PS: My 3rd story in this “Appa Sonna Kathaigal” series!!! Click on the “Appa Sonna Kathaigal” link in the Category list to read other stories! 🙂
It was just another night when I was all geared up for a bed time story.
“Tell me a story, Daddy” I said.
“What story you want me to tell?” asked my dad.
“Kolukkatttai story, Kolukkatttai story” I jumped.
“Okay, I’ll tell you a new story today on Kolukkattai” saying so, he started the story in his own narrative style.
As in every other bed time story, there lived a family in a remote village where the family had just 10 children with their mother and father. It was a great ordeal for the mother to manage all her ten children. Every other day, she had to be the referee for some or the other quarrels that these children got into.
It was just another day for them, one fine afternoon when the youngest of the son peeped into the kitchen, where his mom was cooking evening snacks, sitting on the ground in the mud stove, hugged from behind.
“What are you doing here sweetheart?” asked the mother.
“I want Kolukkattai mummy” said the kid.
“Awww , my munna wants a Kolukkattai…mommy will make for you” she replied.
He happily left the place.
That night everyone in the family assembled to have the Kolukkattai.
All of them hogged on it, as it was so spicy and delicious.
Mom said to the kids, “There are still 10 more Kolukkattais left. I’ve kept it in the plate. If any one of you is hungry in the night, you can eat them”
Having said so, she took all the Kolukkattais and kept it in a plate covering it with a lid.
As the mats were spread on the floor, the children understood that it’s time to sleep. The children came one by one and lay down beside each other.
That gurgling sensation inside the stomach of the elder most son made him get up and wake up her mommy.
“Mommy, I need Kolukkattai.” He tugged her.
“It’s in the plate near the stove. Take one and leave the remaining for your brothers” she said sleepily and dozed off.
He slowly got up and tip toed towards the kitchen and opened the lid to find 10 Kolukkattais waiting to be swallowed.
He promptly took one of them, chomped it nicely and came back to the bed.
After sometime in the night, the second elder most kid woke up and tugged her mommy for Kolukkattai.
“It’s in the plate. Take one and leave the remaining for your brothers,” repeating the same dialog, she again dozed off.
This kid also obediently went to the plate, swallowed one and came back to the mat.
This happened one by one with all the kids and when the 9th kid woke up, it was when the mommy also woke. She knew what he was going to ask.
She said, “There are two Kolukkattais in the plate. Take one and keep one for your brother,” and dozed off again.
This kid tip toed into the kitchen, opened the plate to find two Kolukkattais waiting for him out of which he can afford only one and the left out has to go for the last one. He half heartedly took one of the Kolukkattai in his hand and started munching. Bite after bite it gave a spicy feeling in the whole of his mouth. After when the remnants of the Kolukkattai, drifted through his oesophagus, the very compelling temptation, made him finish off the remaining one Kolukkattai as well.
Now keeping this plate empty would invite suspicion about him eating the last Kolukkattai as well. He looked at the sleeping people and stopped to give a look into the plate.
There was a noise from the corner.
He knew what to do. He slowly went to the corner from where the noise came and quickly grabbed the mouse with its tail and promptly dropped it in the plate covering it with the lid.
He quickly came back to his mat and lied down silently. Now, in the middle of the night, this last kid woke up and he wanted to have something. He tugged his mother.
She woke up with utmost irritation but with mere love for her child, she said, “It’s there in the plate. You have one Kolukkattai for you. Eat that and come back”
He happily went to the kitchen, and in an anticipation to find one Kolukattai, he opened the lid to find a mouse trembling in the centre. As soon the lid was open, it jumped off the plate right down to the ground and ran away.
Now this kid, who has seen a mouse in the place of Kolukkattai, was confused and started shouting in the name of singing…
Amma amma kolukkattaikku kaalu undodi
(Oh, Mommy Mommy, the Kolukkattai has a leg…)
She heard his son shouting from the kitchen said, “No no, it’s nothing like that, eat it now and sleep”
He started again.
Amma amma kolukkattaikku vaalu undodi
(Oh, Mommy Mommy, the Kolukkattai has a tail…)
“Munna, eat it and come back, don’t make me angry, Kolukkattai doesn’t have a tail” She said irritably.
He sang again.
Amma amma kolukkattaikku kaathu undodi
(Oh, Mommy Mommy, the Kolukkattai has ears…)
Having her sleep fully spoilt, she woke up with rage, came to the kitchen and having found the plate empty, she took the broom from the other corner and gave nice whacking in his hands and back. Out of pain he started crying and ran to his bed.
Daddy was still fast asleep.
Next morning, when everyone woke up, it her who came up with the question!
“Who ate two Kolukkattais?”
Everyone kept mum. No one spoke. Even the last but one kid who ate extra Kolukkattai didn’t open his mouth, this time.
Now she was sure that the last kid was the culprit. She quickly went to him and interrogated. But she was not in a position to understand his pleading. She quickly dragged him to the door and pushed him outside the house.
“I don’t want children who never speak truth” saying this, she shut the door behind her and came to the hall.
He stood there outside crying badly for no fault of his. Then he slowly started walking towards the muddy road.
It was 9.00 pm in the night and the sandy dusty road had ended an hour back. It was a deep forest and he was standing the pathway amidst the darkness.
He didn’t know what to do. He was scared.
As he was strolling in the forest, he came across a big banyan tree which was big enough to give a shelter for the night.
He sat down near it and started staring the dark sky studded with the stars twinkling one by one.
From a distant, he could hear horses running in a group. As he was carefully listening to it, he realized that it was actually nearing him. He quickly caught hold of the hanging roots and branches and climbed up the tree. He settled comfortably in one of the branches for the night. As he was looking from the top, he could also notice a bunch of lights coming towards the tree. He could understand that a group of men were coming in horses.
As speculated, those men came under the tree, tethered the horses to the tree trunk at one side and settled under it spreading the sacks on the ground.
Under the lights they carried, the thing which was found inside the sacks glittered. To his bewilderment, it took more than a minute to understand that they are jewels and there is lots of money which they have looted. He realised that he was now sitting above a group of thieves.
He shifted to other branch slowly to hide him from them, but unfortunately, a small branch which was tangled to other with creepers, broke and fell right on the thief’s head.
It was nearing 12.00, and when they saw one of them being hit by the branch of the tree, they were frightened.
It can be a ghost (Mohini Pisasu as they call in Tamil denoting one of its kinds!)
One of them was dubious.
As they leaped to see what’s there on the top of the tree, something glistened white.
One of them informed that there is a ghost over there for sure. When others saw the white shining object, reflecting light, they were damn sure of some eerie thing sitting right above their head.
As soon as every one of them was sure of that thing, it took only ten minutes for them to leave the place in a jiffy leaving all the looted money and jewels in the place intact.
Little did they know that the silver Murugan dollar which was dangling on the kid’s neck was reflecting the light from the moon!
He slowly got down the tree and examined the materials on the ground and he could understand that this can solve problems at home.
Unable to drag the big sack, all tired and hungry, he walked towards home next morning.
Seeing a small boy coming towards the house, the woman came running towards him hugging him all tears in her eyes.
“I missed you so much dear, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have beaten you. I was just angry, that’s it” she said kissing her son.
“Sorry mummy, I didn’t eat all the Kolukkattais and I had no Kolukkattais to eat” and he was in tears too.
“Don’t worry dear; I’ll make lot of Kolukkattais for you. I was afraid and was searching all night” saying so she turned and looked at the big sack lying beside him.
“What is it Munna? Where did you get this?” and she opened the knot allowing it to loosen.
As soon as the sack was open her eyes widened seeing all those money and jewels. She was confused and asked Munna.
Munna took some time to explain what happened the previous night.
She took Munna and the sack inside.
After that they made lots of Kolukkattais, ate them well & lived happily ever after!
I was feeling blank.
I had so many questions as before. But I was so sleepy to ask.
“Okay now sleep. Tomorrow you have to go to school” said my Daddy.
I slowly drifted to sleep.