pachai maamalai pol mene

Saturday, October 15, 2011

kodukku

I remember an old pattar who had the nickname kodukku (the sting).. He had practically no work to do, but something has been left by the forefathers enabling him to eat and remain lazy. So every day he would, after meals before or after bath,  occupy the thinnai of some house, (every thinnai, or every house for that matter, was of free access to everyone in the agraharam those days.. the mutual trust and sense of belonging were unquestionable) and start the running commentary of all the people, oldest to the infant, of brahmins, chettis, barbers, and other privileged classes, and at least some stray passer-by will be available to listen to his verbal tirades. Radios were not yet in wide circulation.  Once he shifted his venue to the cross road at Sultanpet palakkad, and was standing on one corner waiting for some victim. A mappila came and asked Kodukku the way to Kottamaidaanam.. Knowingly our hero pointed to the direction of Victoria college en route kalpathy,(diametricallly opposite way). The innocent muslim went that way walked for about three miles and  there someone had given the right direction and he  came back to the crossroad once again. Kodukkumallaan was still present. Though the mappila recognised him Kodukku in his superior wisdom had forgotten the deceit he had committed. To provoke him, the mapplia, as if knowing nothing,  asked for the direction and this time, the direction towards Coimbatore was shown. The mappilla was enraged. " Pattare, I will show you the right way.."., he shouted, and immediately he lifted his lungi and showed it. But did it ever cure our Kodukku.?. not at all. I was only seeing more sophisticated kodukkus which prompted me to record this.