3. Legged Kolukkattai – [Appa Sonna Kathaigal]

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! 🙂

Prologue

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.

Story

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. Continue reading

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2. Aayirathi Yettu KiLi– [Appa Sonna Kathaigal]

Aayirathi Yettu KiLi (1008 Parrots)


Prologue

Again its story time…After hearing the same old stories of Gods and Goddesses, I got bored extremely and wanted to listen to some interesting story. Today nobody can fool me telling some age old story, so I told my dad

 

“Dad, I want some interesting story. Not the same stories about Kanna umaachee…”

“Oh fine. Today I’ll tell you a story about 1008 Parrots!!” He told

 

I geared up with full enthusiasm and by his side in bed, clutching my pillow tight and with one of my tiny legs on his tummy; I started listening to the story….

 

The Story

Long long ago, there lived 1008 parrots in a dense forest, situated in the bank of some river which has not been yet recognized as some ‘named-river’ by the great storytellers of that ages. The paattis and thathas who used to tell stories couldn’t give any name out of their forgetfulness and responsibilities that they bear in bringing up their umpteen number of children.

In those 1008 parrots, one was physically challenged. It couldn’t fly. All the parrots used fly high, move from one tree to another, collect foods and so on. This parrot would stay in the shade of the tree which was by the side of the river and used to play near the bank of the river. The other parrots which brought food, fed the lame parrot in the afternoon and in the nights. The 1007 parrots which were perched on the tree barks, used to throw bad and sour fruit down the tree, which hang on the twigs of the branches and they used to peck and eat sweet fruits. The lame parrot used to eat those sour fruits and sustained its livelihood.

One fine morning, when the sun has just reached the brim of the water level (Horizon), all the birds started leaving its place one by one in search of food and other necessities. This lame parrot woke up and went to the river to perform its morning duties. To its astonishment, it found a small basket wrapped in cozy clothes, came floating in the river. In an anticipation to find some food in the basket, it took the basket from the river and opened the covering cloth, to find a small baby in it. It took the basket to the shade of the tree and announced to the parrots sitting in the tree.

“Hey all, if you give me a sweet fruit from the branch, I’ll show you a treasure to you”

On hearing this, all the parrots got anxious and started throwing sweet fruits to the lame parrot below the tree. On seeing the shower of fruits, the lame parrot was happy and called all the parrots down the tree, to have a look at the basket. All the parrots were happy seeing a small, cute baby in the basket and started to bring up the baby as their own.

(I had lots of question in the story flow which missed the logic lines…But those questions were nullified for my childhood brains and they were deemed to be out-of-scope of the story.)

 

Coming back to the story, the parrots built a small hut nearby the river and started buying Cerelac, Lactogen, Johnson & Johnson Baby powder, soap and Woodward’s Gripe Water for the child. All the other parrots used to go for work, in the day time and this lame parrot used to take care of the baby girl at home. The parrots brought up the baby with utmost care and affection. Time passed by and this baby started growing slowly and one fine day, the bay girl grew up into a beautiful babe and the parrots started teaching her, household works!

The real tragedy

Everything went fine in this small (!) family, until one day when all the parrots left for work, this lame parrot told the girl

“Hey babe, listen I’ve an important work outside. I’m leaving now and will be returning in the evening. So be careful and listen to my instructions clearly. Do not go out of the house. Do not open the door unless we knock the door and call your name from outside and one more important note. Feed the dog with the Curd-Rice and the cat with the Milk-Rice. Bye for now. Take care”.

Saying so, the lame parrot left the hut, limping its way on the streets. The girl closed the door and was playing with the cat and dog. When it was time for lunch, the girl, absent mindedly, fed the dog with the Milk-Rice and the cat with the Curd-Rice

(I was told that, dogs don’t eat Milk-Rice, and Cats don’t expect Curd-Rice. I donno why they do not like this for long time and I’ve not experimented this till now, as I did not get an opportunity to feed cats and dogs.)

Now, out of rage, the dog and cat went to the kitchen and pissed (did susu/ucha..) in the coal pieces placed in the sand-stove (In those days, they used the stove made of sand and use to cook food burning the coal). The girl was unaware of this and she had fallen asleep. Now that all the food was over and she had to make food for the night, she woke up and entered the kitchen. To her disappointment, she found that the coal was cold and she cannot make anything to eat. In spite of the other parrots warning her not to leave the house in any circumstances, she opened the door and walked through the streets in search of fire.

There was no houses open nearby, so she walked a few distance away from her house and knocked a door which seems to be so old and un-kept. She is yet to realize the danger she is to face. A woman, who was in her twenties, opened the door and beckoned her in. As this girl hasn’t met anyone in the town, she was not able to recognize bad people from good. The woman was the eldest daughter of a wicked witch who lived in the town and the mother witch who has gone out for bathing in the nearby river.

“Do you have some fire for the coal? Matchbox was over so couldn’t burn the coals. It will be helpful, if you can lend me a matchbox”

“Ofcourse, why not? We do help others. By the way, I’ve not seen you in this place. Where do you stay?” The witch enquired.

“I live five houses away from this place. I live here only. I haven’t come out for days. As there was no match today at home, I just thought, I can get some from nearby house”

The witch thought, today she is a good feast to my mom. I’ll send her to the river bank so that, my mom can have her as it is today as she hadn’t got a chance to have a full feast! Having this in her mind, she asked to handover the sari to her mom, who is bathing in the river, as she forgot to take it with her.

The girl accepted this offer and she happily took the sari from her and left the place telling the witch that, she will return and get the matchbox. When she was in her way towards the river, a passerby asked her,

“Where are you going?”

“I’m going to give this sari to a lady who is bathing in the river”

“What……? A lady? No no, you are fooled, she is not a lady. She is a wicked witch who lives in the town. She eats small girls and drinks the blood without leaving any drop. So just throw away the sari here and return home safely”

On hearing this, she was got frightened and hurriedly left the place and reached the Witch’s Home to get the matchbox.

On seeing the girl back standing full in flesh outside the house, the witch got confused as why her mom, didn’t have her for Lunch. The Witch gave a matchbox and some tamarind seeds. She asked the girl to drop those tamarind seeds one by one for each step, till she reaches her place, and when she reaches her place just drop all those tamarind seeds outside the house.

“I’m asking you to do this just in case if my mom wants to meet you, then I can show her the way right? That is why”. The Witch told her. The girl accepted this and left home dropping the tamarind seeds one by one, as she was told. She was so innocent and timid that, she couldn’t recognize that woman was the witch’s daughter and she was asked to do this because, the witch can later come home and eat her for dinner. The girl reached home and cooked food for the evening.

Bid Adieu

Later at witch’s house, when the mother witch returned from the river and enquired her daughter about why she hasn’t sent anyone for lunch, under the pretext of handing over the sari. The daughter witch told her that, she has sent a girl for today’s lunch, but why did she spare her? On hearing this, mother Witch became furious and started shouting. The daughter Witch informed her that, she has given small tamarind seeds to the girl which she had dropped all over the place till her house. She can go to her house directly tracing the seeds and have her. On hearing this, the wicked witch became happy and walked towards the girl’s house, tracing the tamarind seeds all over the streets. On seeing the heap of tamarind seeds outside a house, she knocked to door.

The girl looked outside through the hole in the door and found that the wicked witch is standing outside to eat her. She was scared and did not open the door. After waiting and knocking for long time, the wicked witch broke one of her long nails from one of her fingers, and inserted it in one of the cracks in the door and left the place.

In the evening when all the parrots returned home, knocked the door and on hearing the parrot’s voice, the girl opened in the door in hurry while she failed to notice the nail which was protruding out of the door which was inserted by the wicked witch. The nail pricked the girl’s throat and she felt unconscious on the ground. When all the parrots, entered the house and saw the unconscious girl, they thought that she was dead and they packed the girl in the same basket in which it came with all her dresses and left the basket in the river. It floated along the river and went away. Time passed by.

****

In some other part of the city, there was a king who was in search for a bride for him. He consulted a sage who told him that, he should arrange a mock marriage with a Banana tree. This will make the forest deities happy and they will find a girl for him. (In olden days, if the country did not get any rain, they will arrange a marriage in between a donkey and a tree. They believed that, this will make the rain god happy and he will shower the rain. In the same way, they believed that, if the king arranges a marriage ceremony and tie the holy thread which they call mangal sutra, nowadays to the tree, he will get a bride soon.

****

The basket came floating along the river and it entered the forest region, where water was flowing smoothly. The unconscious girl, under the effect of chill breeze and the river water, gained her consciousness and opened her eyes to find her in the forest. She found a bank and got down the big basket. And found a place behind a Banana trees

****

A grand ceremony was organized in the forest which was in his kingdom and the king arranged for a big feast for all the subjects of his kingdom. After the feast was over, the king announced,

“Now I’m going to tie this holy thread to the banana tree and let the forest deities be happy seeing all this feast and ceremony which I arranged in the forest…” Saying so, he took the holy thread and started walking toward the chosen banana tree. The band and other spiritual musical instruments were played at the highest decibel.

“Let the forest gods and goddesses be happy. Please show me a bride” the king prayed in his highest pitch. All the subjects and his courtroom ministers were watching this ceremony. Suddenly a beautiful girl came from behind from the banana tree and she looked like a damsel. The king was happy on seeing this beautiful girl and he was very much delighted to have her as his wife and queen of his kingdom. This girl is none other than the girl who was brought up by those parrots some time before.

And after that, they lived happily ever after….

****

Seeing this, one of the minister’s sons arranged for another ceremony in the forest, similar to that of the king’s, so that he can get a beautiful wife too. Similarly all the subjects and all the people from the kingdom were assembled. This time the minister’s son announced that he will tie the holy thread to the drumstick tree.

He too shouted words that, he assumed will make the forest deities happy. He marched towards the drumstick tree with pompous and proud walk. Suddenly a ugly witch like creature which we call Kutti pisasu came out of the tree. Seeing this unexpected appearance, all the people ran away from that place including the minister’s son.

****

Epilogue

“After that, what happened to the parrots?”. I interrogated my father innocently. It was 11.00 o’ clock.

“See time is 11.00 o’clock, now sleep, I’ll tell you another story tomorrow” My father said this and switched off the lights. I was thinking the whole night about the lame parrot. I had many questions in my mind which were not answered still and many logical portions which slipped very badly

  1. If you drop the tamarind seeds all through the streets, will that stay for long time? Will that be helpful for finding the way to her house?
  2. How did the parrots come to a conclusion that the girl died?
  3. How did they put the well grown girl in the same basket from which they found her earlier?

All these questions were still unanswered and lot more.

Do you have any?

1. Atharibacha – [Appa Sonna Kathaigal]

ForestThis story dates back the time when the world was devoid of Orkut, GPRS, Bluetooth, iPhone, IPtv , On-line Recipe for tasty foods and more. The place was desperately expecting serious improvements in their government. The roads were unkept.  The housewives still got up early in the morning to start their daily chores at home. The overhead electricity lines were not properly laid on the roads. The dangling wires always posed some sort of inconvenience to the travelers or the passer by. The roads were heavily damaged with lots of potholes and filthy water used to get stagnate and forms the breeding place for various female anopheles mosquitoes and other insects which causes health hazards to people living in the place.

The sky was slowly emitting its aura whose wavelength is almost nearing to that of the last few bands of the VIBGYOR spectrum. In that undeveloped village , there lived a husband and wife who were happily married for years together. They were staying at a place which is convenient for him to go to his work. His parents stay  on the other end of the village.

One fine morning, after completing his morning ablutions in the river nearby, the husband approached his wife who was sitting in the backyard cow shed, making round round shapes in the wall with the well mixed cow dung (adaanga Maattu Saani)…

“Darling. its been long time since we dined with my mom. Shall we go and stay there for an evening and come back ?”, He asked

“Huh?….no dear I’ll not be able to come, I have lots of works pending here. I have to clean the house, wash the buffalo and show some water (Thanni kaamikkanum maam !!!) . Then lots of weeds are crowding our cultivation plants, so have to clear them by this evening. Then have to go to the temple and I have to offer lord Ganesha the 108 Coconuts which I promised to offer last week, if our cow yields a black calf (!). You just go and meet her and convey my regards”

“Oh OK OK…you take care of the works here. I’ll go and stay there for a day and come back.”

“Fine dear…”

The husband left for the day. The place he is about to go, was neither commutable through a bus nor through a cycle, as in those days ,there was no transport as such, was available to travel from one place to another. so he had to go by walk all the way, throughout the journey. He carried a bag full of rice paddy which he can offer to his mother staying far away from this village. He started the journey towards his house. The journey is not that simple, he had to cross a small water flow where the water simply flows all days of the week. It is just a man’s-long-jump wide. Anyways, he had to cross it to reach the other end of the village where his mom stays.

WaterSo after a 1.5 hours of continuous walk through a light dense forest, he reached the water where he had to cross it. It was already one and a half hour walk. He had to cover another half an hour to reach home. It has been really long time, he has spent time with his mom. After marriage, he had to stay with his wife in a small hut, which he got it from his father-in-law. His wife too insisted in staying at this place as they had lots of amenities like vegetables, cow food, hay, then other things which are required for her day to day activities available right by the side of the hut.  There was a small shop which sells, newspaper and there was a tea shop which will be opened early in the morning around 6.00 am and will get closed around 11.00 in the night. This helps the people in an around the place to quench their small hunger as they get lots to eat like butter biscuit, alwas, jangris, cakes, panneer soda, vadai, murukku, laddu, and ofcourse hot tea and coffee. This shop will be crowded all times as the local people who work in the fields, come and relax here as they have their small hunger quickly quenched with things available around here.

By the time, he reached his mom’s place, it was 12.00 noon. His calf muscles ached due to the long journey. He quickly took another bath and sat for the lunch his mom had prepared. After having a  sumptuous meal, his mom offered something which he never had it before. He asked his mom about this dish

“This is called Kolukkattai, dear” She said

After having a dozen of it and chatting with his mom for some time he went to sleep. BY the time when he got up, it was 4.00 in the evening.

“Maaa….it already 4.00 here, I.m starting now back home, before that tell me the name of the dish that you prepared, so that I’ll ask my wife to make it for me again when I reach home”

“Oh you dumb fellow, keep forgetting things I told you. You have never changed all these days even after marriage. Listen carefully, it is called Kolukkattai. Once you reach home tell ur wife about this and ask her to prepare this for you. Dont forget”

“OK maa..am leaving. take care..”

He left the place and started walking in the dusty roads outside. He could see lots of children playing in the roads with the dirty and torn clothes. He hurriedly walked so that he can reach his home before dusk. In order not to forget the dish name, he kept saying all the way.

Kolukkattai…Kolukkattai…Kolukkattai…Kolukkattai…”.

So the time came when he had to cross tht water again. He was very careful in his steps not to slip and he was too careful not to forget the name of the dish. He kept saying “Kolukkattai” and was crossing the river, just then another fellow from the other side of the water made a giant leap to this side of the water saying loudly the words….

“Atharibacha…Atharibacha…Atharibacha…”

It was just a fraction of second for the electric pulse which had to stimulate the cerebral cortex had failed. He totally forgot what he was about remember and in an anticipation to jump carefully, his brain had failed to remember that word which he cannot afford to forget. After crossing the water, he continued his journey towards his home. Suddenly he was into introspection on what he was remembering. His thought came back…

“Yes I was uttering Atharibacha. I’ll ask my wife to make Atharibacha for me. I shouldn’t forget this. Atharibacha…Atharibacha…Atharibacha…”

So he reached home in the evening and as soon as he entered his hut, his wife beckoned him in and enquired about his visit to his mom’s place.

He said that was really good and told her that his mom made something which was really tasty.

“Oh is that so tasty?  Then tell me the name of the dish. I’ll too make it for you tomorrow”

“Oh yea I wanted to tell you about this. The name is Atharibacha. I want tomorrow for my lunch.” He said

“Wat? Atharibacha?? Are you crazy? I’ve not heard this before. Are you sure?” she was puzzled.

“Yea am sure. It is Atharibacha, you have to make this for me” He ordered.

“No I do not know how to make this dish” She replied back.

“Wat…you do not know to make this simple dish??” He was red in rage. He shouted at her and his anger was at its peak. He couldn’t control it as his wife repeatedly denied about making the dish. And in those days, husbands don’t treat wives properly and they expect them to obey all his words without any second thoughts. If they have something to tell and open their mouth against them, it is considered to be a sin and they go to the extent of beating them harshly. The same happened to the wife in our story. He was so harsh and out of rage, he beat his wife cruelly asking her to make the dish otherwise, he’ll make her get out of the house. He beat his wife so cruelly that she got red swellings in her back.

She was crying badly out of agony that he had caused to her. She was crying…

She came out of the house and sat in the mat outside under the shade and was sobbing. He too came out and shouted at her.

“How disobedient? you cannot make the dish I asked for?? Go and get lost. Go back to your dad and ask him to teach you ho to behave properly with husbands. I assume he knows all about that. OR he is too dumb like you?”

In the mean time, hearing all the hooting and sobbing, the paatti (Old Lady) next door came out. As how nowadays, we used to have a “Girl-Next-door” ;-), they had a Paatti-Next-Door , who knows everything from how to bath a baby, handling pregnancy, making delicious dishes and knows all the remedies to minute ailments like stomach ache, vomiting etc. They used to be experts in things around them Jack of All Trades & Master of None !! That paatti came out of the hut and saw the bad condition of the girl and enquired about why this guy is so angry on her.

The wife told, “See paatti he asked me to make something called Atharibacha, which I’ve not heard in my life time. I told him the same for that he beat me hard and my back is paining like hell. its burning too.” (Sob)(Sob)

Paatti was puzzled like the girl. She asked the guy about the credibility of the information that was passed to his wife. He told that he is damn sure and the information said was correct. It is Atharibacha only. He wanted her to learn how to make it. Paatti couldn’t make any sense out of the word uttered by him.

She told the wailing poor wife to show her back so that she can apply some oil which can subside the burning sensation and may cure any swelling. She loosened her blouse and pulled the cloth covering  her back and showed it to the Paatti. On seeing the swelling, the paaati told was flummoxed and told this guy..

“Why did you beat her like a beast?. See how it has swelled like a Kolukkattai…” (Paatti’s expression could be like, ada paavi….paaru yepdi Kolukkattai aattam veengi irukku nu ipdi yaa avala poattu adippa??)

On hearing these words, the husband could recollect the name of the dish as Kolukkattai and not Atharibacha. He apologized to his wife and paatti and told them.

“yea yea..it is Kolukkattai, I forgot the name. I wanted this only”

After that, all of them went back home and his wife made him lots of Kolukkattais for him and after that they lived happily forever.

— T H E  E N D —

With this the story comes to an End !!

I hope you too liked the story. I’ve narrated the story here in my own tone and it is no ways connected to how my father/ grandma told me. but the storyline is same. 🙂

I’ll get back to you with another story which I heard from my father.

P.S:- Kolukkattai means Sweet Milk- Rice flour Ball Dessert ) I’ve attached a pic of the same. This is how it will look like 🙂

kolukkattai

Appa Sonna Kathaigal – Foreword !!

ChildI’ve been an ardent fan of the stories told by my father during my childhood days, the age when I still depended on my mom to put the Zip in my Drawer (amma, zip poattu vidummaa…..). I don’t usually asked such things, but I depended my mom for this because it happened to me one night..

It was night 9.00 o’ clock. I was sleeping beside my mom, putting one of my small legs in her tummy and a thumb in my mouth. Suddenly there was a little urge to go to Chuchoo/Ucha/ Susu (I hope all of u understood wat it is..) So I hurriedly came out of the rajai (Thick Blanket with cotton stuffed inside to protect you from cold). I slipped into the bathroom pulled up the shirt and held it in between the chin and the upper chest by clutching it tightly with the chin and slowly pulled down the zip in the drawer, and happily did chuchoo. It was dark surrounding me with a dull ambiance of Zero watts bulb glowing disinterestedly above the head near the shower Nozzle. It was scary and dark, so in an anticipation to get out of the bathroom soon, I pulled the zip upward….Oh My Gawwwwwwd……it stuck in between the Zip’s runner and the Zip !!! I was into great agony, I didn’t know what to do. I ran back to the bedroom, holding my drawer half down the knees to my mom..

“amma…amma…yezhunduru maa….”

“yenna da chellam?…yenna aachu..?”, this was my Mom

“Amma….zip-uh maattikichu…yeduthuvudu…” (still tears all over my cheeks and sobbin…)

Then it was a different story how I got releaved from the zip and went again to sleep. So from that day I never ever had a courage to shut that zip myself.

It was the age, when I still was afraid of going to a doctor who will ask me to lay down in a bed facing down and happily cause pain in my little butt by inserting the needle which carries a slight colored liquid in the syringe. Then they expect me to stop crying and smile at them with an Eclairs chocolate in my mouth with all chocolate along with the tears dripping all over my cheeks and mouth. The damn dialog that I used to hear

“yen chellam ille??….ala koodathu..inda chocolate vechikko…..ida saapta vali poidum…” (wooow..what a logic to subside pain !???? )

Well, it is the age, I used to sit in my mom’s lap in the bus, holding her hands that clutches me close to her, playing with the Handkerchief that she holds in the other hand. It the age when I still fight for the corner seat in the train and cry badly and keep my face very small and angry and dont talk to anyone and do not accept things which I was offered. The age my mom still waits outside the school gate to escort me back to home. The age I still get fascinated seeing Jungle book – Mowgli, Tom n Jerry Cartoon and used to sing the song Mile Sur mera tumhara…in my own words as the lyrics..

Well this is what I was. So the stories told by my Dad used to be the world of my dreamz. I used to ask so many questions and I used to get replies that made me accept without any second thoughts. This Appa Sonna Kathaigal series will be those stories that inspired me with those childish logics and concepts.

Expect stories in this title, which I used to listen before going to sleep…