pachai maamalai pol mene

Sunday, March 20, 2011


It is a story of almost hundred years ago. A timid, but principled brahmin was serving as a clerk in the service of the British Malabar, in some obscure place in Malappuram district.  The clerks, if they had to survive had to receive the bribes offered to them in small coins and in kind, because their salaries was paltry.  But this man will not do it. But so long as he was a clerk, he was left alone.. because it never affected the people or the employer if he did his job reasonably well.  But one day he was awarded a promotion to  some post equal to a Deputy Tehsildar and this man was afraid that he would not be allowed not to take bribes any more.  With eight children, mostly young and no expectation of any income he retired for a small pension and returned to his agraharam.  There, from the morning many children would be sitting around him on the thinnai of his house studying the alphabets of malayalam language.  In his spare time unnoticed by all he would visit the village pond and clean the old steps around it  and remove grass and other growths, before he took his bath. He studied sanskrit at an advanced age and would recite bagavat gita and vishnu sahasranamam.  I learnt these mostly by heart hearing him chant it...I was seven years at that time.

Another brahmin was there. He was engaged as a cook and a small time hotelier. He failed completely and at about  the age of fifty he was offered the job of a priest in a small ganapathy temple for a paltry monthy wage of less than five rupees. He would go as a loukeeka for sraadham meals etc. The ganapathy had to be offered rice at least twice a day, and his lamps had to be hit.  This man would take the cooked rice from home and offer it to Ganapathy. The nephews and nieces in his house were the wageless sweepers of the temple.  Till  every morning he would pour nice gingely oil pilfered from the home on the idol and would remark,  "let the Lord sit like this for ten minutes, so that he will be cool and happy".  He lived in the service of the ganapthy for forty years and the ganapathy was indigent, and the priests salary would not have reached even fifty rupees. He was childless but his relatives had prospered reasonable by the time he retired.. The ganapthy also prospered after his exit  The fellows who did menial jobs for the temple did that  out of love more for this man, and without any wages.

Another impractical man I have seen.  In his retired life and with none of his children settled in life, even food was scarce at home.  But every night before completing his second course of meals he would ask for some more rice, and say if fresh rice is not there it can be pazhaya saatham at least.  All in the family knew this food was not for himself.  A stray orphan dog was waiting in the backyards.  Once the man was given the extra rice, sometimes even on the face of murmur from others, he would say he was not hungry, take away the plate and give the food to the dog. He was not sure that others in the family would give anything to the dog, given the circumstances.

There was yet another lean ugly man whose only pleasure in life was ostensibly to take purgatives every day so that his intestines would be clean in the night.  But for about 35 years he was a teacher of the first standard in a primary school, at Kalpathy. He never desired even to teach in the second class. ( No nusery or KG classes those days. Every morning he would go to school at 7-30 AM, even clean his classroom and be waiting for his children. The pleasures and pains of each child was his own.  No child cried or complained when they occupied his classroom. When any  child was sick, he would care of him.  if the child passed urine or stools while in class he would not hesitate to clean the class and  the child.  He was the Sir for many youngsters of two generations. His educational achievements would not have been much more than that of his students of the class.

The above persons, prima facie were idiots.  Nobody asked them to  do these things.  If my guess is correct, they did not even know that they were doing something out of the way
Many of us in our family have grown up into idiots emulating them. Nothing strange  about it.  The first was my mother's father, second my mothers uncle, third my own father and last but not the least, my own uncle, my mothers brother.

I am an idiot and impractical fool.. I cannot be otherwise.  But secretly I am proud of it... because I am in good company.
Dozens of siblings and cousins of mine who may chance to read this will be idiots of similar mindbend.. but I do hope they will be also proud of their idiotic elder relatives.

।श्रीकृष्णो रक्षतु।
|śrīkṛṣṇo rakṣatu|
Have a nice and happy day
with profound respect and warm regards
K V Ananthanarayanan
त्यजन्तु बान्धवाः सर्वे निन्दन्तु गुरवो जनाःI
तदापि परमानन्दो गोविन्दो मम जीवनंII
let all my relatives abandon me, let the great people insult me, still I am in supreme bliss since my life  is GOVINDA alone.
Iकृष्णात् परं किमपि तत्वं अहं न जाने"I
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु।
lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu|


  1. That's a lovely article, and extremely well written Mama. Really privileged to read about such honourable people!

    True, it does not matter to be labelled as an idiot if you live such a great life in the service of others. Ulagam ennathayo chollindu poghattum, as long as our conscience is clear and heart is clean, nothing else matters. It is just between you and God, at that level.

  2. Anonymous11:21 PM

    Fantastic Not about you being an idiot, but accepting it. people of your nature are fast becoming extinct. I preclude that is the end 0f Hinduism/Brahmanism. Because this is exactly how Manu has designed a Brahmin's life.