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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

16 comments:

Kannan said...

Hi Hari,

Very humorous piece with the right dose of background material and local flavour i.e. glimpses of life in Parappanangadi in the 70s and laced with a tinge of nostalgia.

Enjoyed reading Ammini's escapades with the Neerkoli.

Keep writing more.

Best

Ram

anas_conversationkiller said...

as usual Dr........a kewl one with sum really awesome BG.............:)

Vimala said...

Great indeed.. was reliving the incident, with achamma ... who was Ammini? I have heard about Madhavi and Unnuuli.. not Ammini..
Good old days Harietta..

umeshjairam said...

Story, Screen Play, Dialogues, Cinematography, Music, Singer: Dr Harimohan (UAE)

Producer: Umesh Jairam

Director: Adoor

Gooooooooooooooooooooooood....

saidas valliyil said...

Dear Hariettan nice matrl and i began to feel the old days in Parvathi Bhavan in PGI There was also a nambiar the said cook I think he must be the same person as I use to hear him always yelling at everybody we were also afraid of him His dressig style was only a kerala towel i think he must be the same person as we were all small so I remmber him less but use to hear his tales much

saidas said...

Well nice mtrl I remember Nambiar and ennuli they were in parvathi bhavan I think they are the same person eh

Dr Sreejith said...

Dear
Hari
The visuals of the tharavadu brings fond memories of grand parents ,mine from both sides have been long dead the memories streak in vissitudes of blue and of late have been thinking of them .As arteies start getting clogged,joints start creaking when nature catches us up with the age we are at doldrums and the synapses start failing the cortex blursin a cacophony of meaningless minions these pictures flash selves of nostalgia.Great Hari Keep posting.
Bye and have a fine day

harimohan said...

Tks Ram ,Anas ,Sreejith Sir ,

Vimala and Sai
Unnuli is correct Ammini is based on another person and the tale is purely imaginative never hapnd !

Bala said...

Very entertaining and delightfully written indeed! I have no idea who she was! I am thinking she was for real until I read the above reply. Your writing really took me "there" for a minute or two and I could feel the raindrops hitting hard on the clay roof tiles. Keep 'em coming Hariettan! Well done.

Bala said...

Hariettan,
Really enjoyed this blog. I had doubts about "Ammini" if she existed but unfortunately it was proved to be true - that she didn't! For a moment I was transported there in the midst of the rains, and could literally hear the raindrops on the clay tiled roof. I could even smell the chicken curry :) Keep 'em coming!
Bala

Bala said...

Hariettan,
Really enjoyed this blog. I had doubts about "Ammini" if she existed but unfortunately it was proved to be true - that she didn't! For a moment I was transported there in the midst of the rains, and could literally hear the raindrops on the clay tiled roof. I could even smell the chicken curry :) Keep 'em coming!
Bala

Maddy said...

nannayittundu..
but how did the neerkoli find its way into the firewood shed? normally they remain in the pond right?

entho oru panthikedu..

maybe they can live in both places, i suppose..

harimohan said...

I have seen some neerkolis our of ponds too on the steps etc and in rainy season they do creep out
tks maddy

Vimala said...

Great piece of imagination Harietta.. and indeed enjoyed reading I must say.

harimohan said...

tks vimala

Dr Shyja said...

Sir, you have painted such a vivid picture of Kerala in the rains. It reminds me of my childhood when we would go to Kottayam from Goa for vacations. Makes me long for Kerala. And I really believed that there was a character called Ammini who all of you were mooning over. T' was a very realistic and funny story - made all the more better by your description of the rains. Really wonderful sir. And I miss Kerala and India.

Bye Sir. Have a nice day.

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