Generally good singers are given that name like Lata Mangeskar ji or Chitra of the south .
This story is about someone who was a bad singer but who loved to sing and hence called cynically as Kuyil Raju .
Raju was never known to me for he was my uncles close buddy part of the gang who were upto all sort of things in my village Parappanangadi
Most of my holidays of childhood was spent in the greenly corridors called edozhis or small ways of this village and diving into the green ponds or eating green mangoes with stolen chilly powder ,in the evenings we would powder ourselves and stand near the gate combing our hairs to gawk at our favourite damsels going to the temple with the boiling hormones of the young .
Raju unlike me and my cousins who only came here on holidays was born and brought up here .
He and his friends were in their twenties and grown men with more mature pleasures like stealing coconuts drinking toddy and whisky singing like rascals fooling around in the temple festivals etc.
these men were also the first to join the annual cleaning of the temple tank which was a nocturnal picnic with men of all ages and sizes jumping into the shallow pond as most of its water would have been pumped out to remove the mud in swathes and throw it into the adjacent paddy fields ,so that the pond was fresh to receive the monsoon rains .
by midnight most of the married men would have returned to their scowling wives and kuyils gang would then bring out their hidden beverages and dig deep for camouflaged fishes for a deep fry side dish .
Legends grew around Kuyil Rajus escapades specially on his acting debacles .
Kuyil prized himself as an entertainer and he was always in an important role in the amateur dramas staged for the annual vayanasala or local library annual day .
this was a big event in the village and the gaily lit stage glittered on the side of the Railway line while the whole village in their evening best gathered on the sands in front to watch the fun .
One time our kuyil was Socrates and his bearded countenance was at his histrionic best while he swallowed the hemlock with a grimness unsurpassed ,he never knew to make it more authentic the brew concocted by his friends had some strong arrack with a couple of valiums thrown in for good measure .our Kuyil promptly sunk to the stage with a deep gasp that got a lot of applause at its exactness ,his friends carried him backstage and he wouldn't wake up for hours slowly they started getting worried and rushed him to the local hospital for a stomach wash and a resurrected Kuyil Raju opened his eyes .
on another time he again acted as a dying man for which he was getting a real name by then as the applause grew our peoples actor got up and fell dead once more listening to the audience demand only to be hooted away .
once as a bearded character he was in the green room fuming at the long lecture by the local politician who was also his long time drinking partner and as the night grew and the beard produced uncontrollable itching kuyil dragged him back from the stage with the big mike in tow .
The magnum opus of the great Kuyil was his notorious role as Draupadi
the mythical wife of the pandavas was disrobed by a villainous Dushashan and ogled by the kauravas in the Mahabharatha while Draupadi cried to lord Krishna to save her
Lord Krishna did save Draupadi but not poor kuyil Raju on that day when he acted as Draupadi
this effectively retired Kuyil from the field and he was seen moaning Manasa mayile varru and such sad songs under lonely trees
and later he got married and that was the end of Kuyil Raju !!as we know him