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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Neerkoli Ammini

Rain made Parappanangadi a green magical world Its incessant drumbeat , constant gushing of water, surreal croaking of frogs ,humming of insects and fluttering of moths marked it
arrows of sharp rain from the dark skies would hit the bluish green water of the brimming pond
lightening flashes would give momentary glimpses of a watery world which would l...
ater meld into the darkness It during one of those rainy days did the story unfold in my ancestral house Thekkepat kovillakkam

There were two female cooking assistants to Nambiar our big cook ,one was Ammini the plumpier one and the other Unnuli
none of Amminis fleshier moments distracted Nambiar from his personal passion which was to cook delicious food for the house

My grandmother Karthiyayani amma was a no nonsense person and all were mortally afraid of her except Nambiar ,who was too old to be afraid of anyone , both conferred and conspired to create exotic menus to feed the hungry inmates

Non vegetarian food was rarely cooked there

flesh was only to be cooked only in the outer shed and brought to the northern dining hall to be eaten it was difficult

this needed running with hot dishes by Ammini with an umbrella more for protecting the dishes from being diluted rather than creating a wet Ammini

a seductive wet Ammini for us adolescents was more appetizing than the dishes

,wet firewood was another problem in rain

Ammini had to fetch dry ones from the loft a little away from the house with be a piece of cloth over her head as even Ammini could not carry firewood as well as an umbrella .

One day in the loft , some slithering thing had bitten her

" Pampu Pampu ( snake,snake ) she shouted and ran into the house

Flushed and breathless she swooned .

Nambiar yelled "get her to kumaran vaidyan quickly,

Ammini was laid into a makeshift stretcher of a wooden bench and carried to Kumaran vaidyan the local snake bite expert .

we all tropped along

was it the end of our dear Ammini ? we were sad !

The procession grew in size as it meandered along

news spread like wild fire and rumours of Ammini dead was on

a wet and anxious village reached the Vaidyans house

Ammini was popular amongst all for various reasons

Vaidyan spat his betel leaf

"ivide kedathu " ( make her lie here )

He opened her eyes with a finger and checked her pulse .

cleaned her right wrist

" onnum parayan pattila 24 manikur kaziyadhe "( nothing can be told till it is 24 hours ) he declared
suddenly the crowd parted as Kunjan the local idiot had come with a snake in his hand

He had gone to the firewood shed and found the wriggling specimen which with the dare of the innocent had caught it with his bare hands

He was now showing it off like a trophy .

The vaidyan quickly took it from him looked at it and then started laughing .

" ithu neerkoliya " this is a watersnake and threw it into the nearby pond ,

someone threw some water on Amminis face and she woke up with a start

thus was born the legend of Neerkoli Ammini or watersnake Ammini

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Kite Runner

The Kite runner is the first book by Khaleid Hossieni a physician settled in the U.S.
Khaleid is an Afghan by birth and has written about his home country in both of his books the second one being the thousand splendid suns ,

though I have not read both the books I happened to see the movie the kite Runner yesterday and was moved and absorbed by it .
I would rate it as one of the best movies I had seen .

'The story begins of friends Amir and Hassan who spend a happy childhood in Afghangistan
kites soar in the sky just like thier joyous lives ,
happiness being cut off when evil in the form of Assef the bully ridicules Hassans lowly Hazara ( an emigrant central Asian race ) status to Aamirs aristocracy and mocks at thier friendship but Hassan is strong and will never wilt in his loyalty to his friend even at the cost of insult to his body and soul as Asef with his friends does the unthinkable during one inoppurtune moment .
Aamir wallows in guilt becuase though he witnessed the act hiding he does nothing to protect his friend becuse of his cowardice .

The friends drift apart after this more so by the machinations of Aamir as he could no more face Hassan due to his guilt
Aamirs father who loves Hassan as much as his son is dismayed .at the turn of events
In time the Russians invade the country Aamir and his father flee Afghangistan to Pakistan and later to San Fransico where they lead an existence hardly befitting thier aristocratic Afghan life ,
time passes and Aamir graduates and becomes a writer ,courts and finally marries an Afghan generals daughter
his father by now has succumbed to the ravages of lung cancer
Aamir publishes his first book ,
He hears from his fathers old friend Asim Khan who has always been his well wisher and confidante more than his father .
Khan is now in Pakistan and Aamir goes to meet him as requested ,
here he hears that Hassan his old friend was really his half brother begetted by his father as Hassans father and mother were servants in Aaamirs fathers house
Hassan had got married and had a son called Sohrab both Hassan and his wife were killed by the cruel Taliban who now ruled Afghangistan ,
A letter from Hassan written before he died is handed over to Aamir by Khan which asks Aamir his old friend to save Sohrab who was now living in an Afghan orphanage
Aamir immediately travels to Afghangistan incognito with the help of a driver and is shocked by the rape of his beloved country He is like a tourist in his own home
he finds out the orphanage but learns that Sohrab has been taken away by a cruel Taliban official who uses young boys for his perversions
He finds out that the high official is none other than the bully Asef the bete noir of his youth .
the rest of the story is how Aamir manages to release Sohrab from the clutches of Asef and his Taliban strangehold and brings him to the US with great difficulty to bring him up as his son as he has no children of his own
Sohrab takes long to come out of his shell opening up finally when when Aamir once takes him for kite flying
Aamir tells sohrab he would anything for him a thosand times over just like Hassan used to say to Aamir in his childhood .
The film has absorbing visuals depicting the beauty of the country and its seasons ,the rumbustiousness of its markets the colourfullness of its inhabitants ,the innocence of its young the sophisticated veneer of its aristocracy which all contrasts with the cruelty of its vandals .
The physical rape in the film is metaphorical to the rape of the country itself and finally the overcoming of guilt of the protaganist by his atonation ends the film
truly worthy of the book .

The Kite runner soars into the sky and takes you along for the ride
see it .

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Loongi Collections

Lungi is a piece of garment worn around the waist by south Indians mostly Malyalees ,Bangladeshis and also Sri Lankans and some Malays wear Lungi but it is synonymous with Mallu attire

Taking off on this we did a Lungi fashion show in our Indian Medical Association cultural night recently in Kochin

this was created and choreographed by our president Dr Sushil Daniel some of us doctors modelled in the Lungi collection groomed by Christian D Flungi our vetran in house designer

here goes .....

Pala appachachan collection : Palai is a small south Kerala town dotted with rubber plantations owned by rich nazranis ( christian planters who historically claim to hail from Nazareth )

Appachan means pappa or father and the planters genrally have this tag to thier name for example verghese appachan can be vakkachan !thomas appachan can be thomachan
these fellows are genrally know for thier merrymaking scotch guzzling wears spotless white mundus a form of lungis with pearly white vests thick gold chains and spectacles and look classy
our Palai appachan was Dr Sreedhar Kumar

Macho collection : in every place one finds men who love thier bodies and develop them with tender care ,mostly when not at work one can find them in the local Gym straining thier sinews to breaking point or gazing lovingly at thier reflections while softly feeling thier bulges oh no I meant muscles

our IMA Macho Dr Prasan was obviously the right choice for the Macho collection .

The Rajni collection :Rajnikanth the superstar of Tollywood is another name for style and charisma the man even walks in his own style and the internet is full of Rajnidoms these days so what if he is really a balding down to earth guynext door in real life everyone loves him

the Rajni collection was done by yours truly

Mohanlal collection : Mohanlal the podgy superstar of Malluland has oodles of talent his tower of pisa stance jumping gait and trademark grin makes him the dahling of mallus all over
Dr Sajith made a wonderful choice for the Mohanlal collection

NRI collection :NRIs are as famous as coconuts in Kerala for these are two sure sources of income for malluland and the NRI often goes around flashing his wealth to all and sundry
( iam talking of the typical kind gulp returned ) our NRI was Dr Ajay Kumar whose half mast lungi tennis jogging shoes and gesticulations for a wild evening from a beringed finger caused great guffaws with the song Ooty pattanam in the background

Goonda collection : Kochin Haneefa is dead and gone but one can never forget his special act of the local dada with a wide belt holding his lungi from doom and a rusted knife to flash around this goonda collection was by Mr Kamath who brought him live .

The Thilakam style :Thilakam is one popular malaylam movie where Dileep enacts a slightly crazy young man who is fond of pulling lungis from unsuspecting men publicly our Dr Pradeep did a thilakam in style as he pulled the vest off machoman who ran for cover

Thank God he remembered to wear something below that day

kottodi collection : was the last ,the local drunk with his bottle of toddy beedi stump and foul mouth

Dr Tommy could do this better than anyone as he came like he was sozzled to his gills feebly trying to light a beedi in vain

and finally the ramp was dazzled by D flungi himself

Mr Thomas our engineer colleague who gave his large warm self to troop all the lungis into a grand finale dance in the ramp

thus ended the lungi collection

All of us really had a ball !

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