life of Brahmins  coffee can not be avoided .3.30 -4 PM   they would all drink coffee     and some thing to bite. By that time  the children from school would start coming book. In the village one side there would be cricket and on the other side a group of small children  conssting of bysand girls.
  But the cricjet would not be there always  .It depends  on season
IN Anjumti   there used to be   a shop of Murugan. There once iin a while marbles and tops  would com,e and then cricket would make way for them..Some times they would play by throwing flat stones some times   it would be throw ball ,After  the fields are harvested  cricket  would shift there and for two months home ground would be  empty.
At evening 5.30, when the sound of song rises in the temple ladies would become again busy.They would   set theit hair  and it would be time to light lamp of the dusk..Like that we children would be come ready to again play. Time  to play is up to 6 PM.The speaker in the temple would again become silent.After that people   should take bath and   chant names of God., Sound of chanting prayers would reise  from the temple.By 8-8.30 the preperations, playes/leaves for dinner would be spread. After that when we children go upstairs to study, we would hear  the downstairs wodden doors being closed with huge sound. After   all dorrs   are shut  , there  would be an inspection by grand father . He would touch and inspect every hook and every bolt of the doors  and inspect whether  they have been closed  properly. If everything is alright, he would be happy.Then he would remove his dentures, take medicine  and granpa and grandma would start sleeping.
     WE would lay down to slrrp arond 9,30 to 10 PM. THis is our daily   time table
But there is a festival there  which completly  changes all this.The time when temples would be dressed  with flowers, every house  would be filled with sound of loud laughter –thew next 10 days   the village would be filled   with smell of beaten and puffed rice  as well as that  of sugarcane
The village would get bathed  in light, huge Pandals   which touch the sky would be erected and every house would arrange   exhibition with multi coloured dolls   for the next 9 days.

Our Navarathri---

Eight of my 80 year life was spent in hostels

Eight  of my 80 year  life was spent in hostels


From the age of 15  till I attained  23  , I  spent  my life  in four hostels and four different corners  of  India.

SKV  college Trichur  (South west  1955-57))
    Few months    after  I joined  the  Kerala Varma college  , the new hostel (vadakkunathan block)   was inaugurated .During  first year I was with N.Sambashivan who was my neighbour  in my village .Life  was very pleasant .I  developed  friendship with many  people .Sri K.P.Balakrishnan , the former Ambassador to Sweden, Sri.K.K.Padmanabhan(Pathan to me), Mithran  etc were my close friends Due to Pathan I became member of a big Malayalam library in Trikumarakodam and read lots of Malayalam books.I gained lots of knowledge  from my friend Balakrishnan who was   a great genius.I remember  very many hostel mates. Sri Vaidyanathan(  we use to call him Kallu Vaithi) , Sri Chidambaran of Puthucode  , Abdulla kutti, Rajagopalan ,Mithran  etc etc.
   The cook    was one nair   .I do not remember his name  but I remember one  Balakrishnan   who used to serve us food.For the first time in life I tasted  Puttum Kadalayum. AApaam Ishtu,  Theeyal , unni appam, Elayada with  avil for some reason called Vathsan was all new to me. One Nendan pazham   steam cooked daily   formed   a part of our breakfast. I remember a funny incident regarding food.One day Idli was very hard   and so One Idli was nailed to the notice board in front of warden’s room .
    Since I had  played in state  tournament in Hyderabad  at age of 13 , I was a good carom player ,I took great fancy  in playing Tenniquoit (ring tennis)   also. I enjoyed my stay  here

Annamalai university-South east –(1957-1960)
    I  stayed in THiruvalluvar block and Kambar block  during the three years.I had lot of friends.Among them the most important were DR.C.K.Nalina Babu   (who is no more) and Dr,P.Sivadas( who is my face book friend even today) .They both  recognized that I was suffering from inferiority complex and changed it and made me a very confident person,
   There were seven messes   in the hostel during that time. All the three years , I took meals in mess 1, where the  personal cook of Sir C.P.Ramaswami Iyer    was the chief cook. Food was indeed divine. Among the new things that I ate there was  Samba chatham  , vadai KOthsu, Vegetable Pulav  etc .I really enjoyed my stay there .
   Annamalai university had a divine library  .I also became a member of District  Library , Chidambaram and read lots and lots  of Tamil books

Indian Statistical Institute Calcutta-North east -(1960-1961)
   I Stayed in a single room .Large number of my seniors and   several of my class mates were from South  .The Great DR.Subramanyan Swami  was my classmate there. Among my friends there  Sri Kalakkad Sundaram Natarajan, DR.P.S. Nair who was my senior are my face book friends   today. The hostel had a wonderful library  of English fiction. I read almost  300 books during  that one year. Once I was playing ring tennis wearing A dhothi  . Our warden  who was passing by that way   shouted at me for wearing a Dhothi. Next day  all the South Indian in mates   went to his class   wearing Dhothi  and he was really shocked.
   I never expected  that I would get  South Indian food there. But our head Cook was one Rao  who was from Udipi. He prepared  mouth watering Kannada   dishes. I still remember his  Vangi bath

IASRI  , New Delhi-North west   (1961-63)
     I stayed in atriple room in the first year and single room  in the next year. My senior V.Gopalan was   a book worm like me. He had a  huge collection of  english  detective novels. He was a great fan of Perry Mason and Agatha   Christie  .I read all of them. I also read lot  of Hindi novels when I was there. Sri Kalakkad Sundaram Natajan and SRi Seetharama Sharma, Dr.Vinod Prakash Monglik   who were  my class mates  then are  my   face book friends today
   Both years  we had to eat North Indian food only  .Almost daily  our breakfast   was Corn Flakes and Bread .I developed a taste   for some North Indian dishes there. WE used to buy one bottle  of  south Indian pickle every weak .Whenever   any South Indian goes home , he invariably  brought South Indian pickles. On every Sunday the hostel mess   was closed in the afternoon. All of us used to Karolbagh and eat in Ramanujam Mess, Subbarao Mess, Kanpur mess etc

     I enjoyed my eight years stay  in hostels and improved my knowledge  by reading  lots of books

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Great prayer to my God

Great prayer   to  my God

(From a tamil prayer  )

Translated by

Even if income is less  , Oh my God ,  give me belly full of food
Even if life span is short , Oh my God , give me body without disease
Even if facilities are  less, Oh my God  , give  me loving   relations
Even if  relations are less , Oh my God, give me friends  who give their life to me
Even if my education is less  , Oh my God, Give me a job   with no need  for acting
Even if I have less wealth , Oh my God  , Give me a mind   full  with devotion,
Oh my God, Give me a feeling which considers pain of others as mine,
Even if I have  mountains of wealth, Ogh God, give me  a thought to give to others
Even if I have several supports, Oh my God , you only  become my life’s support

Brahmin matrimony – (old) groom protests and (young )bride answers

Brahmin matrimony  – (old) groom protests  and (young )bride answers


(I happen to read   a  tamil  article in Dhina malar, giving the point of view  of a Brahmin  groom, unable to get married  even when he was nearing 40 . Ofcourse  I sympathise with him  but  he has also to consider  the   bride’s  view point. Here  are  imaginary  answers   to  some of  his  questions by a present day bride  . Are they reasonable  ?)

Once  upon a time  , the parents of girls  , due to inability and poverty used  to give their 20 year  old girl in marriage  to 60 year old men and created  young widows  in all Brahmin homes.

Nowadays parents  of boy’s  who have crossed thirty five (old young  bachelors)  , are prepared   to get a  divorcee/widowed  bride  even from other  castes.

One such groom has   the  following   questions  to the  parents  of brides/brides

1.You  are  expecting the groom  below 30   with  government  job as  officers/private  jobs   with a monthly income of more  than fifty thousands but more than 80% of this   age group   get   a salary of about  Rs30000. Even if they get  government jobs,by  the age of 30  , they will  not get Rs50000 as salary.In  this age  it would be difficult   to buy a house   without taking loan. And if loan is taken  their   take home  pay  would get   further reduced. No one seem to bother   about whether his earning  is sufficient to run a family  or whether his habits are good.

Answer by bride  . With the  present   cost of living  , with a salary  of thirty  thousand  , a family can only   lead a  life of poverty, specially  if they do not  own a house .It simply is not possible  for even to buy  decent dress like every one else.If children are born it is not possible  with that  salary   to   educate   them in a good school

2.Leading a religious  life following all acharas   seems to be  a great  draw back for the boy
   Most  of the acharas  make  an educated  girl   lead   an extremely hopeless  life.It takes away all her independence  in dressing as she likes and forces her  to lead   a life  of torture  and simple imprisonment

3.Unlike earlier  days  when grooms  used  to buy  rich brides  , a time has  come when  brides  are  buying rich grooms

It is a very unjust accusation  .Once upon a time  grooms wanted   to live in the money earned  by his future father in law .Present days  no bride   wants to live  in the wealth  of her father  in law but  searches  for a groom who can look after  her  by his earning.

4.No bride   wants  to marry a  groom who is beyond 30 and never a groom who is  beyond 35  .Because of this  large number  of men have  to live  unmarried

   At earlier times  all men of thirty wanted   to marry a  girl of sweet sixteen .If   she remains for some reason not married up to 25 , men used  to reject  her saying that  she looks  very old and her  child bearing age is  very much reduced

5,No bride    wants to  get married to a boy with very  very slight paunch, or  very very slight  baldness  or  dressed  in Dhothi  once in a while

True , were they prepared  to marry us when we  were not  white, when we did not have  long hair  , when we were   not as pretty as Maha Lakshmi  about  30  years back?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Guru , learning and knowledge in our country

Guru  , learning and knowledge  in our country

Compiled  and translated by

The process of learning  in our country  is given in this sloka

Acharya  padham aadathe,
Padham sishya   swamedhayaa,
Sa brahmacharibhya paadham,
Paadham kala kramena cha

We get quarter of our knowledge  from teacher  ,
We learn quarter   of it ourselves,
WE get quarter of it  by disciplined life ,
And the quarter by experience over time.

   This clearly tells  us we get  only a fraction of learning   from our teacher. How to get it from the teacher In olden times  , it was got by serving him, because he is the teacher   and the school  rolled in to one.Since there  was nothing like school fees, we can get  it from him only by serving him says this sloka

Guru  Susrushayaa  Vidhyaa ,
Pushkalena  Dhanena vaa,
Adhvaa  vidhyayaa vidhyaa,
Chathurtheno upalabhyathe

The knowledge  got by serving Guru .
Leads    to excellence    and riches,
Otherwise we get a quarter  of.
Knowledge of knowledge

Before proceeding further   we have  to understand   the origin and real  meaning  of the workd “Guru”  .This sloka clearly explains it.

Gu sabdasthu   andha karasthyaath,
Ru sabdastha nirodhaka,
Andhakara  nirodhithwaath,
Guru rithyabheedheeyathe

The letter  “Gu”  may be darkness,
And letter “ru” is the one which brightens it,
And because  he prevents darkness  in us,
He is called  “Guru”

Wherefrom comes this darkness .THis is explained by this sloka

Ajnana  thimira andhasya
Jnanajnana  salaakayaa,
Chakshur unmeelitham yena,
Thasmai sri Gurave  nama

He who opens   the eyes of a person ,
Blinded  by  the cataract of darkness,
And  makes his eyes see   everything,
Is the Guru and so salutations   to him

THis sloka further clarifies what has been told. An intelligent person shines   in presence of Guru.

Ravi sannidhi mathrena,
Surya kantha  prakasayeth,
Guru sannidhi mathrena,
Sishya jnanam prakasayeth

In the presence of Sun ,
Sun flower would shine,
In the presence  Of Guru ,
Intelligent  of student   will shine

This sloka again clarifies the need to keep the Guru pleased

Gurur pithaa , Gurur mathaa,
Gurur devo , gurur  gathi,
Shive rushte guru sthraathaa,
Guruou rushtena  kaschana

Father is guru, mother is Guru,
God is Guru, our path is Guru,
If Lord Shiva  gets angry with you  ,
The Guru saves us but if Guru is angry?

THis tells us that thiough  parents are to be worshipped ,since the Guru  teaches us  how to differentiate between Dharma   and Adharma , he merits  special worship

Janma hethu  hi pitharou,
Poojaneeyou prayathnatha,
Guru viseshatha  poojyo  ,
Dharamaa  adharma  pradarshaka

We should make   efforts to worship,
Our parents who are the cause of our birth,
We have to specially   worship our teacher,
Who tells us what is Dharma   and what is not

Thursday, July 26, 2018

“Cousin “the english word which murdered many Indian words indicating relations .

“Cousin “the english word   which murdered many  Indian  words  indicating relations .


With   “we  two and ours two” , becoming “we two  ours one” and slowly   further slipping to “we two and ours none”  , the  endearing  words  used to indicate  many close relation ships   are  slowly  vanishing from almost   all Indian languages.

 Added to this  is the english conquest of all languages. Suddenly  the names of  all relations   changed in to “cousins” .All our   relations except  our siblings  were   our cousins .So there  was need for words   differentiating  cousins.The endearment which those   words lead  have vanished.

Ammanchi (a cousin) is one such tamil word indicating maternal  uncle’s son   .It seems  it came from the word “Amman chei”(son of the uncle).
         My grand father was the last  child of a family .He had five   elder sisters. I understand that he  built a tiled  house  in Puducode  Vadakke  gramam some  120  years back  taking lot of loan.Few years later   Vadakke gramam got fire   and his tiled house  turned in to ashes.Naturally  he lost everything and  suddenly became very poor. Kamakshi was  one of his elder sisters , who lived in  Chelakkara.She  took her brother   and his family to Chelakkara .

     Though he had three  sons  and three daughters  , two of his sons died young   and my father  was  the only son who survived.He was the only Ammanchi  to the children and grand children of all his five atahais(maternal aunt) .He was a treasured and very close   relation to all of them .Though he was poor compared to many of them, Since he was   their only ammanchi ,they loved him a lot and he was the most important guest  in all their functions  in their houses. He was  ammanchi to three  generation  of his Athai’s children.

      I was   the eldest  son of my father and so  all these  three generation of children  used to call me “Ammanchi  Kutti”. The next generation   also knows me  by that name only .Even today  If you tell hundreds of members of that huge    family   about P.R.Ramachander  or Raja  they would not understand . To them I am   their own “Ammanchi Kutti”. If in spite of nearing 80  , I am  called   by a three  year old  as “Ammanchi Kutti” , I will   certaibly  recognize  who that baby is.

  Here is an group photo  ,for majority  of whom  I am Ammanchi kutti.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Guru Dakshina

Guru Dakshina

A Malayalam story  by
  Shahul Malayil

An attempt   to retell by

(I am simply  am incapable   of retelling  the great story .With  eyes full of tears “great  thanks Shahul , You made me feel  like a human being” )

Vishnu  the  brightest student ,
In my class   approached   me  ,
And said  “Teacher  I need ,
Thousand   rupees urgently.”

I was wondering   what to do,
And the teacher in the next class,
Warned me not to pay, but he,
Asked me again ,”Please pay me “

I did  but I did not Vishnu   for quite some time,
And One day , I saw him loading a truck with fire wood,
I called  him and came near  me and told  ,
Teacher do not worry , “I will pay your money back”

I said to him , “Vishnu  , that  is not important  ,
You are a brilliant boy , Why are you not coming to school?”
He smiled   and said, “I took money from you  the other day,
To  treat  my mother , who was sick , She died that day.”

“I am now alone with my sister  and I manage  to feed her,
And I am saving some  money   to pay you , I am sorry teacher”
I told him to meet me next day    and I told him to  continue ,
His studies  and I used  to pay him for his classes and for their food ”

I knew after school  , he worked hard and he got first rank that year.
And after  a few years, My husband called  me to be with him ,
In the middle east and I deposited   some  money for Vishnu’s,
Expenses and left and after  another ten years my husband died.

My children did not want  to keep me   with them    and admitted,
Me  in an old age home in my native place and I  started enjoying ,
That life too   and one day  our manager   came and told me  ,
That I had a visitor and I was surprised to see a  rich handsome man.

He told me , “Mummy teacher  , do  you not   recognize me ,
I am your Vishnu   and I am now  not only your   Vishnu  ,
But also your son Doctor Vishnu  and now you are   shifting   to my home,
With me and my wife and mother  humble request ,”you should never cry”

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Parlikkad Gramam

Parlikkad   Gramam 

Compiled by

Location : near Vadakkancheri, Trichur District
This is a very small village near Vadakkancheri in Trichur district and had 15 iyer houses. This village had a temple of Bhagawati, Sivan and Krishna but not under the management of iyers. Though efforts were made to start a samooham, it did not take roots.
Swami Poornananda Theertha, and his two younger brothers, Swami Bhoomanada Theertha and Swami Purushottamanada belonged to the iyer community of this village. Their devotion to the cause of Hindu Religion as well as eruditeness in all religious matters made them very famous. Swami Bhoomananda is at present the president of an association in Kerala to protect Hindu Temples. This village also took very early to education under Nathan Master.Sri.P.K.Ramakrishnan  one of the first Indians to complete  Cost and Chatered accountancy  grew up in this village. I understand that there is a Krishna  temple here..The Vyasa ashram which was started by  Sri Poornantha Theertha and Sri Bhoomananda Theertha (both of whom poorvasrama  Brahmins) .This Ashram also runs Sri Vyasa  college  and an Ayurvedic hospital
   My maternal grand  father Sri Ayilur Naganathan  Parameswara Iyer   was living in this village  temporarily before 70 years.I was born in this village   at that time

Friday, July 20, 2018

A lovable poem

A lovable poem

Translated by

(I saw this great poem in http://smileworld.in/main-umra-batana-nahi-chahti-hun-girl-poem-in-hindi/ .I liked it  .)

I do not want to tell my age.

Whenever some one asks this question,
I start  thinking

The matter  is not that ,
I do not want to tell my age.
But the matter is that  .
I want to  again live  passing .
By  every age  once  more,
And because of this  I am not  able to answer.

According  to me  the age ,
Is just a  number

Whenever I am sitting with children .
And watching  a  cartoon film with them,
I  become myself   of their age,
And  like  them I become  happy
And I also become of seven or eight years age

And whenever  I murmur  the words of a song.
Then I become a  lass

And when I  am sitting with adults and hear Gossips  ,
I also start   thinking like them

Possibly at one time ,
I want to live with different ages

What is the mistake in it?
At any time has anybody,
Asked  with  the brightness of sun .
Or  with light of the moon, its age?

Or again have   they asked the age,
Of the flow of the river which makes sound? 

Then why only with me?

Keep on changing is the law of nature.
And me also    with progress of time ,
Want to keep  on changing myself.

With today’s   account,
I am trying   to get adjusted

How many   years , I have passed.
What is the use of this  thinking?

How many years  more are left for me?
I want to live all that time. With complete  contentment

One day   all people have to take  leave from here,
That time   can come in one’s life, at any time

So why   should we not ,
Live every minute of  our life in a complete manner,
Why should we  not live , every age, once more.                                                    

Original Hindi poem

एक प्यारी कविता:

मैं उम्र बताना नहीं चाहती हूँ,

जब भी यह सवाल कोई पूछता है,*
मैं सोच में पड़ जाती हूँ,

बात यह नहीं, कि मैं,
उम्र बताना नहीं चाहती हूँ,
बात तो यह है, की,
मैं हर उम्र के पड़ाव को,
फिर से जीना चाहती हूँ,
इसलिए जबाब नहीं दे पाती हूँ,

मेरे हिसाब से तो उम्र,
बस एक संख्या ही है,

जब मैं बच्चो के साथ बैठ,
कार्टून फिल्म देखती हूँ,
उन्ही की, हम उम्र हो जाती हूँ,
उन्ही की तरह खुश होती हूँ,
मैं भी तब सात-आठ साल की होती हूँ,

और जब गाने की धुन में पैर थिरकाती हूँ,
तब मैं किशोरी बन जाती हूँ,

जब बड़ो के पास बैठ गप्पे सुनती हूँ,
उनकी ही तरह, सोचने लगती हूँ,

दरअसल मैं एकसाथ,
हर उम्र को जीना चाहती हूँ,

इसमें गलत ही क्या है?
क्या कभी किसी ने,
सूरज की रौशनी, या,
चाँद की चांदनी, से उम्र पूछी?
या फिर खल खल करती,
बहती नदी की धारा से उम्र पूछी?

फिर मुझसे ही क्यों?

बदलते रहना प्रकृति का नियम है,
मैं भी अपने आप को,
समय के साथ बदल रही हूँ,

आज के हिसाब से,
ढलने की कोशिश कर रही हूँ,

कितने साल की हो गयी मैं,
यह सोच कर क्या करना?

कितनी उम्र और बची है,
उसको जी भर जीना चाहती हूँ,
एकदिन सब को यहाँ से विदा लेना है,
वह पल, किसी के भी जीवन में,
कभी भी सकता है,

फिर क्यों हम,
हर पल को मुठ्ठी में, भर के जी ले,
हर उम्र को फिर से, एक बार जी ले..