Posted on Leave a comment

Another short trip to Kerala – part 2

”You are free from your chief now but will never be free from your mischief “- That was how my respected director, wished me adieu, while I retired from service.
” experience speaks” You endorse the words of wisdom of my boss and demand, ‘explain’.The first lesson I learned from my recent trip is that in Kerala and Tamil Nadu temples, you can’t rent a room for stay, if you are a lonely male, irrespective of your age.
”No room for single” is the standard reply from the lodge-keepers.
”Why so, may I know?” I inquire really innocently.
The front page of a local daily is presented before me with a naughty smile. Reports of misusing the facility by males, highlighting the incidents where the naughties are oldies.
”You expect me to be mischievous at this age? ” I ask him unsure of the validity of my question but with an anxiety to have an accommodation at that late hour.
”As older as naughtier!”  He replies in the ‘as father, as son’ style, enjoying his own English and watching my face to asses whether I too enjoyed his wit. Wits are to be enjoyed especially the ones made at late hours when you are at the mercy of an inn keeper, to rest your exhausted head.
Now, two sample instances for your enjoyment:
At Guruvayoor. Time- late night.
”Thirumeni oru room venam- need a room”. I request the Namboodiri, at the counter of a lodge, with a liberal sandal paste on his forehead and equally lavish cool smile on his face.
”Swamy thaniyae aano? You are alone, I suppose “
“Alla, Easwaranum koodae undu- No, the God is with me “
” Athu pora,  Room illallo Swamy- That is not enough -sorry, no room.” Convincing was his reply that God was not  considered as a fit companion for allotment of the room.
” Jnan atra viddi alla thirumeni, oru roominnu vendi velikazikkan- I am not a blockhead to remarry just to get accommodated in your lodge for a night. “
”Oh, Rasikan, athi  rasikan, muri edutholu- You are wonderfully jovial; the room is yours”.
I knew that Namboodiries enjoy jokes but never expected they would enjoy even simple facts as jokes .
At Pazhani: Time – midnight.
”Single room onnum kaali illainka-No single room is available”. The counter clerk replies sternly.
“Onka mudhalali iruukkara? -Is your owner available?” I ask him.
The owner comes, an young man, forehead lavishly smeared with the popular ‘siddhar viboothi’, unusual for his age.
“Your face resembles your grand father’s- —–“. I  search for the name which the youngster volunteers to mention, ‘Parameswara Iyer””Right. My father’s elder brother and your grand father’s younger brother were class mates.” I try to bring us closer and continue, ” your grand mother’s younger sister and my mother’s elder sister also were–“”Playmates” The youngster completes the sentence.”You are right again. There is one more relationship-” I continue, but the smart guy, already convinced that we are related, turns to his assistant and orders, “Ayyarukku room kattunko- show him his room -“While I pick up my wallet to pay the advance, as I was prepared to sleep in any closed area, there comes an elderly person, with thickly tufted head and offers, ” I will take him to his room”.
I could have followed him silently, but as is my wont, enquire, “Anna, entha oor – you are from which village?”
”pallippuram. Nan than parameswara iyer, I am parameswara Iyer, grand father of the boy you met at the counter.”


‘Vay irunda pullai pozathcukkum”- an adage. Near meaning-‘you can survive by your tongue’
But  remember, tongue can, sometime be undoing too.
Feb 5,2013
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *