Exponent Extraordinaire

Kalarippayattu, the martial arts form unique to Kerala has always been part of its folklore. Thus we get to know of colourful masters who performed great deeds of valour and showed unimaginable skill. One such master of martial arts was Kallanthattil Gurukkal. It’s interesting how we rarely get to know the name of the particular individual. Here Kallanthattil is the family name and Gurukkal, the title given to him. But, what was his given name? No one knows. It has been lost in the folds of time. For the sake of narrative convenience, let’s call him Unni, a very common … Continue reading Exponent Extraordinaire

The Good Doctor and the Labourer Who Made Him Cry

Aryan Narayana Mooss was a famous Ayurvedic physician who lived in Kerala more than a century ago. Read the first part of the story here. One day, Mooss was sitting on an armchair on the veranda of the southern wing of his house. A poor mappilla labourer came in through the gatehouse and approached Mooss. But when he reached the middle of the courtyard, he sat down and couldn’t move. “My lord, I can’t stand,” he said piteously and continued to sit there on the courtyard that had been flattened smooth, and swept clean. “Tell me what ails you,” said … Continue reading The Good Doctor and the Labourer Who Made Him Cry

The Good Doctor

When Aryan Narayana Mooss was all of sixteen, his father, the great Ayurvedic physician deemed that he had learnt enough and could be trusted to treat patients on his own. So the younger Mooss took over from his father the tasks of examining the patients, prescribing medicines, gathering herbs and plants that had medicinal value and supervising the preparations of special medicines using these. When it was needed, he visited the patients in their homes too. But the father did maintain a close watch over his son who was also his disciple. Often at the end of the day, father … Continue reading The Good Doctor

Bhima and the Runaway Forests

Bhima and his friend Mannathu Panikkar sat down to have lunch when the king’s messenger came in with an urgent message. (Read part one of the story here.) “Please read out the king’s message,” said Bhima politely. “But sir, you’re having lunch,” the messenger hesitated. “That’s okay. You said it was urgent. So lunch can wait,” said Bhima. “The neighbouring kingdom has sent a huge army to attack our land. Please help.” The messenger read out.   The Poonjaar army was battle ready but they would be outnumbered easily. Panikkar and Bhima immediately rushed out. When they reached outside it … Continue reading Bhima and the Runaway Forests

Sticky Post

A Teacher Fondly Remembered

We have no idea whether any of us were her pets. She was quite brusque in her ways and did not seem to favour any student over the others. Yet we were fond of her. Of her springy hair wisps of which would escape the tight bun at the nape of her neck especially when she was annoyed with us and in a temper, of her erect dignified stance, of the alert bird like movements of her neck which rose above the dull orange of her high collared full sleeved blouse. In her black and white habit all that springy … Continue reading A Teacher Fondly Remembered

Quotes Recalled

As a child and later as a teenager, I had this habit of collecting quotes. I would write them all down in a notebook I’d stitched together from the blank pages of used notebooks from the previous academic year. In those ancient pre internet days I would often come back to a quote either to pep up an essay we’d been set or to introduce a speech as part of an elocution contest I was participating in or simply for the sheer pleasure of it. My notebook of quotes was lost in the several moves that we made from one … Continue reading Quotes Recalled

Some Musings on the Tamil Film Super Deluxe

It has been more than a year since the release of the Thiagarajan Kumararaja Tamil film Super Deluxe. But I suppose one can indulge in some thoughts about it after having watched it recently on an OTT platform. Spoilers Ahead For those who are reading this and haven’t yet watched the film but are planning to there are disclosures about the ending of the film ahead that may spoil your enjoyment of it. Plot The film strings together the stories of an unfaithful wife, three teenagers whose hormones are running high and a transgender who has returned home. It is … Continue reading Some Musings on the Tamil Film Super Deluxe

Policing Memory – Book Review

Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police is a dystopian novel set on an unnamed island where the Memory Police disappear things from time to time. The protagonist is a novelist (also unnamed) who lives alone in a house by the river. Both her parents are dead and from as long as she can remember things have been disappeared from the island. The other characters are an old man and R the editor of the protagonist’s novels. The people on the island forget what has been disappeared though not all of them do. They are the ones in danger of being arrested … Continue reading Policing Memory – Book Review

Vignettes From A Literary Festival

From January 30th to February 2nd of this year the well-known Malayalam newspaper Mathrubhumi conducted the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters (MBIFL). With over three hundred writers participating from different parts of the world and a host of interesting topics for discussion, it was the place to be for people interested in the world of letters. The venue too added to the charm of the festival. Kanakakkunnu Palace in Thiruvananthapuram is ideal to hold such an event as it offers a large enclosed area within which several smaller venues can be set up. Under The Tree Some of the venues … Continue reading Vignettes From A Literary Festival