Menaka’s manjadi

I dont have siblings, hence very close to all of my cousins who used to visit us@ Wayanad, for summer vacation every year.

Loads of lovely memories… scattered though…
> my pretty sis who could’nt utter one word in malayalam but wanted to watch ‘mazha peyyunnu maddalam kottunnu‘ everytime she was in Kerala
> Grandma roasting coffee beans every morning, grinding it fresh, the fresh filter coffee aroma walking us up
> My li’l cousin Kavita wetting the bed every night but curiously she wakes up dry & am all wet!
> first love letter🙂 this guy (he wud kill me for writing this) used to get me huge bars of chocolates (his dad worked in Cadbury factory)… I shamelessly ate all of them & said later that he is just a good friend!!

> running behind the elephant during temple festival
> running out hearing the ‘duggu duggu duggu’ sound of periyappa’s bike… to get the poppins he never forgot to get for me (without my dad’s knowledge🙂
> all of us sitting together for dinner where dinner would be served in one big bowl along with ‘so called real ghost stories’
> playing seven stones in the large ground …
> playing carrom @ home when summer rains lashes out… my twin cousins who always are fighting for the silliest of reasons, throwing Bournvita on each other across the carrom board…It never occured to any one of us to get a new one…
> taste of first beer (stolen from dad’s shelf!)
> coughing over first smoke… that too sadhu beedi!
> the fun filled trips to Muthanga forest… bathing in the river… eating in the forest … sleeping in the cool shades…
> on the way to Muthanga the men used to break cocunuts in the ‘Gulikan Thara’ to see wild elephants…while the moms & aunts light lamps ‘not to see elephants’…🙂

> The night when a black panther from Muthanga forest strayed in to our place killing a cow & a dog… Appa, Adu anna, Anand anna & Nambiar ettan going after it with guns… when Appa accidently tied both strings of his shoes together & fell in to the pond🙂
> the panchayat elections when the local leaders would assemble @ our place and discuss international politics🙂

Ø     My brother Anand anna, who introduced me to the world of books – he bought me my first books wen I was 6 or 7 – ‘Kabooliwalah’, ‘Panchatanthram tales’ … soon I graduated to  Vaikom Muhhammad Basheer.

Ø     The ‘porattukali’ by paniyar tribe & Kolkkali by ‘Kurumar’ tribe during vishu. The Porattu kali would invariably end with the song “pappadom chuttathum innu thane… Appane chuttathum Innu thane J

Ø     My dad was majorly in to politics – a congress member…We had this ‘Rowdy Raman’ who was a communist party supporter…Raman had a dog ‘Tippu’. When the political differences reaches burning point Raman would take Tippu for a walk (after his quota of ‘naadan vaattu’) through our road & sing “ Eda Tippu… Congress Tippu”😀

Ø     Vishu always was a huge celebration – we kids would hold on to ‘our’ allotted boxes of crackers like holding on to dear life… we would dry them in sun (Edavappathy would have dampened the crackers a bit…but not our spirits)….the Vishu eve would start with wearing new dresses. Appa always inaugurated  bursting crackers by lighting the 1000 mala… then there wouldd be competition with the neighbourhood people… every Vishu of mine ended with me having Sulfur allergy!

The Vishu day is the only earning period for us kids… so we take all the tactics – beg , borrow, even steal kaineettom ! Vishu lunch is special with ‘kappa sambar” Later in the evening dad would hand over tobacco, vettila & clothes to our workers. Once I tried eating the tobacco & puked all night.

Ø     Another memory is of death anniversary of my Grandfather when we all would gather & priest (vadhyar) from Calicut would come for the pooja. For help with cleaning we used to have the tribal people. But that day  the tribals are not supposed to be given food. The priest , bathed in ‘Vibhoothi’ would call out to the crow (considered the deceased) “ka ka ka”…I once heard the tribal help comment “ vadhyar pappan venneeril kulicha Nai thane… kaakene vilipparu… poochene vilipparu… ennalum namukkonjum thaararu (in tribal slang)

Ø     Those summers when sprinklers would be watering our estate… the wonderful smell of wet mud… the mangoes & tamarinds… the inevitable loose motions every summer!!!

Ø     During the coffee crop season we kids also would work along with the workers – we had our own small baskets for  harvesting… the money we ‘earned ‘ we splashed during ‘valliyoorkkavu ulsavam’ buying snake & ladder game, bangles, water pistols, colorful bindis…what not!!!

Am so happy that My Manjadi triggered off these sweet memories!!! There are loads more!!!

Menaka Ramanan

Menaka Ramanan lives in Bangalore and works as a financial analyst.

10 thoughts on “Menaka’s manjadi

  1. Luv ur blog sweets!!! And guess what i have a DVD copy of “mazha peyyunnu maddalam kottunnu” on my laptop & watch it every time i am in the airport with lots of time to kill & it brings back beautiful memories from our summer trips to Wyanad!!!

  2. Meenu you just transported me to those golden days. What a life… some things happen only once in a life time… but leaves the memories for eternity…u forgot the most exciting story about Muthanga & Wild elephant when Ramani mama dropped a towel & actually stopped to recover it while one wild elephant was chasing us from behind…

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