It's during the British rule in India,a middle class family from the southern part of India which was rendering its portion for the freedom.A village near by the patriotic place Maniyatchi,now called to be Vanchimaniyatchi from the patriot's name ,has a vast source of agricultural lands.So people there took farming and grazing their cattle as their profession.Some sent their children to the nearby towns for education.On those days the mission foundation in England supported the making of educational institutions, which still stand today offering their service to a greater standard.
The land with its patriotism garlands
Welcomed all men strong and bold
Such a time, for them to climb
To smell the breeze of independence
Claimable for all
My father's,father's father had a middle classed family home with its sturdiness still stands firm nearby the village railway station.The travellers returning from their journey or travelling on a journey had to take the pathway by our home.So it's a well known house in the village.
As locomotives and travel were not frequent on those days many used to walk for days or travel by cart to outer places.So every home had a built in outside platform to help the travellers take a little nap and receive a welcome drink from the household,which nourished the travellers for their further travel.
Our house inside has massive beams supporting the house and huge monstrous pillars,that challenged each shoulders to hug around as it stood.The doors were so huge and heavy with huge metal latches left to do the latching when they plan a trip away.The room upstairs had a wooden portable staircase covered with tiled roof.The staircase climb after a few steps will help you touch a removable square way,which you can put it aside,then few steps on your ladder,you can pull onto that darkroom.Often it was used to store the produce of the land,which they used for their whole year consumption and some for trading.The room in the main house also had a large pot,for storing the grains.
Still some days dated ahead,had their fore fathers lived for more days.While young they would have grown tall,but getting older made their organs shrink and they grew shorter.Those pots were also used as a coffin for burying the dead.
To live in
A tile thatched roof
With beams beneath
A massive support
Of its wonder pillars it report
With brazen copper latches
Against the doors it locks
A ladder it takes
To the upper storage room
Grains, pulses and all its produce
With all of its love
It stood still
Kindly get down to that hill
My father's father grew in that village owning his father's family home,some acres of agricultural land as his inheritance and also drinking habit.When he reached the marrying age my father's grandfather found him a wife in a village which is 40 miles far from theirs.
My father's mothers way grandfather was a policeman.They had a middle class status,but his policeman grandfather used to wear big rings on his fingers as a status.They had acres of agricultural land through which they had their rice,pulses,groundnuts,cotton,spices grown.
Once during the chilli harvest and while drying the produce for trading, the police grandfather went to the arena where it's put.Every farmer used to stand in guard of their produce.As Usual the police grandfather went for his guarding duty over his produce.It was night time,grandfather had a good old torch and a matchbox to light up his cigars.He came after having his good rice porridge along with the bite of salted chilli to give a kick.Now he took his hard sheet to spread on the rocky surface nearby his produce,which had readily given up some of its moisture in the heat of the day.Now the flavour of the produce along with the blowing mild wind was released in the air.At the far he could see some lights indicating farmers like him in the near and far site.
His tired eyes longed for rest in the dark blurred light.He pulled a stone nearby and covered his toes and lied down to sleep.It was a hard day for him,for in the British rule ,policeman are called in duties to the places where freedom movements were paraded.So as a good family man he had to look upon his family responsibilities too.Yeah! What a days struggle! that only went on..
Suddenly sounds of thud,thud... marching towards his direction, stopping his next step towards his rest,now with a policing eye he lifted his head towards the direction of the sound.
The torches one behind the other with the shout of the wild creatures name,shook him for a moment and made him to stand on his feet,and light his torch against the coming torches.
Now he found a fiery fierce cats eye in the dark caught his nerves blood clot.Unbelievable!when others told of the creature they saw,when it visited,now it became so real.
Whether to give a salute ,as its the national animal,or to shoot it to its death.Now within in a moment it came upon like him,challenging him,to live no more.Now with all of his,he put on the fight,with his powerful shoulders.The wild cat wondered whether it has come to another wild teritory,for it has not known one with two limbs upon this four clawed power.
The fight was fierce,no one wanted to give up,fearing that it would take life as its penalty.It went on for minutes as the cold air dressed up their wounds with the scratches.Grandfather realising the life to its end,put up a life fight,which scared the wild creature of the escalating pressure.It decided to give up the fight and ran away leaving some bloody scratch.
The torch lights that came running umpired the fight and praised the brave wild cat fighter.It was like a gallantry award,for the villagers thereafter began to recognise him as a brave wild cat fighter.
Wild great cat
Took a night wander
On my great grandfathers night launder
Both met neck to neck
Their power to check
It's surely a life check
Both tried to break
Scratches and scars
As rememberance left
Along with their escaped life
My father's father even though was a drunkard liked to get one of his daughters as his wife,for the honor and the wealth they possessed in that village.
My father was born second among the four siblings.My father's father as he was a drunkard man,was insisted by his police grandfather to stay with him.He provided his son in law and his daughter a home and lands to live with.My father and his siblings enjoyed the love of their grandparents.His father used to come now and then.My father had his elder brother Mr.K.Raj,next he,then younger brother Mr.C.Samy and next younger sister Ms.C.Thai.They grew up along with their other nephews and cousins in the village.They all attended the village primary school under the carefull disciplineship of their police grandfather,but my father was the pet for the grandparents.My father enjoyed the advise of his elders and so they gave their special care for my father.After finishing his primary,my father went to the secondary schooling in the near by town,which is by the sea side.
School by the shore
Was to train for all scores
Seven kilometres walk
Down the rail track
To gain on their lack
Where they can't be slack
It's their life jack
To power their future pack bag
The village boys who are interested in higher studies went to the Christian school.The school campus was so big,it housed two campuses along with a big church.One was for girls and another was for boys,to get their schooling.My father who even though had least care from his father was always cared and advised well by his grandparents.
The village was 7kms from his school.Some boys took bullock carts,some went on their relatives cycle,when they were on their work,my father like some of his friends walked all the way to the school.Along with their bags they took lunch given to them in a cylindrical aluminium or stainless steel vessels.After their school they walked their way to their home.
Once he delayed paying the school fee.When he went to school they didn't allow him to take his education,so feeling set apart, he stood helpless.That moment his caring granny entered the school asking,where is my grandson?and she paid the fee and brought joy to his heart.
At school he interested himself in athletics,especially in throws and long distance running.
My father studied hard and when he was in his early 20s,the country called its young people from all sector to join the army.It was a time of in surgency in the country.
Fees could not be paid
Granny on her power trade
Thronged the school gates
For her grand sons fee late
Hard exams passed
The learning journey
Finally stood on a post
On the countries coast
For an army it stood
And claimed all it could
For a country it should
Finally landed on the calling
Communication it offered
For the life's rest journey
For his army training he was posted in Calcutta .There they have to get themselves ready by 5oclock in the morning.Every thing should be tidied up,hair oiled,shoe laced up properly and lined in order.After a long hours of drill and work out they were given a purri set for breakfast and very little amount of ration for their daily consumption which he found difficult at first to go with,then he was able to ,such a disciplined life they have to keep up with.
After his education he was called for interview in the government .He took his journey for the interview on a train.He had his village wear on his journey,which made one of the travellers to question him of his modesty.Finally he got job in government communication enterprise.
His elder brother finished his education and was made up to be a teacher,younger brother didn't educate himself ,so he took on farming,younger sister did little education and helped the family in cooking.
My father married my mother who was a primary school head teacher,his elder brother married his wife a teacher,his younger brother married and his wife was a home maker,his youngest sister married an educational department clerk.
All lonely journeys
Ends in life wonderful journey
Marraiges with the ones of its likes
Such a joy it brings
For all its loneliness ends
What a joy,happiness
For its the journey till the end
My mothers village is 10kms away from my father's father's village.Her father was the head of the village.Their family ruled and reigned till her father's death.Hers was a big family,along with her they were eight in that family.As landlords they owned many lands in their village and nearby villages.My mother's mother when married came as a little lands queen.The gifts to the bridegroom family were carried by them in a procession,which covered the whole length of the village.It was celebrated for a week.
My mother's father's way grandfather was an accountant in the British kingdom.In the Kerala state a place called munar and in that an estate called nalla thanni estate is there.In that estate the plucked tea leaves are taken to the tea factory and processed for the British 's use.The wagers for the tea pluckers and the factory workers were put in sacks and taken in their vechicles.Then the sacks were given to the trust worthy people of the government .They in turn take it to the place where the wages were paid.In those days accountant in the government was a honourable job.So the sack full of money was in charge of that accountant grandfather,which he did it happily.
Lives in a tea factory
Gathered all the works
All the hopes
With all its lives
In the plucked leaves
Waited in line
To give the sacks
Hard collected sacks
Full of life
It's fragrance to be released
In the homes they travel
Here their hardened hands
Which braved all odds
All weather,all nature
All wild threats
Waited for the wage feat
Their wages in return
For all their measured tea gauges
The time of independence dawning in the country,when it came,the British officer who was in charge of this estate gave the tea shop in the tea factory as a gift to his service.My mother being the eldest in the family was so active and a hard worker.So this accountant grandfather asked her to give up her primary studies and work as a tea plucker.My mother being the eldest had to get up early in the morning and in those days ,for water they have to travel miles.With two water pots on their head,one upon another and the other on their hip,friends went together to fetch water for their household duties.Then she did her cooking for nearly 20adult servings.But the younger ones will be given only the old porridge made of maize,barely and other grains.They normally took salted chilli,onion,or the ground paste of chilli,onion,salt and tamarind to add to its taste.During the festival time,they used to grind kilos of rice flour and dhal by hand,allowing to rest for the whole night and it was poured on vessel to be steamed called idly,or on large pans to make pancakes,or as a sweetened rice donuts.
Women in the British India
For a good education
Freedom the inmates fought
Its the orthodox custom
Against which the guests fought
Women worked for water
Walked for schooling
They have to wait
To be developed
Even after the freedoms shawl
After her primary education with no support for further education ,she began to hear from her friends,preparing themselves for higher studies.Her eyes went in search for any window that could open for her.Seeing her interest one of her teacher guided to a nearby person,who took self interest in helping children from his village and nearby villages to apply for higher education and job.
She was asked for birth certificate ,which her parents didn't help her to get.The village person knew their family and he produced the birth certificate according to his knowledge confining to the requirement.
The secondary school is 50 Kms away from her village,so she had to stay in a hostel.Now their family which didn't support the education didn't take care of her necessities .So that village person enrolled her as an orphan in that school.
My mother studied in the school,near by my father's school.They knew not one another.
During her schooling she had to attend the 5.30 morning mass.Seeing her way of life,hardworking and simplicity the mother of that school wanted to keep her in her home.She wrote a letter to my mother's father regarding that.But my mother's father,stating that they belonged to the Hindu religion and don't want their daughter to follow other religion,asked the mother to give up her wish.
My mother finished her schooling and did her teacher training.For that also,the same village person filled forms for her and helped her.
Immediately after her teacher training she was posted as a head teacher in a village primary school.
My father in the central government job,was at his marriage time looking for his bride.My father's father,who was a drunkard and my mother's father who was a panchayat head met.They decided to give their son and daughter in marriage.
My father and mother got married.They stayed in my father's home,which his grandparents gave.My father worked in the town he studied,my mother had to travel to the nearby village and walk several miles to reach her school.
During their stay in my father's grandparents home,their siblings got into jealousy over them stating that they both were government staffs.They wanted my parents to give up the ancestral property on their own to them.But my parents didn't do as they told,so the siblings got angry and troubled them.For example,they would damage the cycle kept in the stand,they will damage the produce of the land and etc.
In that time my mum got pregnant with my elder sister.So my father decided to rent a home in the village where my mother worked,and my father to travel up and down.
Meanwhile my father's father used to get money for his drinking.Being drunkard one day he called one police to my father's workplace to get him arrested.His colleagues informed him about the police search.He decided not to work,but to go home that day.So he took a train for his travel.He peeped through the window to see his father searching with the police for him compartment after compartment. He now decided to hide himself in the toilet till they go.He didn't get down in the station he had to.For his father and his police got down there,to get to his home where my mother was.Now the police enquirer about my father's coming and made requisition to report about him.So after he had ensured about his father's departure,he returned home.
My elder sister was born in a town hospital,myself in my mother's village house,my younger sister was born in the town rental house and my brother was born in the Same hospital where my elder sister was born.
My father didn't want to meddle with his brothers and stayed away in the town.Mean while in the southern part of our side there came a severe famine.My parents as they stayed away from my father's brothers and sister,the love,affection and caring they got from my mother's family,made them to incline towards them
My mother was the eldest,after her one brother,he died when he went for an interview.Then was another brother who didn't study much and so took farming as his profession,another was a sister,she worked in the government survey dept.for sometime.Another brother he works in the telecommunications dept.of the govt.Next was a sister she was adopted by her father's brother and then sent to be joined with her own family.Next one was a brother he worked in Middle East countries before coming to the village and joining the village.The last was a sister who worked as a teacher and now as a warden.
When the famine hit that part,the agricultural land which was depending upon the monsoon rains lost its yield.It affected the routine life in the village.As my father was the eldest son in law,his inclination towards the village heads side soothed his drought.As my father's brothers were not in peace with him,my father sold some of his property which was with their brothers.My village head grandpa drew him of new investment towards him.The offer was to build a rice mill in his land.My father invested his money on my mother's ,father's land.The mill carried the name of my elder sister.As there was no mill in the nearby area ,surrounded by nearly 20 villages,the people around that village were happy.My village head grandpa with his way of dealing ,in the external and internal affairs of the village had good reputation .Now the mill served as a goodwill for the whole surroundings.
Famine might come
Fear might surround
One word of love
Could turn the one
With love to help
Strong it would stand
Till that stranger famine depart
Money over famine
Could win odd times
But just giving
For a life saving
My mother's sisters and brothers for educational purpose stayed with my parents as we lived in the town.We were small,so they did some house score jobs and looked after us while studying.They grew with great respect for my parents.As they grew old nearing their marriage age my parents took the responsibility to get them married.
Her first younger brother who had farming as his career was married to a nearby village family.That happened when the village head grandpa ,got drunk with the neighbourhood village family,without consulting anyone he accepted to have that family's daughter,as her first daughter in law.So neither of their family could go against that.Then my mother's first younger sister was married to their own relative family,who worked in the law court.His village was near to my mother's village.Marraiges were conducted in the bridegrooms place.Their house was huge,with the roofed tiles,a large shed was put up for the friends and family's to gather,The bridegroom,his mother and relatives wept for the bridegrooms father had died long before.Seeing that my mother's sister also wept.After the marriage feast,the same day the arc shaped sheltered bullock carts nearly ten in number carried the relatives and the couple to my mother's village.All were stopped at the entrance of the village.The couples were made to stand hand in hand,as my grandpa was the village head he had arranged for the whole village to participate in the welcoming ceremony.So from the start of the village,to their house,friends and relatives were greeting them.Some offered garlands,some washed their feet some showered flowers,some gave sweets.The whole village was watching that spectacular event.
Next my mother's second sister,my mother arranged from her working place a bridegroom.He worked at the govt.office.For her bridal gift,my mother gave away her gold jewels with my father's permission.That made my village grandpa more happy.Now with little hesitant, he came with an offer to my father,which shocked my father.That is to give my elder sister in marriage with my mother's youngest brother who was then in his early 20s.He also told then only he would give the mill to my father.My father didn't like that business,from that time there was lot of feud between my father and mother.So unpleasant as a children and hard for us to digest.
Money a substitute for the batter system
Where things are exchanged
Dealings on money
With Exchanges made funny
When fun not as honey
Relations got strained
For balances took money low
Unable to get a steady land
On a wealthy,healthy demand
Then my parents had little contact with our relatives.My father began to invest their salary in real estate.He thought investing in property would gain him more than the gold investment.
Now my parents planned to build a home in the town on the land, they bought many years ago.My father he planned for a house with one floor.The plan consists of totally twelve rooms with two kitchen.
When he completed the ground and started the first floor,he ran out of money.There was no one to help him,he borrowed money believing on the property investment.The property agents knowing of our debt problem they devalued the property .My father was not happy enough.
The debt increased,the question about paying back our debtors also increased.They dishonoured my father,by yelling at him publicly.
My father with the wounded heart was unable to work,so he stayed at home on medical leave.The office boy who delivers daily magazine used to come with an office document,got it signed and the month salary went to the debtors.My mother's salary would go for the interest amount on the loan we got.
Money may forget us
Relationships can never identify us
But the ground where we are in
Never fail to feed us
In spite of carrying our weight
It always understands
For our daily spending on food,the land in the village provided the rice we want,the garden in the new home provided with vegetables,herbs and green leaves.We had no one to go with or no one we had to help us.
The relatives who saw our pathetic condition only listed the do's and dont 's.In that situation too,visitors came to have lunch.We provided them with what we had and able to send them happily.
Little by little but patiently the hard days came to an end.Our life was turning to normality.For the three years we suffered our household missed ,the shopping on dresses.
My father had the mind of bringing us brave,for he had three girl children and only one boy.My mother went early in the day and returned late in the night.Early in the morning she used to get up at four.She prepared the morning ,lunch and evening food.Night there was no time to tell about her return ,it might be 10,12,or any time.
My mum is a school mam
She rises everyday in calm
Starts her work with charm
Breakfast ,lunch and dinner
All comes well
In her rising
Train on her wheels
To get her
To the world of teaching
Rush her to her wheels
Which drops her at night
She comes to her home
To make it bright
Most often we would not see our mum in the week days,only in the weekend we will be able to see.In the weekend also she would be busy.She will prepare lamb,fish food .The spices she grounded on the manual mortar.She washed all clothes and she ironed all washed clothes.Thus the weekends would be over with these busy schedule.
My father on weekends he will apply sesame seed oil,he would get the neem leaf paste and feed us.Then without drinking or eating any thing after that he used to make us walk towards his village for nearly 4 Kms .Then on the way home he will get us some snacks ,which we loved to have on the way,or back home.On summer days ,the Palm growers will bring down the palm juice fresh from the trees and also the palm produce,which we always love to have.
Returning home he would bathe all of us,by washing the oiled hair with herbal powder.Then we all would have our mums hot special dhal sweet.
Mother and father
In all their children's affair
Together they work
To get them healthy
To make them wealthy
In all their catch
For all that match
With their eyes they watch
For their life's beautiful March
During week days my father used to comb,dress and get us ready to school.My father as he was in sports,he encouraged us in sports.But he used to tell,education is our wealth.After dinner he used to sit in the balcony and would ask us questions on general knowledge ,science,arithmetic ability.
Regarding the spiritual belief ,the family didn't have any strong spiritual roots on its own.My mother's home had their own temple,with their family God .They arranged for a feast where relatives and family are invited.Apart from that they used to participate in yearly celebrations of the village temple.My village head grandpa used to pay the current bill,water bill on his own pocket money,all through his duty as a panchayat head.
My family in the town we used to celebrate like pongal,puja festival,Diwali,navaratri,new year by ourselves sharing the foodies to our neighbours.Yearly once going to one of the main and big family gods temple was also in the schedule.
All the festival shopping he did by himself.The designs,colour and quality he went for,always fetched appreciation,from others and by us.
We studied in Christian schools which taught the Christian values.My elder sister in the secondary school studied in the christian school and get to have faith in Jesus.Myfather didn't tell any thing.Then I went to the same school which she studied and I also accepted Christ .My father noticed that children are one by one going out of their custom.Now he began to get strict on the religion issue,fearing that the community will question him.So he hid the bible we read,and in open began to show his anger.He compelled us to bindi the forehead.
Faith is a human value
It's a human substance
It's the strength in his life
Faith to human
One can built
Huts,palaces and kingdoms
Unfaithfulness can get
Faith in God
Can get his kingdom down
And make life sound
Little by little I,my elder sister and younger sister came into Christ ,my mother too as she studied in Christian institution came to know about Jesus .In my family,my brother and my father only didn't accept Christ.
My father during all government festivals,participated and celebrated in his office.He brought up with patriotic feelings.Every independent day and republic day he used to take us to his office in his bike.He would be the three or two who comes first.He was given the job of knoting the flag to the pole.His style of knots always without any hindrance made the flag to fly when hoisted.We enjoyed seeing our father being respected by all his fellow workers.After the event my father always used to take us to his work area,and introduce us to his fellow workers.Then he would take us to each and every section of the office,and would explain the functioning of the equipments and the section.
When there is employee requirement in his office,he would help the poor job seekers know that and gave advice to go for it.We can see now also,on the lives of some people.
Out of his dedicated sacrificial loving life for us,my elder sister holds a doctorate ,my younger sister a masters in computer application and a past employee of TCS,myself a masters in engineering and my brother who owns a company employing 25 people are all his credits.
As he was interested in the real estate area,he would advice people on buying property.After he retired he went on to keep his own PCO
Initially it went on well.One of our known people started their PCO as a competitor nearby,After some days some coolies threatened by father and made it difficult to run the business .Then my father sold that business and from that day onwards he didn't do any business.He would get threatening calls that they would kill him.From that time onwards his fear on his enemies increased.
That fear developed and he was so frightened to go outside alone.
Now we told about Christ to strengthen him.So he participated in prayers to Christ .In course of time he developed Parkinson's .He found difficulty in walking and he went bed ridden.
My mum helped him in praying and helped him in regular activity.He was bed ridden for four years and went to be with the Lord peacefully.We love our papa,for he is the one who built our lives in love.
Man can live and die
His love poured out in lives
Will never die
It's a fragrance
As long as the air around us is present
The love relished in lives
Will be alive.