White Ocean வெண்கடல் சிறுகதை
“Why they say ‘glimpse from the corner of eyes’? I will let you utter a word only if you reason this ” said Ganesan uncle.
While making Kayathirumeni(*) balm, when the oil begins to betide from cream, freshly generated fragrance would seize your nose like a lip-smacking food item. I was completely immersed into it. At some point, the greenish oil colour would start to turn into a gingelly oil colour. At once, the crêpe ginger rhizome, the next essential ingredient will get infused into the waxy substance, the lip and nose would begin to turn against the newly discharged smell. The medical terms like hand paralysis, leg paralysis, tissue cramps, sprains would get associated to the then onwards balm.
“You better stick with your freebie Kayathirumeni share!!” repsonded Appu Anna, continuing his task of giving the smoke emitting Kayathirumeni oil a gentle shake every so often. The sputtering, bubbling out balm, getting prepared in a huge a metal bowl, would appear like a fully covered greenish thick mossy pond, as though surface of a heavy downpouring rain drops in a pond.
“Answer me. Aren’t you Bhagavati devi’s devotee?”
“I suppose its not a bet. If its a bet, you can very well take this entire bowl, right away”
“ I swear no bet. Answer me now.”
Appu anna(*) glimpsing Kumaran anna from his corner of eyes “ You see. In case goddess Bhagavathi glimpses straight upon, the intensity of her eye rays striking directly onto us, will put us in trance, even it could make us mad.
“People say, our mad Aasari, one in such category” Kumaresan uttered while grinding the dried crêpe ginger rhizome in a pestle.
“You shut your hole!” said Ganesan uncle. “Alright, Since no bet, let me explain. Our motherly goddess dutifully saves entire universe. You know, she posseses the ultimate power of Srushti, Dhidhi, Samharam ( Creation, Operation, Destruction) . Have you ever noticed the Aasari(*) while him sculpting? If his kid interupts in the middle of his work, he would keep his chisel still on the statue and glimpse his son from his corner of the eyes beamingly, rite? That is the end of story. You fill this bottle with this fresh balm, I will inform your Ayurveda guru“
“You perform your funny business out of this town, better in Melappali. While waiting for guru’s word of permssion, I will put you in this boiling metal bowl , squeeze every bit of herb out of you”
“Hey teacher, Listen to my words, You should not make a habit of oil your hair with Kayathirmeni balm in daily before bath. It will cause you wet brain. You won’t able to sleep without it“ Said Kumaresan.
“You knew very well rite. Then why the hell you are bugging with the delineation. I am asking just a bottle of balm. You will be blessed in heaven with ….” Ganesan uncle abrubtly stopped when he glanced at me.
“Uncle, I have a doubt. Isn’t Bhagavi devi a woman” I asked.
“Good question my boy. He is right as arrow in the adolescent path as his doubts are getting cleared one after other. “ said Appu Anna.
“Why so”? asked Ganesan uncle
“Since Devi Bhagavati happened to be a woman...” I was not able to fetch right words . “ Ok. Lady Aasari Thanamma, in the middle of cooking, when headed off by her crying son, would not she dropped her task, right away taking her son to console him? Upon cuddling him, pacifing him, would not she glimpsed the stove only with her corner eyes?”
“Shut up. Did you light the lamps when she was cooking?” said Ganesan uncle infuriously. “Get lost. Go and read your text book”
“Well. The master kid is asking a worthy question” said Kumaresan.
“Worth. My foot. You shut your butthole. You know the mark he got in Maths. A full moon zero. His father had a mild heart attack. This worthless piece of mouth, explaining the cradle of Bhagavati Devi. Get out from my sight.”
I Jerked off from the porch and went and stood silently in the corner of wall. Kayathirumeni oil was in its last stage of preparation. As though fresh pond fish mouths opened for puffed rice, the bubbles appeared on the surface oil. If its not mixed well, the sputtered oil may spilled onto our body.
Ayurveda Guru also elder brother of my father, appeared out from the home. It seemed like he just finished bathing. The wore the holy ash on his wet temple. The towel on his shoulder sticking on to his chest appeared blueish. Clasping his both hands higher he worshipped while standing on the steps. Kumaresan anna and Appu anna unswaddling their dhoti, gave way to guru. Ganesan uncle took few steps back stood closer to walls as though a pasted poster.
Kayathirumeni - Ayurvedic medicated oil. It is used topically in various conditions. It is applied externally to get relief from pain and for quick .
Anna - Elder Brother
Aasari - Also Vishwakarma , a composite group of five communities of artisans and craftspersons in India
<To be continued>