White Ocean வெண்கடல் சிறுகதை

ஜெயமோகனின் 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 an all-consuming  drool worthy food item. I was totally subsumed into it. At some point, the greenish oil colour would start to turn into a gingelly oil colour. As next step, powdered   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, at once.  List of medical terms like hand paralysis, leg paralysis, tissue cramps, sprains would get linked to the then onwards balm.

“You better limit your focus on the freebie Kayathirumeni share!!” responded Appu Anna, continuing his task of giving the smoke emitting Kayathirumeni oil a gentle shake every so often. The bubbling out balm,  getting prepared in a huge a metal bowl, would appear like a fully covered greenish thick mossy pond. Sputtering surface would appear, as though heavy downpour teeming down on the surface of the pond.

“Answer me. Aren’t you Bhagavati devi’s devotee?”

“I suppose this is not a trap for betting. If so, you can very well take this entire bowl, right away” 

“ All right, I swear no bet. Answer me now.”

Appu anna(*)  glimpsing Kumaran anna from his corner of eyes “ You see. If goddess Bhagavathi cast her eyes straight upon, her eye rays striking directly,  would daze us, would stun us to the extent that the intensity of her eye rays could debilitate us.

“People say, our mad Aasari, suffered such a way” Kumaresan  interrupted while grinding the dried crêpe ginger rhizome in a pestle.

“You shut your yapping mouth!” said Ganesan uncle.

“Alright,  Since no bet, let me explain. Our motherly goddess dutifully saves entire universe. You know, she possesses  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? Thats all. End of story. Hurry up, fill this bottle with this fresh balm, I will inform your Ayurveda guru“

“You perform your failed trick business  out of this town, better in Melappali. Let the guru utter his word of permission, I will put you in this  boiling metal bowl , squeeze every bit of herb out of you”

“Hey dear teacher, dont complain me later, Better not to get used to the addictive habit of oil your hair with Kayathirmeni balm for daily bath. It will surely cause you wet brain. You won’t  be able to sleep without it“ Said Kumaresan.

“You knew it rite? Then why the hell you are  bugging with your gibly phrases. I am here just for a bottle of balm. You will be blessed in heaven with A….” Ganesan uncle abruptly stopped when he had sidelong look at me.

“Uncle, I have a doubt.  Isn’t Bhagavi devi a woman”  I chimed in .

“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.

“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 her cooking, when her son cries his brains out,  had not she dropped her task right away, taking her son to console him? Upon cuddling him, soothing him, had she not glimpsed the stove only with her corner eyes?”

“Shut up. Did you light the lamps when she was cooking?” said Ganesan uncle testily. “Get lost. Go and read your text book”

“Well.  Master kid’s question is germane to our discussion ” said Kumaresan.

“Germane!! My foot. You shut your butthole. You know the mark he got in Maths. A full moon zero. His father Thangappan had  a mild heart attack upon seen that. This worthless piece of mouth, explaining the grace of Bhagavati Devi cradle to me. 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 of mouths opened for puffed rice, the bubbles appeared on the surface oil. If it is not mixed well, the  sputtered piping hot oil may get spilled onto our body.

Ayurveda Guru, also the elder brother of my father, appeared out from the home. It seemed like he just finished bathing, then applied the holy ash on his wet temple. The towel placed on his shoulder sticking on to his chest appeared blueish. Joining his both palms together and higher, he venerated, standing on the steps. Kumaresan anna and Appu anna unswaddling the tied outer layer of dhoti, gave way to guru. Ganesan uncle took few steps back stood closer to wall as though a lizard peeking behind a mound. 

Guru tieing the towel over his head like a cap, ventured towards the bowl. Upon paying tribute to the gods towards east side, he extended his cupped fore arms.  Appu anna filled guru’s arm with powder of crêpe ginger rhizome. Guru poured the powder onto the surface of the oil and started gently shaking again with a lengthy wooden ladle. Thus far emitted organic fragrance began to turn as a chemical smell. After several spirals of discharged chemical stenches, finally the kayathirumeni oil smell emitted.

“This is a simon-pure oil” upon inhaling the fragrance ballooning his stomach, excited Ganesan  uncle exclaimed.

Guru had a glimpse towards him and started gently shook the bowl.

“The moment of kayathirumeni fragrance emerges from this mixer is like  onset of girl attaining her puberty and becoming an adult.

Kumaresan chuckled upon hearing this analogy.

“ Shameless you. zip it and Listen to me, Little girls are happily frisking and gamboling  with their tandem age kids. Suddenly they attain puberty in a primal day. That is the day, they are blessed with all the 7 great wealths of world.  What this puberty means, nothing but they get imbibed with divine milk. After that moment, the pure divine mother milk suffused into entire flow of blood. They are ennobled with the dual nipples for sucking babies. To elaborate further..”

“Better stick with your claim for oil. Don’t spiel like a dented bronze bell.” reprimanded Guru.

“You know, what I say , Just .. According to Sastra, Literature and Music are the dual nipples of Saraswati devi...”

“Get away and stand aside” Guru told Ganesan uncle irritatingly.

Ganesan uncle retreating back quietly ,  stood with a crooked smile.

Kayathirumeni fully attained its natural colour. It looked green and brownish at the same time. Upon Guru’s beckoning, Appu anna took the flaring wood sticks out, leaving the glowing embers beneath the stone stove. Appu anna then re started to  shake the oil with the lengthy ladle.

“Brother. What about my share?” Ganesan anna requested.

“Give this freeloader a pint of oil at once. Let him get out ” upon permitting,  Guru ensconced himself on the pial.

Appu anna, carefully collecting the simmering oil with another copper ladle,  filled the bottle of Ganesan uncle. There was no need for funnel. Straight as tiny wire string,  the oil dripping gently and slowly, filled the bottle, emitting a warm steam like a diaphanous veil.

“Why don't you roll the ladle just around the bowl and  gather a pint more. I bless, you and this task soon won't be parted”  said Ganesan uncle.

“Enough, Stop your coaxing.  Here we work our butt-off and do the grind, there you take all the grist?”

“Now the next question.  Why they say Thailam(*)?. Answer me.”

“Your father Thiru Ananthan must had christened that name, placing it on his lap,  conducting a huge karnavedha(*) ceremony..”

“In Sanskrit Thailam means Sesame. Put brain to test retrive the rest.. ”

While watching Ganesan uncle walking away “Sure as rain, he will have a delightful oil bath right way, followed by, heart pumping sex with his lady . Later he would devour a plateful of mounded boiled rice plus sardine fish tamarind gravy meal. Finally not-so-soon-ending sleep. He will land back on earth only when the monday morning school bell rings” smiled snidely Kumaresan mocking on his back. 

Ganesan standing on the ramp which  was leading to a sand road “Brother, looks like a new case. Bullock cart is approaching. A pandya area cart. ”

Upon his departure, greenish caged cart with single bullock, chugging down, stopped in front of home.  Young man who drove the cart, unswaddling his cap towel, fidgettingly dabbing his forehand, hesitantly walked ahead to  Guru’s home. His body was shining like a old grinding stone. His tight waist comprised fully curved packs. The loosely tucked dhoti visibly displayed his waist surrounded holy black string. There was a sharp moustache and big round eyes in his square face.

“I am looking for Ayurveda Guru. Is he at home?”  he asked.

“ Who is it? Who is there?” asked Guru. 

“We are from Unnamalaikadai”

“Are you a  Kaipallimar(*)?”

“That's correct. ”

“Your accent shows it. This is Guru. Why you came this far?” asked Guru

“Guru should kindly look after her.  She is suffering from hell of pain for the past sixteendays.” His eyes moisted with unshed tears.   “ We came here after she was treated by two other doctors. Treatments failed to take any effect. I implore you to treat her”

“Who is diseased?”

“My wife. She delivered our first baby”

“Oh”. Guru’s brows puckered in thought as he listened. “How is the child doing?”

‘Child is no more. She is in excruciating pain as her unexpressed mother milk engorged her breasts”

“Is she conscious?”

“A doctor from Perungadai soothed her injecting morphine. She is in deep sleep right now. During every bout of awakening, she is twitching and hollering uncontrollably”

“Who is out  there? Call Nayarayani and Ammu at once.” called Guru.

I hared into home and informed Ammu and Narayani. Ammu was threshing the rice in a stone pestle and Nayarayani was washing the pots and pans. Upon dabbing their hands in the dhoti they wore, they appeared in front of Guru.

“Listen you both. Carefully bring out the woman sleeping in the cart and place her on this bench” Guru instructed Narayani and Ammu

”Do you have any company?” asked Guru to her husband.

“Her mother accompanied us”

Narayani and Ammu went around and stood in front of the cart. There was a midget, a  slender elder lady startled on them. It seemed that she was not accustomed to travelling. I watched them three bring out a strong lady with a blue colour saree.  Her coarse saree crinkling above her legs displayed the knees clearly. I had never seen such a shimmering black knee. A pair of hollow silver anklets adorned her legs.

The lady was lumbered out from the cart with utmost attention. Her curled unfixed lengthy hair was dangling like an inverted bed spring.  Both of her hands hung like threadbare clothes. Someone tightly muffled the saree around her neck.

She was moaning unconsciously when was lifted thought the steps.  She was placed on to a bench. Upon masticating a folded betel flower, Guru signalled others to give him space. She was quivering her heads in both sides and mumbling some words irregularly. The elderly lady holding a cloth sack on her bosom watched her daughter in solemn. Her husband was standing below the steps.

“Go ahead and release the bullock for water. I will take her care ” Guru instructed her husband.

My  vision was totally glued on her for a while. I never, in all my life,  have seen anyone like that lady, that too in this much closer. She must have been at least 6 foot tall. Her refulgent black skin appeared like a dried bottle gourd. Starting from the bench to the floor,  her undulated curly hair was glittering like liquid tar which was spreading. She had a round face. Beneath a dual gossamer-thin eyebrow, she had prominent eyes. The eyeballs were jiggling inside the closed eyelashes which were appearing as though mussels.  The stone chain necklace skewed towards the right side and lied on the bench. Her salt granule coloured tooths were covered by dual lips which appeared like onion skins.

She had tattoos on her forehead and arms. Her violent gasping made her breasts sway to and fro without break. The sight of her flexed curved in soles and her jaws  creak under the force of tooth showed the great deal of pain she was enduring.

“Your daughter?”

“Yes, Guru”

“her first baby?”

“Yes, Guru. She is a well nurtured girl. Her health was as solid as a grinding stone through think and thin. When she fainted in a fright, shaking her head severely, pulling myself along with her, my mind was totally void. She dwindled and wilted helplessly. In the untoward moment, when she realised her child was dead,  wailing god’s name, slapping her breasts violently, swooned without support. Her breasts began to bloat from the second day onwards. I applied all the possible homemade medicines upto my knowledge. Her inflaming breasts have been rattling her for the last sixteen days”

“This is a common parturition case. If the child is no more to consume the mother’s first lactation,  some of you elderly women or midwife should had either sucked it out or knead, squeeze to express it out. How the nipples will open without suckling baby. Don’t you know this basic, have you not given birth to this girl?

The elderly lady did not have any words to respond.

“You look like a stuck-in-the-mud lady who clams up even to any minor complaint”  Guru spitting the chewed betel flower dreg in a bottle near. “ If the nipples are sealed by the never started breastfeeding, the burgeoning bosom would slowly spreaded with pustules filled with pus and stasis blood. The unexpresssed mother colostrum will soon turn as a poison to her.

Her husband returned back.

“She must be underdoing  great degree of pain. No medicine could alleviate her pain right now”

“Cut those two breasts!! fling away both of them immediately.  Please return my beloved lady in sound health. I don’t want any  kid. The dead one must had been an evil born in flesh form, to instigate such a agony to her. I will surely pour  thorns all over that kid's cemetery”

“Hey you moron. Don’t you think you are cursing an innocent infant” shouted the  elderly lady.

“Pernicious wretch!! I will dig his carcass out , make it pieces, throw it away in the river”

“You heartless scum”

“Calm your  voice down elderly lady.  Allow him to vent out his anger which only shows his love towards  your daughter. Hey come here” Guru called me with paternal authority.

“Periyappa(*)” I appeared in front of guru.

“Let him be with you for a while. Go to the cattle shed and fetch two buffalos from the flock,  take a walk to Allur pond along with him. Make sure the buffalos immerse into the pond and collect as much as at least 200 pond leeches possible. You got it?” asked Guru.

I nodded my head. I was yet to comprehend the requirement of  leeches, even though I had been so used to some of the queer items that guru requested in the past.  Just a week ago, I exhautsed every avenue of the nearby forest to collect handful of crow quills.

He was on my heels when I entered into cattle-manger.

“What is your name, kid?” he asked


“ People call me Chellan”


“Why he asked you to collect leeches?”

“Must be for medicine purpose”

“Is he going to make a pulp from it and apply over the wounds?”

“I have no idea at the moment” I told.  “Could you help me untie that humpy horned buffalo ”

I carried a small brass container with a cap. I also gathered few spoons of quicklime in another tiny utensil.  The humpy horned buffalo and his companion Kaali the other buffalo were nestling together followed our footpath.  Both of them were chewing the cud incessantly throughout the way. The wayward Kaali longing for little extra, stretched out to grab few overgrown fronds of the nearby shrubs. I playfully whipped her with the rope which was holding her.  She showed her indifference by shaking both her ears.

The pond was located adjacent to the Allur Bagavati Devi temple. It was surrounded by green sheets of thick coconut tree clusters. The pond water appeared darkish green, shadowing the outer garden.  Pristine water was so transparent, that it depicted the patterns of the deep mud curves clearly. Even the partially buried withered leafs were sparkling like pieces of golden crystals in the limpid water. The pond contained variety of huge fishes like carp, catfish, cichlids and mini eels. If you walk closely without making any wee sound, you will be awed at sight of entire surface of pond  teemed with shoals of fishes. I fancied that sight as though the swarming people in the kollangodu festival time seen through the lens view from the branch of banyan tree. If a tiny part of your shadow touches the corner of the pond,  all the fish shoals would disappear in a flash. It would look like as if a huge eye batted in a micro moment.

Chellan squatting  at the edge of the pond , tried to wade his hand through the water and got ready to clean his face.

“Watch out!!. Don’t touch it”  I told


“Look at the surface of the pond. Choke full of  leeches. This pond itself called leech pond. No one should wade in”

“Oh” he got up.

I nudged Kali to push her into the pond. She leaned forward and swallowed mouthful of water. Ripples appeared around her. After slurping with relish, she craned her neck  towards me with a sodden face. Her face hairs appeared like soaked threadbare. Her body quivered momently. Twisting her tail, I pushed her further in. She mildly hesitated for few seconds then leaped into the  delicate pond water. I tied the rope of her on to the nearby mini coconut tree. Without any effort, humped horned buffalo following Kaali, slinked through the chil pond. I had to rush ahead to catch the rope tied the humpy horned  which appeared like rat snake, almost reached the tip of the pond. I was able to get hold of the grip, pulling it out, I tied it in the same tree.

“What is this temple?”

“Allur Bhagavti Devi Temple. The very next moment, you prayer her mercy, she showers her unhindered blessings” when his inquisitive glance met mine directly  “Those were my mother’s words” I told.

He rose to his feet and surveyed the whole temple.

“Looks like an old dilapidated temple”

“Araikkal Madambi temple. Originally installed main idol was relocated to Thiruvananthapuram”

He saw a heap of green-hued, fraying clay figurines beneath a  banyan tree. These abandoned statues were originally offered to the goddesses on prayer to fulfill  their wishes. After a while, the deformed figurines are demarcated and disposed to this heap. Few tilted goddess figurines with huge round eyes like egg of turkey and teeths of a tigress were stuck out in the heap.

“Does this temple has two sanctums?” Chellan asked.

“Yes. One of the sanctum is dedicated to the elder goddess. The other one is exclusive for the younger deity. The elder one is carrying an infant on her waists. The absolute rage emitting younger is biting a infant caked with blood on her fangy mouth. White pumpkin and lime mixed turmeric pulp are the abhiseka(*) items for elder deity. Spawn hen is  offered, to the younger one”

Chellan climbing over the sand ramp which was leading to the banyan tree, had a closer look at the discarded figurines. The clay figurines attached with a  bottom circular dais were heated in the furnace. The concave broken hands of the statues appeared like stem of a papaya tree. Chellan crouching down, investivaged the figurines further. Some of the goddesses statues, spewing the vehemence in the eyes, bloody  infant on the mouth, appeared intense. The surrounded greenish shrub tried to wrap around those disfigured figurines.

I impeled Kaali towards  the shore. She denied sternly to come out from the pond. Gathering my core strength, putting whole myself on to the rope, I pulled her again. Her firm stand, hauled me into the pond. To divert her focus, I fetched few fronds and stretched those towards her.  When I came closer, her rheumy brown eyes were appearing like the muddy water found in the high rock clefts. Kaali was splashing and leaping in the pond water. I moved further and shook the fronds right in front of her eyes. Though, quite a stubborn Kaali retreated back to the pond, the humpy horned buffalo decided to come towards the shore. Her big form was gliding  swiftly towards me without making any visible rippling effect in the pond water. She lolling her heavy tongue out, clutched the fronds from my hand.

When I tied her on the coconut tree, Kaali too filed out almost instantly.  I diluted the quicklime in the utensil I brought. I sprinked that lime water mixer on the abdomen of humped horned buffalo, which was teeming with leeches. As if stretching and yawning from the sleep, leeches were wriggled themself down in droves, one after other from the pulsing veins of the humped horned buffalo. Those whit little leeches appeared like a wee black cockles pile. Just another half an hour, extracting the blood in degrees, they were to be swelled as chunky as a thumb finger or rather a puckered lip. Sure as eggs, as much as a quarter pint of blood, each one, would have sucked and deposited in each of their belly.

I picked the squirming leeches from the floor diligently and gathered it on the container I brought.

“Do you need any help?” Chellan asked me.

“Can you collect the  leeches on the floor and put those in this container?”

“Unbelievable, these many leeches!!” he wondered

“Had we left the leeches untouched for another half an hour, the buffaloes full body would have hooded with swarms of leeches. Exsanguinated buffalo losing all the energy, her legs turning flaccid, would not even have strength either to stand or to swim”  I told him.

Entire lap of Kaali was too  covered with leech flock. When I touched her udder to pick few leeches,  spout of milk overflowed and ran down through her legs. It appeared as though a broken cactus leaf exuding the milk.

“She recognizes you well, thinking that you are milking her” told Chellan excitingly.

“She feels me. Every time I touch her,  she emits the spouts of milk” I responded. All the four teats of her were bursting with milk.

Humpy horned buffalo was seven month pregnant. She did not milk. After clearing the leeches,  I prepared them to immerse into the pond one more time.

“Why do you need these many leeches?” asked Chellan

I was silent as I was not sure what to say. 

He let out a big sigh. “Day by day her state of agony is turning worse to worst.  If someone goes near her, in rage, she surely would excoriate the skin out from their nose, ears”

I had a glance at his face.

“It has been eight days since I had any sleep. Every time I realise I was the reason for all her suffering, my heart begins to burn like a kiln. “ he told in a grave voice.

“What did you do?”

Chellan just sighed glumly without responding any word.

We resumed another cycle of leech collection. At the end,  we were able to fill almost three quarterth of the brass container. The leeches in the container looked as though  bubbling cold muddy soil. When those group of leeches squirmed together it also appeared like a single palpitating flesh covered with brown skin.

Guru investigated the leeches. It seemed that he was satisfied with the amount. Placing the leeches lump in a dual threaded thin towel,  he made it as a small bundle. He put an impregnable knot at the end of towel. Handing over that bundle to Appu anna, he asked him to spin that bundle as fast as possible. After it wrung out much of water, Appu stepped out to place it on sunshine to dry it further so that no trace of water could be found.

I helped Kaali and humpy horned buffalos settle in their respective place in cattle-shed, minding them. Mixing the turmeric powder in neem oil, I applied over the bloches on the laps the buffaloes. When I bungled down to reach a deep blister over the other side of her skin, she cuddled my back with her rough tongue. Her tongue  was as coarse as thick and wet sandpaper. “You backlicking oaf. I will whip you!! tear your skin apart!!” I reprimanded her.

After five minutes passed, Guru opened the towel and checked the leeches . Then he took another fresh dual threaded thin towel, sprawled the leeches over it.

“Wake her up and make her sit !” called Periyappa.

With extreme care, her mother helped her daughter to sit. She slowly managed to sit on her own without any support. She wiped the spittle spilling from her mouth, with her back of palm.  Her crimson colour eyes in the dark shadowed sockets appeared like buffaloe’s eye duo. On a sudden moment, grabbing both her breasts tightly, she hollered “oh My dear mother !! My goddess!!” in an faraway voice.  She started clapping the bench violently. As though possessed person, her entire form quivered in a pent-up singlemost pain.

Bestirred myself, felt an uncontrollable quiver in my limps. I saw Chellan started sprinting towards the nearby coconut tree, tightly closing his eyes with both of his hands, his whole body shivered .

In an unreason moment, I ended up gazing the complete view of both her bare breasts. instantly, I turned away my sight. Those were like dual infants clenching her bosoms so tightly without any wee gap. A dual rodents clutching with their fangs, attempting to pluck a hole through her,  to devour her by degrees. Unable to bear the intensity of that sight, I ran my legs off towards the well in the otherside. Yet I could clearly hear her aggrandizing hollering voice.

Kumeran followed me “ You should not stand there for long time.” told.

“She must be dealt with a great degree of Pain. “

“You have no idea. Not even in your worst nightmare you can dream it off.  We the men are truly blessed creatures, we do not even come across half of the pain that women  face in their life”

“Why such setting?”

“We can only pass muster ourselves by accepting this as another play of Bhagavati Devi!”

Appu following Kumeresan instantly appeared in front of me. “ Sometimes I feel like a cursed person when I do this task of grinding herbs for Guru” told upon sitting over the wall around the well.

“In these many years, watching the agony  of countless women endured, over over and again,  I feel that demon itself casted spell upon me.”

“Why dont men ever  endure this level of pain?”

“Pity the strangeness of life. Should the men go  through what women go through , this whole world would not be as demeaned as now. It would be a harmonious heaven as every men empathic to the women’s feelings”

“What Guru is  doing exactly with leeches?”

“He will gird the towel filled with leeches over her nipples. The leeches would suck the stasis milk, pus and clotted blood from her breasts all together ”

“Would that be painful a process?”

“Leeches attach themselves to suck blood without make you realise its sucking. If it is bites you , you will not even have wee little pain. Once it sucks as much as it could, plumping up as big as tamarind fruit, they would wriggle down themselves”

I noticed her hollerring was stopped at that moment.

“As leeches continue the draw blood slowly and surely, thye flush out impure bloods, stage by stage, she will get a relief”

I let out a big sigh.

“My dear Jeyan. Listen my advice,   Never ever think of venturing in this infernal job. You better study well and become a respectable teacher with dandy pants and shirt” said Appu Anna.

“Why so?” I asked.

“In another view, we can regard this as a blessed job. On your judgement day, Chithragupta(*)  would certainly hotfoot towards you. He will hug heartfully with

both hands,  escort and ensconce you in heaven. Yet throughout the life you eke out in the earth soil, you have to bear the gruesome sight of blood, pusses, seropurulent everyday.  Your mind will be lost in morass at some point”

“Hey Jeya, come inside” Guru’s wife, my Aunty called me. “Time for your rice porridge”

I entered home quietly and started having my porridge.

“You look dull like a pond weed. What is in your mind?”  asked Aunty.


“Here your favourite raw mango with salt. Have it..”

“Not now” I responded.

After food, I went out to join with  Appu and Kumaresan whom were smoking beedi.  Without seeking any attention, I sat near them.

“Jeya.. Where have you gone?” Guru shouted me.

“Periyappa” I appeared in front of Guru in pronto.

I noticed that Guru girded another towel  as bandage around her bosoms. Her dishevelled curly sheet of hair was on her cheeks appearing like a carelessly pasted poster. As breath of recovery entered her form, I could notice outset of pleasantness in her face.

“Who is this boy? Your son?” She asked affably.

The slit corner of her prominent eye was sufficient to see me. Those eyes were glittering as sharp as the sickle used to cut the palm fruit. Her smooth lips opened and revealed tiny strip of the purest salt granule colour white teeth, she smiled. 

“A nimble pert kid..”

“My younger brother’s son. Yes. truly a fireball. He is in class 7th” Guru told her.

Lifting her face, She lodged her tired eyes on my face and had a sidelong look upon me. Her cheeks allowed her lips to make a parabola, which made her smile even more endearing. I was wondering, was she the same lady who hollered just a while ago.

“How is the pain now?” I asked her.

“No pain” she smiled “Yet I feel dizzy ”

“That must be due to the after effect of morphine” told Guru.  Doffed off earlier dual threaded thin towel was on the ground dappled with warm white, impure red bloods and fresh pus liquid. 

“Pick these leeches and feed them to hen” Guru instructed me.

She felt a jolt on her bosom “I beseech you Guru. Do not kill them Guru,” She implored in a tender voice  “ They are like my children to me. They consumed my milk”

Guru had a glance at her for few seconds. Then he turned towards me “Very well. Fling these leeches in the very same pond from where you collected”

I crouched down and picked that towel. She was shutting her eyelids as if drifting into dream.

Chellan was paying tribute towards Guru’s home, high holding the clasped palms together, squatting beneath the coconut tree. I had a glance at her, her back was resting on the wall, her eyes closed, she appeared calm as doused firewood.



Kayathirumeni  - Ayurvedic medicated oil. It is used topically in various conditions. It is applied externally to get relief from pain

Anna - Elder Brother

Aasari - Also Vishwakarma ,  a composite group of five communities of artisans and craftspersons in India

Thailam - Balm

Kaipallimar - Community people work related to coconut tree

Karnavedha - Karnavedham is one of the sixteen major sanskaras (sacraments) known as "Shodasha Sanskaras" of Sanatana Dharma. It is an ear piercing ceremony that is typically performed between the first and fifth year of life.

Periyappa - Uncle , Father’s elder brother

Abhiseka -  is conducted by priests by pouring libations on the image of the deity being worshipped, amidst the chanting of mantras. Usually, offerings such as milk, yogurt, ghee, honey, panchamrita, sesame oil, rose water, sandalwood paste may be poured among other offerings depending on the type of abhishekam being performed

Chitragupta - is a Hindu god assigned with the task of keeping complete records of actions of human beings on the earth. He is god of justice. Upon their death, Chitragupta has the task of deciding heaven or the hell for the humans, depending on their actions on the earth



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