Kakka Raman and Vishnu Pattar Break the law.
Kaakka Rama Iyer had a very close friend by name Ananthakrishna Iyer.. Some say that Ananthakrishna Iyer had been in Ceylon for sometime and there was another school of thought that he was a peon in a British company which did business in slaughtering animals and exporting the flesh. Whatever it may be the man had become very pious when he landed up in our agraharam, but he had no place to live. So Rama Iyer gracefully volunteered to offer the Iyer number two the privilege of occupying the open thinnai of Kakkais house as a dwelling place. Ananthankrishna Iyer sported a very huge oordhwapundram (naammam) and in the performing his make up operation was a sight to see. The village urchins would crowd around him while he deftly pasted namakkatti on his palm and drew and big U on hide wide forehead, followed by a long red line in the internal bisecting area using thirummannu.. And one the makeup was finished, he looked just like Mahavishnu and hence the village people always called him Vishnu Pattar when he was not present within earshot.
Kakkai and Vishnu were a professional pair. They always went together for partaking in Sraadhams or getting Dakshina or dhaanam on good or bad occasions.
One day they went for Sraadham in Pallipuram village. It was almost five miles from our village. You must remember it was almost 45 years ago and there were not many buses and the Laurel and Hardy could not afford to pay the busfare also. They had to cross an open railway line near palakkad town railway station and the successfully negotiated Lakshman Rekha in the morning during their onward Journed. But while returning after sraadhdham, they again crossed the railway line and was accosted by a railway policeman. The innocent Brahmins did not know that crossing the railway track and making the railway premises as a thoroughfare was a punishable offence. Had they told the policeman that they did not know the law and apologized, he would have left them go. However in their innocent haughtiness, they told him to mind his business and that they were not afraid of any police, especially railway police. The enraged policeman booked a case against them for trespassing and gave a summons directing them to attend the sub-magistrates court one week later and let them go. The poor Brahmins could have given some wrong names abd address and got away with it but they were too innocent.
On the day of the great trial the duo, clad in soman and uthareeyam, Mr Vishnu sporting naamam and Mr Raman filling his forehead with three broad white lines of Viboothy, presented themselves in the Court very early in the morning. The magistrate arrived in due course and seeing two Brahmins standing in the courtyard (the magistrate was also an Iyer), said that there was no sraadham or tarpanam being conducted in the court. The Brahmins said they had been booked by railway police and there was a case against them.
Finally the case was called, and R and V presented themselves in the dock. The magistrate asked them whether they had committed any offence for which they stated in union that they had done nothing but had only crossed the railway line. Even at this stage they were not aware that this was an offence. The magistrate could have let them free had they sought partdon. But they would not do it because they could not dream of any crime being committed by them. Ultimately the Magistrate reluctantly fined them eight anna each.
And once the fine was ordered, the two poor Brahmins could leave the court only after paying the fine and eight anna each was far beyond their capacity to pay. They were pleading with everybody requesting that they be allowed to go. Nothing worked.
Have a nice and happy day
with profound respect and warm regards
K V Ananthanarayanan
कृष्णात् परं किमपि तत्वं अहं न जाने"