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I’m not a preacher, not a teacher

I am not a spiritualist. Not even a ritualist doing nithyakramas regularly or visitng  Temples often.  Just an ordinary story writer I am, , living a normal family life with my chidlren, grand children, roaming the world if they finace me and if my health permits or sit below a tree or walk through the woods and rice fields of my native land,  that rich Kerala, again if my  legs coperate, humming  a Thyagaraja or a  Swathy Thirunaal  or Deedkshithar, for mine  and mine alone –  satisfaction  and not for others’ certificate.. In fact,  my own people have said ,that I am more tolerable when I don’t song and keep my mouth shut.

But I can’t keep my mouth and eyes shut  I look at the trees, the hills and meadows, the squirrels and monkeys roaming over there, the deer looking at me from its bush, wondering who this fellow is, when I go for a walk in the evening through the highways of Baltimore or Florida or at the innocent cows wanderimg in  the lanes of Kasi or Kalpathy. I run along with the river in Ottappalam or stare at the Ganges with awe at Utharakasi or Gangotri . I talk to the guys sitting near or far to me in a sleeper class, force him to talk to me, may be a panda from Benares or a chettiar from Madurai, or an young girl bubbling with enthusiasm or a depressed soul sitting alone in a corner worrying how to feed her children, the next day.This  has helped me to live so long .   This  has helped me to live happily. And I have lived long enough and damn care if I am showed the gate tomorrow.

And, and I read our Upanishads, that invaluable record of our ancestores, who roamed in the forest , alone, wearing practically nothing, in the hot , in the cold, among the animals, enjoying the raising and falling sun, enjoying the waxing and waning moon, enjoying the twinkling stars and silent or roaring clouds. 

If all the books are lost tomorrow, pray that doesn’t happen and if we are left with a single upanishad , we are safe, our culture is safe.

I am not a preacher or a  councellor but suggest,  read our Upanishads and understand their meaning. You won’t regret.

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Mud we’re

I was in Hyderabad for the Deepavali, last year. Our compound wall is pretty long and was wondering how to arrange deepams on the entire length.  Remembered about the huge stock of materials dumped in the attic, when my wife was there. But how to climb , was the question. 

There is a boy in the outhouse behind our rear wall. 

‘Madhuuuuuuuu’, I cried. He jumped over the wall, climbed the attic and brought down a carton full of earthen lamps. I liked them. May be because I came from and will go back to earth, I like all products made of clay, lamps, pots even Moorthy of Ganesh for the Ganesh pooja. 

Products made of clay will break, if you drop them, as we too will, one day.  They won’t choke and kill animals as plastic does. 

Mother Sita, who came from Earth, went back to the arms of her 

Mother , leaving behind her husband, children and Kingdom. Her end was beautiful . More natural than mounting a vimanam and flying to heaven.

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Ammalu is always right

‘Ammalu, I couldn’t believe what I saw in Kittu’s house, this evening’

‘What happened? There was a bear sleeping on his cot?’

‘No, he was washing his wife’s clothes. The other day I saw him cleaning the kitchen’

‘Who’s wife’s and whose kitchen?’


‘Then, what is your concern? Husbands are not unselfish. For giving something, kittu would be reaping something much more valuable’

‘What could be that? I will find out from him’

‘No need. We both are too late for that ‘give and take’

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Ammalu is always right

‘Ammalu, every one, except you, like what I post in the Facebook ‘

‘I like YOU. What else do you want ?’

‘You really?’

‘Now, I don’t like you’

‘Why Ammalu?’

‘You should have asked that question when we met first and not after living together for over fifty years’

‘Ammalu, now I accept that there is some meaning in what you said’

‘I like that ‘some’, SP.  Behave always like a learned man, which you’re. Behave always like a honest husband which you’re . Behave always like MY HUSBAND, not Ammini’s, Paru’s or anyone other woman’s which you are not. Thank you.  Let MAtA Saraswathi give you knowledge’

‘You said just now that I’m knowledgeable!’

‘Don’t know how long it will stay. You’re so unpredictable’


” ‘You are too modern, Ammalu is too conservative’, say my friends”

”No problem, SP. I will change in a jiffy”

” SP ? Jiffy?  What language is this Ammalu?”

”The first lesson in modernism . Shall we go to the next?”

” Let us remain illiterates but live in peace and dignity”

”Your friends?”

”I will tackle them”

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Ammalu is always right

‘Ammalu, the day is not far, when as Lord Budha did, I’ll leave you and go away, far, far away, while you’re in sound sleep’.

‘Give a tip before I go to sleep’

‘For what ? To fall at my feet and cry and cry to stop me ?’

‘No. To pack your thermos with a tumbler of coffee’

‘Oh, what a compassion ! Trying to bribe me with one tumbler of coffee? Why only one tumbler, madam ? Why not two ?’

‘For the second coffee, you’ll be back home ‘


‘I bought the steps, dolls, saris and other stuff for the Golu, from my hard earned money. What’s your contribution Ammalu, other than placing the dolls an the steps, as you do with the vegetables inside the fridge? And for that you get all the credit. ‘ Ammalu’s Golu, Ammalu’s Golu!’- everyone talks!

And me , nowhere nearby!’

‘You should have told me about your grievance when I was arranging the dolls. Even now, it is not late. I will make space for you to occupy a prominent place among the dolls, on one condition – you shouldn’t open your mouth’

‘For singing ?’

‘No, in appreciation, every time a woman enters to watch the Golu’


‘Ask for anything you want, Ammalu. I’m like Karna of Mahabarath’

‘Your mother threw you into river soon after you were born?’

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‘Your attempt to argue with me on science, art, literature, history and geography is inversely proportional to your intellect, knowledge and wisdom. Ammalu’

‘God made us like that. With directly proportional geography and other things, I would not have gifted you with our children. Have some common sense, SP!’


‘Ammalu, after all for whom should I save money, if not for your pleasure? For the Navaratri expenses, I’m sanctioning  a liberal grant of Rs. 101 this year. Enjoy’.

‘Do you want me to invite my friends (many are your friends too) for the Kolu or not?’

‘Yes, of course. Invite every one. Ammini, Paru, Parukkutty, Karthiayani, Kamalakshi, all your friends ‘

‘Ammukutty, Thailambal?’

‘Yes, Yes, call all your club members’

‘Are you mad? If I call all the Club members, I may need Rs. 5000 or even more’

‘What’s Rs 5000 these days, Ammalu? Draw Rs.10,000 or whatever you want!’


‘Can we discuss our problems and come to an understanding, Ammalu? I’m your husband’

‘You asked a question and gave the answer too. What is there to discuss now?’


‘Can you spare a few minute for me Ammalu? I’m your husband’

‘I can but not immediately. I’m your wife‘


‘Ammalu, now I feel that I made a mistake by saying ‘yes’ immediately when your father asked me whether I liked you, during our very first meet’.

‘Immediately? You were awestruck by my beauty and sat for full  five  minutes, mouth wide-opened! Your father had to sprinkle a palmful of water to bring you back to normalcy. Without his asking whether you would like to  marry me, you started nodding your head in agreement so forcefully that your mother had to apply balm for a week to remove the sprain’

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Ammalu is always right

‘Ammalu, I’m an old man, poet in heart. I see beauty in Nature, women, trees, hills, everywhere. You can’t ask me to close my eyes and walk on the street’.

‘I never asked you to close your eyes and walk on the street. I said, ‘shut your mouth when you see women’’


Ammalu, did you notice in the Onam party, Ammini, Paru and Parukutti, all the three wore saris with the same border’

‘How do you?  They were sitting along with me and away from you’

‘I saw from the back, Ammalu’

‘Why are you still at their back? What is your age,SP?’


‘Naathaa, naathaa, buy me a diamond necklace! Now, now, please. And take me to an English movie. Let us celebrate Onam in a grand way’

‘Stop that raspy barking of a funny fox’

‘As you wish. Shall I call you my Lord?’

‘Don’t open your mouth at all. Your silence for an hour  is equal to my pension amount for the whole year’


Ammalu, standing mouth -opened like a statue at the entrance?  Come and collect these bags from my hands, you good-for-nothing old woman!’

‘SP, you went for Onam shopping wearing the 

Kerala sari Ammini gifted to me! You couldn’t differentiate a sari from your mundu, dothi? And I’m a good -for nothing?’


‘Diabetes is dangerous with no treatment ; 

Wife is dangerous even with good treatment’

What do you say,  Ammalu?’

‘What to say? Your response to my treatment is poor and I should think of alternate methods to bring you back to normalcy’