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Before going to bed, read my scholar friend KVA’s post ( which I never miss ) and learned that tomorrow is Karkitakam first day, the beginning of what we call Ramayanamasam, which has already started for you in India today.

Remember my father. He used to read AdyAtma RAmAyanam of Tunjathu aacharyan, reverently every night during this month, as is vogue in Kerala.
After closing his shop at 9/9.30 at night, he used to go to his mother, sit by her side, enquire about her health and what she ate etc, make her bed, ( though it would have already been made by my mother, give her an income and account statement for the day, just to give her an emotional happiness and satisfaction that her only son was taking her into confidence in his business activities!

Then, he used to go to the huge well at backyard, which we used to call, ‘kamlAlayam’ due to its pure water stock, which never got depleted, pour a few bucket of chill water over his head, change the clothes, apply vibhoothy prominently all on usual parts of the body, sit before the big brass lamp and then slowly, in his melodious tone recite Sundarakandam a chapter or a part of it as per certain prescribed schedule.

‘Kathaya mama, kathaya mama, Kathakal athisAdaram
KAkulstha leekakal kettAl madivaraa’ ——

That melody still flows in my mind.

As a respectful remembrance to my father, I have started today teaching Malayalam alphabets to my grandchildren.
I would like them to learn as many languages as possible so that they will be able to enjoy the wealth of literature in those languages.

For me, may be by an act of Providence, I have started singing divyanAnasamkeerthanam songs of Thyagaraja, where Rama namam blossoms many times in each song !

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