It was turning dark the rain was still sputtering down and the occasional lightening gave a glimpse of a watery dark world,
Narayanankutty gingerly walked along the edges of the huge temple tank filled to the brim ...with greenish blue clear water ,
one had to be very careful as one could easily slip into it and then could get into trouble ,even though Narayanankutty knew swimming in the darkness he could be disoriented and the tank was pretty deep .
The Trikandiyoor Siva Temple was said to be centuries hold with a rich tapestry of stories behind it .
its tank said to be one of the biggest was so built in order to quench the heat of Lord Sivas third eye which started at straight on the tank .
Trikandiyoor temple and its surrounding areas had lot of Nair and Brahmin houses ,amongst these was OOtil Tharavadu or family house which was so known because it once was an ootupera or food serving house for temple Brahmins .
Narayanankutty hailed from this house ,
he was the eldest son of four with two elder sisters ,his father was not a Nair he was Parameswaran Moos of the Nampoothiri clan Brahmins who specialized in Ayurvedic medical science ,
those day many moos families were well known for their medical prowess and Paremeswaran moos belonged to one of those ,generally they married into Nair families but stayed mostly in their own Manas or houses with their nephews and nieces occasionally sauntering to have a look at their children but Narayanakutty remembered his father as a very loving and caring person .
He was popular as a physician and was said to be one of the royal physicians of Travancore court ,he was often travelling there and on such occasions would be away for long stints ,he had left once for a pilgrimage to many Travancore temples once and to Sudheendram which was famous for Namboothiri pilgrims those days ,he left this world when Narayanankutty was just 10 years .
little did the small boy know that a similar fate awaited his son years later .
So now Narayanankutty stayed in the large joint family with some uncles , his mother, and siblings ,
he had to walk long distances to reach his school every day ,he would leave the house with some porridge and walk more than 8 to 10 km to reach his school , he loved studying and was extremely brilliant in his studies ,he scored the best marks always in his class to the consternation of many of his classmates better off in their facilities ,there was one particular Brahmin boy who hated the sight of Narayanakutty always being the best and once even pushed him down from a height ,
Narayanakutty was a gentle patient soul who never retorted back he took it in his stride and continued to work better .
By the time he reached home in the evening all that he would have had for his lunch was 2 bananas and a cup of tea from a nearby small shop arranged by his uncle ,he would be very hungry after the long walk back home but most of the days one of the uncles would ask him to go back to town and buy some medicines or provisions so he would wearingly trudge back again ,he was now returning from one such trip ,even after he reached home his mother would ask him to go have a bath in the tank before he could touch his food ,it would be late night before he would have some food look at his books and then go to bed .
Narayanankutty went through all this his love for studies only increased he graduated from school and college with acclaim
he was one of the earliest graduates in that area honored with medals from even the viceroy,
it was said Narayanakutty always needed help to catch his medalas and trophies in academics every annual day
his face radiated intelligence and he was adept in Sanskrit and the scriptures thanks to his father who had taught him that .
He knew he had to start working to look after his family ,
somehow he got into the field of fingerprinting ,those days this was becoming a big hit in investigative police science it appealed to Narayanakuttys intelligence and he did a course and landed a government job as a fingerprint expert .
His days would be spent on crime scenes and cataloging in his office ,he stayed in a lodge with other bachelors in several places in Tamilnadu those days called Madras state ,he rose up in this position too .
When Tamilnadu state was formed there was a chance to shift to Home department in the Tamilnadu secretariat for fingerprint officials and he promptly joined there as a juinior officer .
He was extremely hard working ,absolutely sincere and honest in any job he took . he pored into his files and was commended for his literary notes by his seniors
he went early to his office at the Fort st George opposite the beach and left late ,always walking long distances to the farthest bus stop to save money he just had a pair of neat pants and shirts trying to conserve money for his immediate and larger families as by then he had got married to Bhageerathi who was younger to him by many years .
he was staying in Mylapore at that time and the place was full of Brahmin houses ,they used to come to him to ask doubts in sanskrit and the scriptures such was his scholarly prowess he gave a part of his earnings to his family members in Tirur
he had meager needs and had no vices ,
he was keenly interested in classical carnatic mucic and used to listen to the radio for hours and also in spirituality and philosophy ,his reading was voracious .
He never laid a hand on his two children an elder girl and an younger boy
he loved them and corrected them so gently .he never raised his voice against anyone and was soft spoken while being firm in his convictions .
Once when his small son took a playing top from a wayside shop and he came to know of it he went along with him to the shop apologized to the shopkeeper his sons mistake and paid for it .
the son never forgot this lesson in his life and thought of it any time he was in a situation of taking advantage of another
And just like his father had done Narayanankutty too left his family when his son was exactly 10 years old with a heart attack .
This day is deeply imprinted in my heart for Narayanankutty or ootil Narayanan nair was my dear father