My Childhood (The Tale of Two Villages) – Memories in Retrospect Part-1 Marutha Road

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My story of childhood is also the story of two villages diametrically opposite in nature and perspective.

From where to begin, what to say and how to say in respect of your past is always a riddle or puzzle to most of the people. I am no exception.

My father and mother had not divorced, but they were living separately. I was their only child. They have not remarried. Whether Astrology and superstition have played its part in their separations I am not in the know. But it was rumored that it was sheer good luck and the grace of God that my father had not died due to my birth as per the position of the stars in my birth chart but in actual life, the experience to me it was almost the same. You cannot call me an orphan. I am of the view, that my birth was the real cause of misery to my parents.

What a child should get most is parental love. Whatever affection showered by others will not match it, or luxury life is not going to satisfy the child’s inner urge. some become an introvert, a recluse, a sadist, a morose and also non-ambitious. The sympathy, the pity others show you, make you to revolt, rebel and go astray. Children of single parents also suffer the same fate.

A loner by compulsion among two old people who are engrossed in their own world, immersed in themselves without knowledge of the surroundings that is the first impression that comes into my mind. And also there was my father’s not so younger brother, who has absconded from the British Indian Army, during the second world war who was a parasite and also a village Romeo. There was also Sowdamini a distant cousin from Ottur house, Kottekkad to assist my grandmother in her household chores. She used to be in our home almost all around the year.

It is a small beautiful house which is in the center of the sprawling compound of more than 5 to 6 acres (one acre is 100 cent) of land. Almost all Nair houses in Marutha road had more than two acres of compound. They were scattered and in small clusters of two or three houses. There would be a path, road, or field to separate the clusters.

The land of my house is divided into four parts. The first half comprising Two paddy fields which were not cultivated. one side elevated from the two fields There is one well full of water with a pulley to get water out of it. The paddy field is not cultivated and meant for grazing of two milch cows. There is a hedge to separate that portion of land.

In the second part, the house is situated. The construction of the house is with brick and mortar and whitewashed. It is a tiled house. The front portico hall has no ceiling. From the portico hall, you enter into a long corridor from where there is access to four rooms. The first room on the southern side was kept as a pooja room for one of the departed ancestor who was a Mantric with some extraordinary powers. The second room has an antechamber which is used as a bedroom. The house was facing east-south side of the corridor was sealed with a wall. In that corner, there were two wooden Almihras which were used as a bookshelf. The third room is again reserved as a pooja room for the family deity of Madura Meenakshi. except my paternal grandfather, nobody had access to these pooja rooms. The fourth room was a store for kitchen and miscellaneous items.

From the corridor’s Northside, a door opens to a big hall, from which you can enter the kitchen which is as big as the hall. From the big hall, there are two doors one in the East and the other in the West. From the kitchen, there is no outdoor. so there are three entrance doors to the house two from the front (portico and Big hall) facing east and one back door in the main hall facing west. The kitchen hall was partitioned to make room with the ceiling. In the upper portion, things not needed for immediate use were kept.

On the west side of the main hall there is a door to a small room from which you can go to the upper portion of the house through a wooden ladder. The upper portion is covered by roofs and tiles. Only the four rooms had ceilings. adjacent to the small room, on the southern side, there was an open portion with two sides walled. The Southside and west were open. The house was in a rectangular shape with only the front portico hall ejecting out in the center. The upper portion of the houses useful only for storing things. glass tiles were kept in the roof for getting sunlight. it was an age of non-electricity, the initial years of the fifties of the 19th century.

Besides the house and the Southside, there was cowshed where four cows can be kept at a time. There was enough space on all sides to circumambulate and play. after that, the outer portion started. In the Southside there was a small walled place meant for Brahma Rakshas and also for the Naga (serpent) deities. Brahma Rakshas is supposed to be a brahmin who is cursed and has not got Moksha. It was essential to please him and there were annual poojas for him and the serpent gods.

In the outer portion, there were plenty of trees consisting of mango and jack fruit of different types, papaya, custard apple, guava, Drum stick, and bananas. All types of vegetables were cultivated and we were self-sufficient in fruits and vegetables. There were four or five palmyra trees. But there was no coconut trees. We had a big Vilwa tree.

My grandfather Mariyal Krishnan Nair’s father was from Thatha Mangalam Parekkat house. He has passed the F.A exam of madras university from Victoria College, Palakkad. In 1921 he was working in the revenue department at Tirur with the British government and was witness to the cruelties of Moplahas towards Hindus. Though he was a supporter of Congress, he had low opinion of Gandhi due to his support of the Khilafat movement. He was an orthodox and practiced untouchability. we did not allow others to take water from the well. we used to draw water from the well and used to fill up their pots.

He was a Sanskrit scholar. His day started with ablutions and after breakfast will start reading Sanskrit books and will take notes in Malayalam on hardbound writing book. He was always immersed in that. His handwriting was very good. He had his own personal library of Sanskrit and English books. There were hardbound volumes of Indian review and modern review. There were a lot of Malayalam books also. The entire set of Eaithihya mala of Kottarathil Shankunni, Books of M.R.Nair (the satirical humorist Sanjayan), books on kathakali by K.P.s. Menon (not the ambassador), Kerala Sinham (lion of Kerala), biography on Pazhassi Raja by Kappana Krishna Menon etc. There was Kamba Ramayana in Malayalam, Aadhyatma Ramayana and Bhagavatam also.

My grandmother Ottur Dakshayani Amma had three children. The eldest was Madhura Meenakshi (Thatha) and the second was my father Ottur Suppukutty Menon alias Kunjappa Menon and the last was Ottur Madhavan Kutty Menon (Ponnu). My father’s elder sister was married to Mariyal Sankaran Nair who was my grandfather’s nephew also. They were settled in Thanjavur. There he was known as M.S.Vaidyar. He used to practice Ayurveda and Astrology. My grandmother’s parents and sister were antagonistic to her. it seems to be due to property disputes. They were not in speaking terms, nor can see eye to eye. Bullocks used to bring rice grains from Kottekkad from tenants. Ottur family had lands, where now the Malampuzha dam exists. Their lands were acquired for the construction of the Malampuzha dam. Emoor Bhagvati temple in Vadakke Thara, Kottekkad, earlier belonged to Ottur house. As a child, I had seen leveling of the grounds, construction of the dam, and also the first release of water to the canal through spillway gates. One of the Ottur family members was a construction supervisor there.

My father was working under the Madhava Raja of Kollengode Kovilakam (palace). Though he had not much formal education, he knew Ayurveda, Astrology, used to treat snake bites, and attended court cases as representative of Kovilakam. He was well versed in Kathakali songs, Krishnattam, Ottan thullal, Akshara Shlokam. He knew folklores, Puranas, and was famous for his repartee. He also used to prepare medicines for the care of Rut elephants. He knew about temple management and its paraphernalia. He had Muslim friends, but never took water or food from their house. he used to subscribe to Narmada, Sarasan, Mathrubhumi, and other weeklies.

My father used to come home twice in a month. He used to come in the evening and left the next day morning. He used to bring eatables, purchased from bakers and sweetmeat shops. I had a luxury life in my childhood. There was plenty of milk and eatables. morning it was always idli or dosa. in the evening along with tea, there would be snacks.

My paternal uncle was an election agent for congress and he used to work among the Nair community. Preparing voters list, taking people to the polling booth, etc. He was also working for Bharat Sevak Samaj. He was a branch postmaster of Marutha road post office.

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My childhood will not be complete without the geography of the village called Marutha road and also details of its inhabitants. It is in V Shape. it starts from the junction of Coimbatore and Pollachi roads towards Palakkad. It is called Kootu Patha. The border villages of Marutha road in the northwest are Kallepully, in the northeast it is Pudussery. In the Southwest, it is Karinkarapully and in the southeast Pallatherri. Parts of Kodumbu is in the south. One kilometer east on the Coimbatore road from Kootupata is Marutha road post office. In that location, on the northside, there are houses of Ezhuvas and Southside Nair houses. In Kootupata towards Coimbatore road, there was a house of R.C.Nair who owned the Vijaya press in Sultanpet, Palakkad. Near Kootupata there was a bungalow in Pollachi road owned by Mr.Kutty Sankara Panikkar who was an Elite. Pirivusala is one kilometer towards Palakkad, had rice mill, and some shops. There was also one barbershop. Pirivusala was center for bullock carts and lorries stoppage. Kootupata to Kalmandapam, on the northern side it was vacant barren land. And Southside it was paddy fields. There was no Chandra Nagar Colony at that time. The northern side was high and the south low. At that time there was no BPL factory, no cinema hall, no steel rolling mill, No tyre retreading workshop in the vicinity of Kootupata.

My house can be approached from both Coimbatore and Pollachi roads. in Pollachi road itself there are two ways. one kutcha road leading to the carpenter’s colony which was on the west and backside of my house. There were fifty to sixty tiled houses. one or two blacksmiths were also there. The road started from the present Marutha Road – Pallathery NSS Karayogam office. There was no Karayogam in my childhood. Near that, on the main road, there was the house of a police inspector who belonged to Manayil house. Further towards Erattayal, there was the house of Kappadath Chandra Sekharan and there was Ambuja rice mill owner of Ambuja Rice mill and Chandra Sekharan were partners in the Indian oil corporation petrol outlet P.J.Radhakrishnan & company. P.J stands for Pilangad Janardhanan and his father Kitta was tenant of Mariyil house.

I had to go through the paddy field path from Erattyal (the name came from Twin Banyan trees) to reach the house. From marutha road post office there was a road going to Pudukulangara Devi temple. From there again I had to cross paddy fields to reach my house. In Erattayal there was a beedi factory owned by Noor Muhamed. Before that, there was also another Beedi rolling unit. Opposite to the bead factory, there was Vishwa Nathan’s grocery shop. His younger brother Rajan used to assist him. In between Vishwa Nathan’s house and shop, there was a kulam (a tank). Next to the shop was Marutha road Govt L.P. School where I studied upto class four.

Marutha road govt. LPG school was on the land and building of the Manambrakkat house. It was a rented one. Manambrakkat Gopala Krishna Panikkar was the headmaster. after him Sankaran master became headmaster. He was from north Malabar. There was a Tamilian teacher from Kodumbu by name Mari Muthu and Velayudhan master from Marutha road. Mr.Sankaran the headmaster and Velayudhan master had altercations always on a regular basis. The school was later shifted to near the carpenters colony. Now they have good building, playground and has become U.P. School.

One kilometer from there was Kanchiram Kunnam with some prominent Nair families like Manambrakkat and Nilanath. There used to be a colony of Pandarams (mendicants and Muruga worshippers) Road to Kanchiram Kunnam Nair houses started from the main road toward the south from Ambuja steel rolling shutters and fabricators. And from there the Katcha road to north went to Pilangad, the Ezhuva settlement. In Marutha road -pudussery border in the main Coimbatore road also there was a furniture manufacturing unit. There was a short route to kodumbu town from Erattayal. You have to cross the river and had to walk through rice fields.

In the southern side of my house there were two nair houses and in the north another two houses. The road coming from and through the carpenter’s colony went eastwards and culminated near my grandfather’s ancestral house. There was a pond called Eri, the water of which shrank in the summer. Nearby there was a big village tank (kulam) where we used to take bath. To reach the tank we had to cross a field in front of our house. The tank never dried during summer, but the water level used to recede. still you can take a bath comfortably. during the rainy season, it used to overflow and the gushing waters caused some damage to standing crops. we used to get both southeastern (Thula Varsha) and western monsoon rains. rainfall during Thula Varsha was more than other parts of the Palakkad district as we were in the gap of the western ghat. marutha road farmers used to get canal water for agriculture from the Valayar dam. But the supply was scanty. There were thirteen Nair houses scattered in between the south portion of marutha road.
Unlike other places, there was no Nair Thara in Marutha road.
In the northern portion, three houses were on the main road and other eleven houses were scattered.
From Erattayal to my house there was a vast area of paddy fields. it was the case from kootupata eastwards on both sides of Coimbatore and Pollachi roads. my grand father’s ancestral house and Mavath house was on the eastern tip, from where only paddy fields can be seen unto a long distance.

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Our nearest temple was Surya Chira shiva temple, owned by Vadasseri house, Pudussery. The Kashakam was known as Surya Chira Variyam. The Variyam people owned an upper primary school just opposite to Vadasseri house in the Coimbatore main road in pudussery. Surya Chira variyam was one kilometer south of vadasseri house and was on an elevated place which extended to Pilangad house. Surya Chira temple was amidst fields. it was west of variyam in half kilometer distance, one and a half kilometer south of vadasseri house. it was in the east of marutha road. it was equidistant from both pudussery and marutha road. we used to visit the
temple during Shivarathri, Thiruvathira, on birthdays and some other special occasions of the temple. There was a big Temple Tank. Both Vadasseri house and the U.P.School are non-existent now.
There were no Brahmins or Christians in Marutha road. The Pudukulangarah temple was a small Kovil, it was a Devi temple, The Thidapally or kitchen of which was bigger than the temple itself. The priest of Surya Chira temple while going back home in the morning, used to come and do the pooja at the temple in the morning around 10 to 11 am. There were no festivals. Afterward, my father arranged an annual festival.with his clout he used to get an elephant from Vadasseri free of cost and melam people like Chitali Rama Marar or Pallassana Padmanabha Marar who were his friends and their group for nominal rate for Thayayambaka and Pancha vadyam. The evening procession started from the temple went to the post office and from there to Koottu Patha and returned.it continued for some years only.

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We had common fencing in the west with two or three carpenter houses.in the southwest also there were carpenter houses. On that side, There was a path separating our house from carpenters colony.cars can come to our house in that path. But in our Southside we have not kept any gate, but after grand father’s expiry, we kept a gate there. This was the short route to the main road leading to Pollachi and Palakkad. There was a burial ground for the low castes behind the carpenter’s colony. Nairs used to cremate their dead in their compounds only.
Our Adima Kavu was Chemitti Kavu near the Kodumbu river bridge and it was also near to karinkarapully.
There used to be an animal sacrifice of goat and chicken in that time at that temple.

I used to go with my uncle to see Kodumbu theru (car festival) of the Subramanya temple. it was different from Kalpathi car festivals. in kalpathi elephant was used to push the car from the back. and people from the front. with ropes tied to the car pulled it.we also used to go to kodumbu for shoora samharam.sashti and Tai pooyam are the main festivals of the kodumbu temple. Father used to take me to the kalpathi car festival. He also took me to chittur kongan pada. vadasseri house had some rights over the kongan pada ritual. The chittur variyam house was owned by vadasseri.likewise only vadasseri house member or representative
Can open Swarga vatil in perur temple in Coimbatore. my father used to take me there also. we used to go to Tenari Sree Rama thirtham and also Tamil temple at para.
marutha road people were emotionally attached to pudussery.Pudussery kummatti and Vedi festivals were our festivals. There was no other festival both in Pollachi and Coimbatore road up to the Tamil Nadu border.so people used to flock from far places like kanji mode and valayar.For pudussery Vedi Tribal people from the valayar forest used to come. and camped at vadasseri house compound. between kummati and Vedi festival There were two more festivals. kummati happened to be on Friday Malaya vela on Saturday,shodana vela on Sunday, and vedi on Monday.it was in February and conducted by vadasseri house with local support of pudussery Nairs.

Vadasseri house owned 8000 acres of teak wood area in the valayar forest. instrumentation ltd,kanjikode came after nationalization of private forest of vadasseri house. For pudussery Vedi Throughout the night there was bus service to and fro Palakkad to pudussery. Pudussery vedi and kallepully kummati are held on the same date. For marutha road people Palakkad town was near (5km). so manfully-yakkara vela,vadakkanthara vela were dear. There used to be plays of krishnattam in vadasseri compound temple. we used to go to the cinema at the new theatre and
Gowder talkies at Palakkad. Every year some of the other famous circus troupes like Kamala and Bharat came to the town and we used to see it without fail.
Kanchiram kunnam nairs though in marutha road were more attached to pallatheri. pallatheri was a Nair Thara and had a temple but no annual festival.

The children of marutha road used to attend Erattayal or pudussery school. Those boys who attended Erattayal L.P.school preferred to attend Palakkad town school. girls went to pudussery school up to Upper Primary class. The girls after U.P. classes joined govt. Moyan girls high school at Palakkad. There were three mixed schools BEM high School, Pandit Motilal govt high school and v.v.p high school. getting admission to BEM and PMG schools was difficult. They used to test the students before admission.v.v.p.high school management was large-hearted, their doors were open to everybody.most of the village students from places like kottekkad,kallepully,puthur,pudussery and marutha road always joined v.v.p.high school. There was another reason for that too. Those times we had to walk all the way. There were buses to distant places like Coimbatore and Pollachi but there was no stoppage in the middle route. In 1960 town bus service was started in Palakkad and we had a bus from pudussery to olavakkot railway colony. There was also bus Service from Palakkad to Para.
Our next-door neighbors had no male children of my age and so there were no playmates for me during my early childhood. My Southside extreme side neighbor Ramanathan’s sister had paddy fields. they used to rent it for cultivation. There was one child there by name Mani.i was not in good terms with him and had fights. all others were girls. Ramanathan had two brothers Vishwanathan and Sankaranarayanan who was a tailor opposite the new theatre Palakkad and owned the shop. Ramanathan’s brother-in-law was Chippu Kutty.

My next-door neighbor Achutha Menon was an advocate’s clerk who had two sons and five daughters. The eldest son Ramakrishnan also followed his father’s profession. The second son Gopi was an automobile mechanic and later started his workshop.
The third one Jaya Devi (Ramani) was a BSC botany graduate and was employed at Rubber Board, Kottayam. The fourth one karthiyani (Prabhavati) was of my age .she became a teacher after TTC training. While at school she used to write Malayalam poems and they were published in mathrubhumi weekly, children corner. The fifth one Padmini took pedagogy group in PDC at Victoria college and became a teacher. The sixth one pankajam married an army man. The last child Vasantha is a Document writer at present in Palakkad.

Our neighbor next door in the north was Koranchat Nani Kutty Amma. Her husband Nambiar was from North Malabar. He was postmaster at pudussery. They had no children so adopted her younger sister meenu Amma’s second daughter, Kunhu Lakshmi. She was a school teacher at a U.P.School in Kalipara, Kottekkad.she had to walk a lot to do the job. Her elder sister Devi and brother Narayanan who was in the electricity department used to stay in another house not far away. Both the house owners were cultivating their land. Kunhu Lakshmi teacher was married to Vasudevan nair of police department
Who hailed from Kannadi. Devi’s daughter Shanta Who was of my age married Ramakrishnan, the advocate clerk.

Our second neighbor, The Manambrakkat house (they were originally from kanchiram kunnam) had Mathukutty Amma as chieftain. She had two brothers Bhaskara Panikkar and Gopala Krishna Panikkar.
She had a son who was working with R.K.Karanjia in BLITZ weekly at Mumbai. he has married from pallavur poyyile house. Bhaskara Panikkar’s wife Ammini amma was the sister of Ullattil Vijayan nair, pallavur. Gopala Krishna Panikkar has married from Thekke Thara, kottekkad, and had a son Bhaskara.
Panikker had three children Appu, Baby, and Krishnanunni. Unni was my friend and classmate at V.V.P high school. It was Appuettan who took me to v.v.p.high school for admission. Baby chechi was also married from pallavur.

There was a Cheruma colony east of my house. it was after Chinna(a velakathilla nair woman) and koranchat Devi’s house. In front of the manambrakkat house, there was a farmhouse of Chatu Kutty a tenant. The cheruma colony was beside his house. During certain nights there used to be Drum beating and songs from there. Later I came to know that it was the folk art of cheruma kali. There was no permission to go there and see it. There was strict objection to mingle with lower-class people. Friendship of the school stopped at the gate of the house. My world was insular.
There was a Cheruman by name Velan. He knew some otta moolis (single ingredient) He used to treat dental pain using slender pipes of papaya cut at both ends, he will ask you to put one end in your mouth which is filled with some herbs and from the outer end germs will come out.you will get immediate pain relief. There was an Andi Pandaram called Vella (worshipper of Muruga) who comes for alms with kavadi. it is a long one with Metal ends at both sides. He used to treat cattle diseases, especially of the foot.

There were two other manambrakkat houses near the Pudukulangara Devi temple. in one of the houses, there was thankam and kunhi kavu amma. They were assisting Bhaskara Panikkar’s household. Their brother Sreedhara panikker was a tailor and he was working at Palakkad. Kaveri amma of this house was a close friend of my grandmother. In the nearby manambrakkat house Krishnarjunan lived with his mother and sister.later he became executive officer of the marutha road panchayat. There was a maniyil house nearby. They were brother and sister, thankam, and swami nair were the siblings of the owner of maniyil bungalow at Pollachi road. Subramanian of this house was a lorry driver and Chakrapani postman of marutha road.
There were two koranchat houses also nearby.one of Devaki amma whose husband Kunhi Raman Menon who was a surveyor. And that of Raman Kutty Nair. There was Menakath house of Govindan Kutty Menon, Radha amma, and Kochunni Menon who was Adhikari (village officer) of marutha road.

There was another Menakath house of Saraswati amma it was known as Kalam and she was married to Madhavan nair of Malabar special police.
In the main road going to pudussery, near the post office there were two Kanchira Kolle and padinjare Kanchira Kolle house. Gopala Krishnan master of padinjare kollakkare was a Freedom Fighter. Prabhakaran of kanchira Kolle house retired as tahsildar and was staying at Koppam, Palakkad. His sister Vijayam was also working. Radha was married to Balan Menon an engineer and he belonged to kaitha kulangara mele veedu.
Next to marutha road post office, there was a grocery shop owned by Ankalan an Ezhuva. His brother Rama Krishnan owned a Lorry. Both had rented land for cultivation. The building in which post office, grocery shop, tea stall functioned belonged to postman Sethu’s family. His house was behind this building. He rented out a small portion beside the post office for recreation activities like card playing, carroms and there was a ball badminton team and nearby a badminton court also. They played friendly matches in a competitive spirit with teams from Kallepully, Pudussery, Kottekkad, and Elapully. Postman Sethu was transferred to Palakkad head post office. In his place, chakrapani of maniyil house got the job.

Nearby was kappadath Ammu Amma’s house.she was the elder sister of Chandra sekharan, partner of the Indian oil petrol pump at Palakkad. she was married to Appu Menon of koduvayur mathilakam house. They had two sons one Rama Chandran and another Sai Kumar. Both were employed in the Neyveli lignite corporation. Ammu Amma’s elder daughter was married to Sundara Menon of velloli house of puthur. He was a driver in the army. Her daughter Devi was married to my father’s younger brother. There were two small kappadath house adjoining the main house. There stayed one Raman nair and his younger brother.

Near and behind krishnarjunana’s house there were Two Dhobi houses.one of the woman was a velichhapad of kodungallur bhagavati and used to go for Bharani festival. All the houses in marutha road, Except the cheruma colony, were tiled ones. almost all the houses in marutha road had no coconut trees but there were plenty of palmyrah trees. our place though close to the border of Tamil Nadu, was not much influenced by its culture.
On the eastern side of my house, there was Kunnathu Madhavan Nair’s house. He used to stay alone. Near the Eri and between the tank there was Aruchami, the tenant of Ramanathan’s family, who had come from Anapara,kottekkad. Behind his house, in manakkattu house, Madhavi amma stayed with her two daughters and son Sethu a beedi roller and CPI activist. Nearby stayed Ramanathan’s family, his eldest son Balachandran used to work in civil supplies check post. Gangadharan who was my age worked in premier spinning mills.

Mohanan was tailor. Their sisters were Indira, Kaveri and I do not remember other’s names. Ramanathan’s wife was Ammini.
Ramanathan’s younger brother Sankara Narayanan was a tailor and owned tiny shop opposite the new theatre, Palakkad.
Behind Ramanathan’s house, Chippu kutty the bullock cart driver lived. His wife used to cast off evil eyes with chanting certain mantras.she will make you sit in front of her, will pour bhasma into your head, and also bhasma into the basin where water is kept before her. she used to yawn very much during this exercise and water will roll from her eyes automatically. The intensity of the evil eye and its spell was determined by the severity of the yawning and also the tears coming down. Her brother Balappa was tailor in Tiruppur.

From Ramanathan’s house, there was a path that went before manakkattu house and ended at the eastern tip. The ancestral mariyal house had a common fence with Ramanathan’s and Chippu Kutty’s house. Nearby there were two other mariyal houses of Lakshmi amma and her brother Madhavan nair. At the tip end was mavath house related to mariyal house.
Mavath house belonged to Panchali amma and Unni amma. Unni amma was staying at mannil house, Polpully. Panchali amma stayed alone. After her death, the house and land were sold out. Her children are settled in manaparai near dindigal.

In the ancestral mariyal house Devaki amma and her family stayed along with her cheriya amma, Parukutty. My grand father ’s niece Devaki amma’s husband was chippu kutty nair from karinkarapully. her brother was settled in Thanjavur. There was not much connection between them.
Devaki amma had three sons and three daughters. Eldest son Rajan was in railways. second son appu was in integral coach factory, perambur, Chennai. the third son was Vijaya Kumar who was my classmate in v.v.p high school. After completing ITI he joined BPL at marutha road. Eldest daughter Thankam was married to Radhakrishnan of thattamanglam puthillath house. He was a colleague of my eldest maternal uncle Prabhakaran. The second daughter Parukutty was married to a businessman from Mumbai. He was from Kolazhi, Trissur. The last daughter Kunha was also married.
Mariyil Lakshmi amma had a son and daughter. Daughter Chellamma had Kanakam as the eldest daughter. Eldest son is Sukumaran. Kanakam is now in Kalyan, Mumbai, and Sukumaran near the valayar border. Their house was sold to kappadath Radha who is the younger sister of paternal uncle’s wife.

Mariyil Madhavan nair was an astrologer, knew Nadi jyotisham and palmistry. His younger brother was employed in posts and telegraphs, became senile, and had a sad end. he was a very intelligent person.
Madhavan nair had two sons and one daughter. Eldest son Unni Kumaran Was a BARC scientist at Kota, Rajasthan. He took BSc chemistry from govt.victoria college. younger son Vijayan is a document writer and settled in Durga Nagar, Palakkad.
In my childhood, I used to visit along with my grandmother and also alone to my grand father’s ancestral house. afterward, it was stopped. There was some misunderstanding among the family members. They were all good people and used to love me very much. There were divisions within the nair community of marutha road. Even family members were in two to three separate groups and I do not know the reason for the same as I was a child then. Now there is an NSS kara yogam, consisting of Marutha road, kanchiram kunnam and pallatheri members. It is called marutha road – pallatheri NSS Karayogam.

While I was staying at marutha road, we used to go to Palani. There was a direct train from Palakkad to Dindigal. We used to stay at Vadasseri satram at Palani. Food was taken from Venkateswara hotel. It was lodge also. During summer vacation used to go with my grandmother Tiruchi where my cousin sister Kamalam lived. we used to travel up to Dindigal in one train and from there used to catch another train to tiruchi. from tiruchi we used to go to Thanjavur. My cousin was married to Raghavan nair who was an overseer in the electricity department at tiruchi. His elder brother Kannambra Thelekkat Krishnan Nair has also married from another branch of ottur house at tharekkad, Palakkad. My cousin had three sons, Nanda Kumar, Ravi, and Krishnan.

At the age of 14, I used to travel alone to tiruchi. I went to Coimbatore by bus and from there also took a bus to tiruchi. The route from Coimbatore to tiruchi went through Palladam, Kankeyam, Namakkal, and Musiri. The road trip was very beautiful especially from Musiri along the path of Kaveri. In tiruchi I used to visit Rockfort temple (Uchhi Pillayar Kovil) Grand Anicut (Kallanai) and Sree Rangam temple. In Thanjavur, my paternal aunt stayed behind the BRihadeswara temple which is called Periya kovil. It was a new township called Srinivasa Purim and we stayed in Giri road. My uncle was a known Ayurvedic practitioner and astrologer. He was known as M.S.Vaidyar short form for Mariyil Sankara Vaidyar. He used to prepare Ayurvedic medicines at his home. Saraswathy Mahal and Tanjore palace were the other places I visited there.

His eldest son S.Balakrishnan was a civil engineer at PWD (roads & buildings) with Madras govt. Second son Chandra Sekharan was in revenue department, third son Shiva Kumaran was a laboratory technician at Tanjore medical college. Second daughter Radha was married to Sankara Narayanan son of Mullath Krishnan Nair, pallatheri and his mother was Moolayil Dakshayani Amma of Puduppiriyaram.
Sankara Narayanan was a lawyer in the legal department of great eastern shipping co ltd, Mumbai. His parent’s names matched with my grandparent’s names.
I had attended Radha chechi’s marriage at Thanjavur and returned to marutha road with them. Up to Pollachi, we came by train and from there by bus to pallatheri. That night, I have stayed in mullath house. Gouri the third daughter was a music teacher and a veena artist and used to perform at AIR Tiruchi Station. Radha chechi had one daughter and two sons. Yamini was the eldest, Hari the second and murali the third. she died early and her parents and siblings ignored her children.me and grandmother used to visit Mullath house to see them. Sankara Narayanettan, whenever he came on leave, brought his children to their maternal house at marutha road which was our house also.

One of my grand mother’s cousins Damayanti had five members in her family. Rajan, Chendamarakshan, Achuthan, Sowdamini, Ammini, and Kalyani Kutty. Earlier she was staying with another cousin who had daughter Unni who was married to Perincherry Ramanunni Nair of Pallavur. Their children were Sundaran, Achuthan Kutty, Shyamala, Ambika, and Mallika. They never came to our marutha road, house.
Sowdamini was a spinster and was at our house almost throughout the year. Her elder brother Rajan did odd jobs and also kept a shop at Vadakkan Thara in Palakkad. Achuthan was employed at P.K.Nedungadi bros (textile shop) at Sultanpet. Kalyani Kutty was married to Appu Nair who had a hotel in court road opposite the Ganapati temple. Ammini was married to Kesavan nair who was in the navy in Mumbai.

Later Ammini purchased a house opposite to them from another family member and shifted there.
Her children were Sukumaran, Gangadharan, Sundari (Madhavi Kutty), Leela, and Govindan. They used to come to our house at marutha road during vacations. Kalyani Kutty’s son was mani. I also used to go to their house along with my grandmother and used to stay there especially for Vishnu vela. Gangadharan and Achukutty were of my age and my classmates in V.V.P high school.
There was one vasumati amma, distant cousin of my father. She was a widow and had two sons and one daughter. The eldest son was Mahima Chandran. Second was daughter Kumudam and the third Satheesan was my classmate at V.V.P high school.

Nearby there was Thathedathi of Unikkattu house chittur, whose husband was from Ottur house. She had three sons and two daughters. Eldest daughter Thankam’s husband Radha Krishna Menon had constructed a new house. His sons, Sree Kumar and Sreenath were my friends. There was a nearby house of Chakingal Raghavan Nair whose nephews Mohandas and Aravindan were my friends.

Chakkingal Raghavan Nair was a friend of my father. He used to consult my father along with others on the renovation of the Emoor Bhagvati temple. my father used to contest opinions of astrologers During the temple Deva prashna.On the whole, I had vast connections

Now it is time to turn to another leaf of my life, that is my childhood life at Kunissery.

Part 2 – Life at Kunissery.

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  1. മറുതറോഡിന്റെ പഴയ കാല രൂപം അറിയാൻ കഴിഞ്ഞതിൽ സന്തോഷം 🙏.
    എന്റെ അച്ഛനാണ് മെനക്കത്ത് ഗോവിന്ദൻകുട്ടി മേനോൻ. എനിക്ക് പൊന്നു മാമയെ (പൊന്നു മേനോൻ, )നേരിട്ട് അറിയാം.. കുഞ്ചപ്പാ മാമയെ കുറിച്ച് അച്ഛൻ ധാരാളം പറഞ്ഞു കേട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്.

    1. Your Father, Mother, you are known to me in my childhood. Your fathers younger brother Kochunni Menon was village officer at Marutha Road. I was staying in Marutha Road till 1969. Menakath Saraswathy Amma, Radhe Amma are all known to me. Your two cousin sisters, daughter of Radhe Amma are also known to me. You can reach me at vkkutty@gmail.com for further discussion. Glad to see your comment. Thank you

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Vathukkat Krishnan KuttyAn Avid reader and knowledge seeker with a curious mind and descriptive skills.

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