My Childhood (The Tale of Two Villages) – Memories in Retrospect Part-2 Life at Kunissery

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Reading Time: 18 minutes

Now I am drawing your attention to my sojourn to my mother’s home at village Kunissery.
My maternal uncles used to come to Marutha road to take me to Kunissery during vacations.
I had different pet names. In Marutha road I was called Unni and at Kunissery Thankappan. The dichotomy in my pet name followed me in my official life also. Nobody called me by my real or original name. I was always Kutty. Everybody forgot that my name was Krishnan. It was easy for them to call me Kutty. So I became the child or the junior. It also caused some confusion. Some thought that I am a Christian.

Manghat house in Thekke Thara is my maternal grandfather Sekharan Nair’s house. He was staying with my grandmother and children in a separate house next to his ancestral house. My grandmother belonged to Vathukkat house, Pallavur. She had a sister named Meenakshi and was staying at Thora Palayam, Behind Victoria College, Palakkad. My grandfather had a younger brother named Raman Nair who was staying at Cheramangalam near the ancestral house of Kanoor. When I saw Raman Nair’s wife she was somewhat senile but was not violent and caused no harm to anybody. They were staying with one daughter and the younger son named Krishnan who was juvenile diabetic, died at the age of 18 or so. They had other children but I am not aware of them.

It was the case with my grandmother’s sister also. I knew only about five of her children. One son was at Coimbatore and another at Mumbai settled in east Kalyan. I knew Sundaran (Parameswaran) who was of my age who very often frequented our house with his mother. I also knew Satyam teacher who was working in Kodumbu who married a CPM activist. She is settled in Kodumbu. Her elder sister was settled at Kolavan Mokku, KozhalMannam. I do not know her name.

My maternal grandparents had five sons and three daughters. My mother Kochha was second daughter. Thata (Karthiayani amma) was the eldest. Third was son Manian (Prabhakaran). Fourth Unni kuttan (Sethu Madhavan), fifth Kamalam, sixth Dasan (Radha Krishnan), seventh Raman Unni, and the last was Mohanan. My uncle Mohan was only three and a half years elder to me. Kamalam cheryammaa used to sing very beautifully. Her sound was very sweet to hear.

We had land near the Gayatri river, in between Roads leading to Cheramangalam and Melarkode. The place was called Cherupulichhi. We had a farmhouse there, we never used to stay there. The hillock of Malakkad was nearby. It was almost barren except some houses of Cheruma colony and some small cashew, mango and jackfruit trees very low in number. Later when electricity came to that part. An animal bone pounding (fertilizer) unit came at the top of the mound. Cherupulichhi was an Ezhuva settlement mostly laborers with the exception of two tenant cultivators. The only Nair house in that area was that of Thekkadath Madhavan Kutty Nair who stayed with his family in that farmhouse.

We used to cultivate paddy twice in a year. Production was dependent upon the vagaries of monsoon. Malampuzha canal water has not reached the place at that time. It was a hand to mouth existence as the family was large and all were studying. Our financial position improved after the availability of canal irrigation. My mother’s elder sister passed her class fourth exam with flying colours. She wanted to be a teacher and her grandmother was ready to finance her, but she was asked to assist her mother in household chores and also to look after her siblings. During those days Girl education was restricted. After puberty, no girl was allowed to go out of the house alone.

Thottathil Velayudhan, Aru, Sivaraman, Sukumaran were all our neighbor cultivators. Manghat other families had their land at Thekkepadam end near the Malampuzha Canal near the Gayatri riverside from where the lower bridge started towards Cheramangalam. They had plenty of canal water during the second crop. Sivaraman had a rice hulling mill in the centre from where Cheramangalam and Melarkode branch took different routes. Sukumaran’s son had a grocery shop there. There was also a tea stall. From Melarkode side Appu, Krishnan and his brother Madhavan used to come to cultivate land near our field. Their place was called Kooliyad. It was on the other side of the Gayatri river near Thazhakkottu Kavu. Appu had a bullock cart and used to ferry things when he had no agricultural work. Appu was an S.N.D.P. Member and had knowledge of Puranas. S.N.D.P has promoted teachings of Shri Narayana Guru while N.S.S ignored Shri Chattambi Swamikal who was guru to Shri Narayana Guru also.

We had farmhands from Cheruma colony of Malakkad and also Ezhuva settlement of Cherupulichhi. We had farm tenants of Sulaiman Rowther from Cheramangalam to whom we subleased my grandmother’s sister’s land and also one tenant from Cherupulichhi to whom our own lands were given. All our lands were Kanam lands from Kuthiravattom Swarupam. This land rented out to others was called Pattam.

Our second crop was dependent upon Malampuzha canal water. There was much competition and fight for getting the water, as the canal-tail ended at a distance of one kilometre from our land. Our workers used to work in the night bringing the water which came through other fields. If the owner was not present in the night, other landowners took away whatever water was there in our fields to their fields and in the morning the entire field was empty without water. Night vigilance was required for the second crop especially when canal water was opened. In Madambara there were sluice gates in the canal, to give water to vadakkethara and Thekkepadam and water was released in turns. Sometimes, farmers of opposite sides used to open and close the sluice gates with their ingenious methods. Ramanunni mama and later I used to go for night supervision. We had to supply paddy to the government at their designated fixed prices and quantities. It is called Levy, the price was always much lower than the market rates.

All my uncles had passed the S.S.L.C examination and also have studied stenography. The first two uncles joined railways and left that to join the post & telegraph department. They were advised by my grandfather to stick to Railways, if not both at least one person. P&T was paying more at that time than Railways. The switch over of the job was purely on economic consideration. The third uncle Radha Krishnan went to Kolkata for a job along with a family friend from Pallavur. And joined The Oriental Fire & General Insurance Company.

In the year 1961, I insisted to my father and paternal grandparents that I wanted to stay and study at Kunissery and accordingly studied one year in Sitaram High School. It was at this time that my maternal grandfather has demolished his old house and started construction of a new house. It was completed in the year 1962. At that time besides my grandparents, my mother, her younger sister, and the last two uncles were there along with me in the house. Even though we were living in a temporary shed (Nedummpura) that period mentally helped me to gel with my maternal people.

At this time Valiyamma was staying at Peruvambu with her husband Othungottu Sankara Mannadiar of Thenkurissi, who was a school teacher. They had a daughter Chandrika who was six months younger to me. I had gone and stayed with them in Peruvambu. Incidentally, my valiyacchan’s sister’s husband was also from Ottur house and his name was also Suppu Kutty Menon.

My house at Kunissery had one big mango tree, five or six big tamarind trees in the fence, separating Manghat House from our house. There was a well full of water, the level of which did not recede much during summer. There was a pond behind the house which was not used for bath. It was mainly used for agricultural purposes only. Our house compound had many a teak wood trees and also a cluster of bamboo trees in the fence. A portion on both east and west side were used for cultivating bananas, drum stick, papayas, and other vegetables. Under the portion of Tamarind trees, Yam was cultivated. Later my mother’s younger sister constructed a house in the east portion were teak woods were plenty.

At Kunissery, there were no restrictions. After school, I was allowed to play with children. There were no playgrounds in Thekke Thara. There were three broad alleys one leading from Manghat house to Vakkel house which ended near a tank (kulam) the other one was from Thekke VariMannam to Olachery kalam, the third was from Kandeth house to Erattu house. We used to play Pass-Pass, Thalapandhu, Kutti and Pullu, Kabadi, Ball and other local plays. In kizhakkethara Temple Maidan, they used to play football.

Koleppadam Center

While Marutha road village in form (topographically) was V-shaped, the Kunissery village mainly started from Parakkulam on the Koduvayur to Tripallur Route up to Naripotta, was different Y-sections put together. Parakkulam to Thannirpandal were from the road to Mallath Thara and Naripotta was one Y-section. Thannir pandal to Koleppadam from where Pallavur and Tripallur roads branched out was another Y. Likewise from Koleppadam to Malampuzha branch canal bifurcating to Thekkepadam and Kunissery, Thekkepadam to Cheramangalam and Melarkode up to Gayatri river on both sides were also Y in shape.

In the Koduvayur-Alathur road from Parakkulam, Kunissery village started. In Parakkulam, there was a Brahmin Agraharam. Having two temples and one big tank (kulam) on the road side. Earlier they were under Zamorin and now in Guruvayur Devaswam. They are not in Malabar Devaswam board. After Parakkulam next stop was Thannirpandal. The name came because of free water drinking facility, for foot travellers from a makeshift pandal. From here you can go to Mallath Thara in the east and through fields to the Pookulangara Bhagwati Temple. Next stop was Koleppadam (village town centre of Kunissery) From here the road branched out towards east to Pallavur. Further half kilo meter from the Junction the Malampuzha canal crossed the road. There was small culvert bridge here for the canal to go below the road. From here east northwards, 100 meters away from the main road was Kunissery gramam There was one Shri Krishna temple and also a Shiva Temple. Ashtami Rohini was the main festival of Shri Krishna temple. There used to be Uri Adi (breaking a pot of curd) in remembrance of Shri Krishna Leela. The main festival of Shiva temple was Ardhra Darshan (Thiru Vatira) and Shivaratri. These temples were under the management of Brahmins.

Further half kilo meter from the junction and 100 yards away from the Malampuzha canal in the main road towards Alathur, there was a kutcha road westwards which went to Cheramangalam. Through Thekkepadam. Down the lane it branched out, one going southwards to Cheramangalam and the other to the west to Melarkode. To reach both the places one has to cross the Gayatri river. There was a low level bridge in the Gayatri river towards Cheramangalam, but there was no such bridge towards Melarkode. Except certain days in the rainy season, traveling to Cheramangalam was not difficult. Water used to overflow the low level bridge in certain days. In the rainy season Melarkode was inaccessible due to heavy rain and crossing the river was not possible. Unlike other places there was no Thoni (Boat) service to cross the river. The Melarkode Temple (Thazhakkottu Kavu) on the other side of the river was owned by Kanoor family of Cheramangalam. Melarkode temple festival always occurred on the next day of Kunissery Kummatti. We used to go for Nemmara, Melarkode, Pullode and Pudiyankam-kattiri Velas.

I used to go with my uncles to Cheramangalam Kanoor house. It was from there I first read Chandamama the children’s magazine. After returning to Marutha road, we used to purchase them. Those who were unfamiliar with the Topography cannot distinguish the Nair Tharra’s. In some places they overlapped. Kizhakke Thara started from Koleppadam. From there, there were houses in both side of the main road and also in its interiors. The road turned in curves from Vettakaruman temple. From the curve of Vettakaruman temple a kutcha road went east and branched Southwards also. The east road went to Ankalamman Kovil and ended at Pookulangara temple. The south road went up to Kunnumpuram and joined the Thannir pandal – Nari Potta road. All these were in Kizhakke Thara. The Malampuzha canal crossed the temple road near Kallayil Gokulam house and also Kunnath house. Then it went to Vadakke Thara crossed main road again at Chenkaram and ended up at and near Vishaharikkal Temple. This temple was under the management of an Iyer from Perunkulam gramam who run the Melarkode bank.

Vettakaruman Temple

Houses From Vettakaruman Kavu up to the tank (Chettykulam) in main road was in Kizhakke Thara. From the Tank (Chettykulam) in the main road Vadakke Thara started. Thekke Thara was not in the main Road.

There were Three Nair Thara’s in Kunissery namely

  • Vadakke Thara.
  • Thekke Thara.
  • Kizhakke Thara.
    There was also another Thara by name Mallath in which only branches of one family of Mallath resided.

Thekke Thara mainly consisted of Manghat house, Vakkel house, Puliyakotte and Chakingal house Kummatti festival of Thekke Thara started from the ancestral house of Manghat. Vadakke Thara consisted of Pakath house, Arimbra house, Anghepat and Madathil house. Their Kummatti festival started from an alley between Pakath and Arimbra house. It was in Vadakke Mannam which had big banyan tree the starting of day and night Velas were announced, followed by Thekke Thara from their Mannam. It was Thammitta kalam (Tabla type instrument ) playing along with cymbals followed by beating of big barrel like drums (Perumbara) with wooden sticks with all manly force. It reminded of war drum beating. Kizhakke Thara consisted of Pangachadath house, Kallayil house, Kunnath house, Puliyakotte house, Thekkadath and Chakingal house.

The Moolasthanam of Pookulangara Devi is in Thekke Mannam. It is on the opposite side of the tank in the main road. Vadakke Mannam is in the western corner of the tank in the main road. At this location started a kutcha road southwards which went behind Thekke Mannam towards west and ended near The Vishaharikkal temple, a temple complex of Shiva and Devi. All these area was Thekke Thara of Kunissery desam. There were standalone Nair houses among fields, like islands in an ocean. one was Ipra kalam of Damodharan Nair. It was in Tripallur road after Chenkaram. The other one was in Thekke padam in Cheramangalam road.

In Vadakke Mannam unemployed youths gathered from morning to evening, simply sitting, card playing and gossiping. It was a bus stop and always there was people. Another gathering was at Vettakaruman Kavu temple wall. It was usually in the evening, people came here to watch people alighting from bus and to see those going to and fro from Ankalamman and Devi temple. Koleppadam Town centre was abuzz with activity in the evening. People from Pallavur and Cheramangalam used to throng here. Before bus service starting to Pallavur and Cheramangalam, people used to come to Kunissery for traveling on bus. There was panchayat library and reading room, Venkatachalam Iyer’s general store and sweetmeat shop, tea stalls and hotel, Annamalai Mudaliar’s cloth shop, tailor shops, cycle repair shop and soda factory. There was also three or four Nair houses.

Elders used to meet in the evening at Thekke Mannam to have darshan of Devi. Thekke Thara Vari Mannam was also a meeting place. Mambillya Mannam was meeting place of Thekke Thara youths for card playing. Chenkaram was a bus stop. There was a tank (kulam) in the main road side. It is the end of Vadakke Thara. Poosaris were staying at the other side of the tank. In summer water level used to recede in the tank. And in one corner of west north side of the tank, they used to erect pandal and do Mariyamman pooja. Goats used to be sacrificed there. From Chenkaram one can go to Vishaharikkal temple through the side of Malampuzha canal. which went behind Mayan kulam.

The festival of Kunissery Kummatti is famous. It is said to be in remembrance of Mamankam and also on the birth star of the deity. The forefathers of Manghat house is said to be from the Senapati of Zamorin (Samuthiri) called Manghattachan. Vadakke Thara has upper hand in the celebration. Everything is done first by them. Kizhakke Thara had no role in the festival except fireworks. Melam, elephant procession and also fireworks were all the forte of the other two sides. During night vela carpenters from Vadakke Thara used to bring Kettu Kuthira with their own musical instruments. Unlike other places, there was no masked people roaming the village as Kummatti’s. There was one Chirmba Kavu in Vadakke Thara. Carpenters had their exclusive annual festival there.

Pookulangara temple belonged to the Nair community, but there were certain privileges to other communities also in the festival. All communities participated with enthusiasm. Before the day of Kummatti there was Kanniar also. It was flag hoisting before the main temple, Vettakaruman temple and also before a Mannam near to the Moolasthanam. It also involved water sports in the temple tank. On the day of Kanniar in the early morning Three big, tall bamboo trees (pole) cut from the Thenmala forest (Nelliambathy) will be brought by the backward castes to the temple premises and will be kept at designated places. Their responsibility ended there. The Nair youths in large numbers will take the their respective bamboo trees into the tank water and circumambulate the tank three times, in between they will raise the bamboo tree upwards and again lower it to the water splashing water all through. In the middle of the tank there is a wooden Stupa. They will take the bamboo flag trees there also. only who knew swimming were allowed to take part in that.

This process continued in the evening also. In the day time there will not be much people except the participants and the regular temple darshan viewers of the morning. In the evening people of all sorts will throng. There would be good attendance of ladies. There will be special pooja in the temple connected with this. The pooja will be conducted in the open in the temple compound. By now backward castes will come with their bands and percussion in procession. After their coming there is some sort of permission seeking. After the pooja is concluded, the bamboo trees are taken in running to Thekke Mannam and onwards. Every Thara had their routes fixed. Vadakke Thara will flag hoist in Pookulangara temple, Thekke Thara in front of Vettakaruman temple and Kizhakke Thara in front of the Mannam near Thekke Mannam.

All the Thara’s performed the folk art of Kanniar kali. Also, there were solo and
group performance. It was played from night to the morning. only males participated. There was elaborate practice for the same. you have to learn steps and it should synchronise with the singing. It is prevalent in Alathur and Chittur Taluka of Palakkad. Only Nair’s played it. A square pandal with nine pillars is erected. In the middle a lamp is lighted. There the Kaliasan and his assistants stood. It was played in circular shape. It lasted four consecutive nights.

It consisted of Vatta Kali and four Porattu forms

  • Irava Kali.
  • Andi Koothu.
  • Vallon Kali.
  • Malama Kali.

Sometimes only Vatta kali and Irava kali is played. It depicts life and social customs of various castes and tribes, have different costumes, style of dancing, and songs with different tempos. Women are represented by cross dressing and imitate body language and speaking of women. We had also Vishu vela. It was in the early morning of Vishu day. From Thekke Mannam the Moolasthanam of Devi it went to Pookulangara temple and finished there. There would be Chenda, Cymbals, Chengala and Divatti for light. No professionals were engaged for this. The dancing and percussion were from the Nair families only. Then during Navaratri festival we had Arattu. It started from Gayatri river at Tripallur came to Vadakke Mannam and Thekke Mannam and proceeded to Pookulangara temple. Only one elephant would be there and melam was minimal.

Book worship was mainly done at Vishaharikkal temple. There used to be special poojas on those days. It was from Ashtami to Vijaya Dashami. Vishaharikkal means curing snake poison. It is said that in earlier days there was treatment for snakebite in this temple and so got it name. Behind the Shiva temple there was a Pathaya Pura where the Poojary and family lived. Behind that Pathaya Pura there was a Lotus pond. Behind the Devi temple There was two storied building. Due to dilapidation it was destroyed. Both the temples and buildings were in dilapidated condition. Now temple protection committee is there which has renovated the Temples compound walls and also the lotus pond.

The weavers (Mudaliar’s) had their colony adjacent to Thekke Thara and Kizhakke Thara. Their main deity was Ankalamma (Devi) they had Tamil culture. They used to conduct Mari Amman pooja. They also used to worship Pookulangara Devi. The prominent personalities of Thekke Thara was my grandfather Manghat Sekharan Nair, Kandeth Sankaran Nair, Pangachadath Eswaran Nair, Puliyakotte Kesuettan’s father Padmanabhan Nair, Govindan Nair father of Vakeel Somettan, Rama Nathan Nair father of Puliyakotte Mani Kuttettan, Kandeth Sukumaran Panikkar who was a teacher, Cheramangalam Pathiyil Parameswaran Nair. There were second rung of leaders consisting of Manghat Kochuetta who was in navy and also present Desa Karanavar at the ripe age of nearing 100. Manghat Sethu Madhavan Nair who was in railway mail service. Manghat Ramanunni Nair elder brother of Kochu Madhavan Nair who was settled in Manjapra used to come at all the special occasions and lead from the front. Chattu Mannadiar was another prominent personality.

I do not know much about the seniors of Vadakke Thara. For Kummatti, Anghepat Unni Krishnan and his family members, Pakath Krishnan Kutty, Arimbra Kochuetta, Madathil Balakrishnan and others were in the fore front.

Kizhakke Thara had more prominent members. Pangachadath Raman Nair, Thekkadath Swamy Ettan, his elder brother, Puliyakotte Chinnan Master, Kallayil Padmanabhan Master, Kallayil Gokulam Lakshmanan Nair, his elder brother Vishwa Nathan Nair, Kallayil Ramanathan Menon, Puliyakotte Gopala Krishnan Nair Kallayil Appu Kuttan master, Kunnath Adhikari etc.

Pookulangara temple was of Nair community. From each Thara one representative was selected as trustee. From among these three trustees, one managing trustee was elected. It was on rotation basis. My grandfather has also occupied the managing trustee post. It was in Kunissery, I came into contact with Nair service society. It was formed by the pioneering effort of Pangachadath Eacharan (Eswaran) Nair who was our neighbour and staying just opposite our house. Ramanathan Menon, Damodharan Nair Of Iprakalm were NSS presidents and Manghat Kochu Madhavan Nair was secretary. Anghepat Unni Krishnan was office clerk and he was also Indira Congress Alathur block president. Pangachadath Rajan was bill collector. The main activity of The NSS was conducting chit fund operation. There was a library and reading room. Later it was closed. Then NSS started a nursery school. Now they have a community hall for marriage purpose near Pookulangara temple. The temple has also recently constructed a big Oottu Pura. Now all the Thara’s have their own building as offices for conducting Kummatti and also other activities.

I came to know of Lord Ayyappan, first from Kunissery. In Thekke Thara there used to be weekly evening Bhajans by youngsters at particular houses supervised by elders. Sometimes it was in Olacheri kalam or vakeel house. There was no Ayyappan Vilakku at that time. It was the early period of Ayyappa cult among Nair’s in Kunissery and it has not spread to the commoners. At that time it was elite in nature.

It was during my stay at Kunissery, I learned swimming. In the evening all boys used to go to Mayan kulam for bath. It was more of a Jala Kreeda (water sporting). Our seniors like my Uncle Mohan, Puliyakotte Kesuetta, Unni Etta, Kandeth Sasi, Vakeel Somettan, Manghat Gopiettan, Unni Ettan and my classmates and juniors like Kandeth Chandran, Gopi used to be there. Sometimes we used to go to Pookulangara temple also for bath. Ladies and men who wanted temple darshan went to the temple tank for bath. We often went to Gayatri river also, which was far away, for bath.

Manghat Kunhi Krishnan Nair was working with Vijaya Pictures circuit in Bangalore. His younger brother Rajan was with Pakshiraja studio. We used to get free passes to see pictures at Swati Theatre, Alathur. The free pass was always for night show and we used to go in group to see the picture. His daughter Raji has acted in Tamil films as child artiste. When she grew up, she got heroine rules, but declined the same. Her brother was called Raju. Manghat Bhanu Mati Amma’s husband was working with R.R.Pictures in Madras. For his daughter Kamini’s wedding Tamil film stars had come and people had thronged in front of their house to see them. Vakeel Rajettan son of Chinnammu amma was working with a film distributor in Calcutta on managerial post. Most of the young people were working in defence force, some were in banks and also teaching profession. There were many tailors namely M.S.Nair, Thekkadath Swamy Nair, Puliyakotte Aravindan, Kannathe Gopalan, Chakingal Swaminathan etc. All owned their shops and were not working under any body. They were also looking after their farms. The only two Nair grocery shops were that of Ramanathan Menon and Kandeth Viswanathan Nair. Puliyakotte Chinnan master owned a rice hulling mill near Cheramangalam road.

Before upgradation of Sitaram U.P.School to high school, the students from Kunissery went to Nellikkal Edam high school at Alathur town for further studies. There was also a girls high school there. My class mates in the Sitaram high school from Thekke Thara were, Vakeel Mohanan, Vakeel Venu, Two Janardhan’s from Manghat (one Mani and the other Icchi who was my college mate at Victoria college also. ) from Vadakke Thara Pakath Krishnan Kutty, Madathil Balachandran, Madathil Kochu Krishnan, Madathil Prabhakaran, Arimbra Jayapalan from Kizhakke Thara Pushkaran, Chakingal Janardhanan, Pangachadath Kunhi Raman were the others.

The teachers were Ananthan Master for maths, Narayanan Kutty Master for social studies, Ramachandran Master for English, his wife taught Science. Thankam teacher of Kallayil house has also taught me. Josephine teacher who stayed in Thekke Thara on rent was craft teacher.

Coming to my ancestral house at Pallavur, the family head was Siva Sankaran Nair and he stayed with his two sisters. The eldest sister had three daughters and one son and the youngest daughter had only one daughter. Lakshmi Kutty, Karthiayani, Kunhi Krishnan and Vanaja were the children of the eldest sister. Siva Sankaran Nair had younger brother by name Achuthan who was staying near Ponnani or Pattambi, I am not sure about the location. The younger sister’s daughter was Jalaja. Jalaja and Vanaja Mani were of my age and Vanaja was my college mate in govt Victoria college. Siva Sankaran Nair was a teacher in Sitaram U.P.School and married from Perinchery house, Pallavur.

Next door there was another Vathukkat house where cousin sister of Siva Sankaran Nair stayed. To my knowledge she had three, sons and one daughter. Gopalan, Govindan, Chandran and Devaki. Devaki’s daughter Santana Latha was of my age. My mother was very much attached to the ancestral house. They also loved her very much. My mother had close friends at Pallavur and Kunissery.

We used to visit Pallavur for Ezham Vilakku (Seventh day of Navaratri) for Arattu and Desa kali, (Kanniar kali) we used visit on other special occasions also. Gradually, I also got attached to Pallavur. The main attraction of Pallavur is its Shiva Parvati temple surrounded by Brahmin’s house (Agraharam), There was a Vishnu temple also. The temple compound was big and on all four side there were high stoned walls also.

My one year stay in Kunissery was a great exposure to me. I used to mingle with people more and that too with different strata of society. In Marutha road, I was within protected walls. When I returned to my father’s house next year and further joined V.V.P.High School, I was a rejuvenated child and my friend circle and acquaintances increased manifold. My family members used to make fun of me, that I came to Kunissery for Vanavasa, because I stayed there at the most inconvenient time, while they were making the new house.

My mother used to tell stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata in the evenings. She was a good story teller. All my cousins were after my mother to hear stories from her and they were more attached to her than to other family members. She was devout, went to Pookulangara or Vishaharikkal temple every evening and didn’t miss any religious discourse in the temple. She was independent and strong in character and that has also influenced my later life.

Read the Part 1 – Life at Marutha Road

Special Mention to Randheep Mangat for the Kunissery Temple images and would also credit Google for the remaining images

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  1. very interesting reading I have. please add one important point “after kannayar in previous day of kummatty there is an important function known as “Potty Kali ” by kishakkey thara Nair’s” while playing most of the seniors used to carry a wooden head with handle .this is the simpol of winning enymies heads by samurin army . since most of males kunissery nairs dead in the war with samurin. to prevent ladies of kunissery Nair women from suicide , then samoothiripadu helped them and got 500 Nair’s from Ponnani. these Nair’s request their king if their desire to conduct Mamangam and kummatty festival started

  2. I want to know about one of my friend,radhakrishnan Nair Orissa,his sister was in Orissa and brother in law t.achuthan kutty Nair working inorissa.he got two sons one is gopalakrishnan Nair another one Rajesh Nair and one daughter basanti nair

    1. dear mohan, please give more details like house name, thara/ village and also the place of work like bhuvaneswar/ cuttack etc.also from which place you hail, where you have studied etc. the companys name in which the person has worked etc.Then i amy be able to help you.

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

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