Friday, 15 June 2012


There are many who eke out a living from others, in the name of god, people in difficulties....There are genuine cases of course. But I do think people were more creative and less cunning in old days.  
As a young boy, I lived in Munnar. Then 'Munnuaar' (three rivers), a village (the term hill station had not had not been coined then) in Kerala near its border with Tamil Nadu, was a far cry from the today's bustling tourist destination. Population consisted of employees of  large tea estates, mostly from Kerala & the immigrant labor from Tamil Nadu. Money from the Middle east had not flooded Kerala and Tamil Nadu was not as industrialized as today. Money was scarce. There were scroungers of all sorts. 

I still remember this little play, acted out in front of our house, in one of those days. 

'---- wangitharen' ( will get for  you )..... the boy said crying
'yaru Kitte ?'     ( from whom  ) ..........the man said, caning the boy again
“Amma kitte”     ( from  madam  ) .........the boy cried
 The beatings produced unusually loud sounds. The 'muram', a sort of flat sieve made of cane splits, fitted on the back of the boy was not visble through the loose shirts he was wearing one over another
“Ethina roopai”   ( How many rupees  ) beatings followed
“ Anchu roopai”   ( Five rupees  ) it was two rupees earlier

The small  boy was agitated   why  did his mother not give 5 rupees and save the boy from the cruel beatings!

“Arukitte”.... the question  again along with harder beatings. The beaten  did not get the hint
“Ammakite” he repeated
Stronger and hence louder beatings followed. This time he got it        
Turning around to look at the  the  small boy  he said winking
"Chinna ayya Kitte'  ( From the young master )

The small boy was me!

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