Kanthi-the cocanut plucker

Where were you Mom?
I was  trying for more than half an hour!
Ah..I just came home..I went to a place.
U remember ‘kanthi’?Our cocanut plucker.
Ya,Wot happened to him?
He died yesterday night.I went for his funeral. Amma?
He has been suffering from a lot of diseases from long peroid.

Yeah..he was not well.I didn’t met him after moving to college hostel.He stopped working 3-4years back.
I remember once he came to our home 3years back with swollen big elephant legs.He was sufering  from liver disease.Diabates not letting his wounds  to cure.
My mom went to see him when he was hospitalized.He walked slowly..extremely slowly..opened the white dhoti and white shirt with 2-3 buttons opened showing his weak chest.
Itharu(who s dis).. kanthi.. come come.. din see you for ages..
Thats why I came to see u .. Kanthi replied to my Granny -the widow of a powerful landlord.The aged tired queen of an.old tharavad ‘Pulimootil’.
There was a big Tamarind tree(Puli) to the northwest of the house.During festival seasons the temple people and mahouts used to tie elephants to the tamarind tree with big chains.The chains rolled rubbed rubbed kissed elephants legs to make uncurable wounds.Stil it obeyed mahout.Still it bowed his head.Still it took God on his head.Still it enjoyed children touching his trunk..plucking his hairs for rings…
The big animal with a big heart…
The landlord owned a greater portion of the lands of the village and nearby villages,later devided into pieces for brothers and sisters..
for own children.He made a devi temple for the family.Every big powerful families keeps there own godess-paradevtha accompanied by great grandfathers for security to their assets.Thr worshipped their own dieties for all well beings..sometimes for others failures also.They offered prayers.Godesses surrounded by tress and herbs not only protected their  wealth,health and their women but gave rain, water medicines in regular intervals.The ancient form of protecting nature.The thing which foreigners teased Bloody Indians who worship trees snakes and mountains.We did,it protected us,gave everything.You came looted us,made us beggers.These temples and festivals united everyone atleast once in a year who seperted fo their lives.
How is your life their with daughter?
What life.Full of diseases.I worked hard, earned bread and butter and what i have balance in my life?A body full of diseases from hair to toe.

Everybody’s life is like that only.One have to surrender to diseases at one point of time kanthi.
I have only prayer,God take me as soon as possible.Don’t make anyone suffer because of me.
What are you saying?
You are still good.Diseases are part of life.You will b healthy very soon- granny said.

Kanthi respected Granny a lot.He was like a member of our family.Not like,he was.It’s not only blood that makes a family.He loved me a lot.
‘kannanpillai'(little kannan or little krishna) he used to call me.
Nee poda Thenginpillai(local word for cocanut plant just sprouted its leaves) or kanthi pillai(small kanthi).Ya,he was short.People laughs at our conversation.It was fun filled.

Usually on sundays he comes for cocanut plucking.He does all other works related to land.If there are more workers he used to superwise them.He was our official cocanut plucker and more.He has  big sharp bended knife like thing called vettukathi.With that he removes naval bond between cocanut and her mother.I used to hold that,which was more heavier than  little ME could hold.The way to plantation will be coverd green round the year.The small streams that carry water to plantation from nearby ponds.The green plants which dressed the bare land with yellow ,blue horn,and tiny white flowers.
To pluck tender cocanuts,dehusk and make hole and to drink in the plantaion itself is really nice feeling than drinking at home or from shops.
With help of him I used to drink that.The hole will be always bigger enough for me,which always ends with a tender cocanut bath.
Once by mistake,he ordered plantains.Those will only have the black cham like thing which growa later to tree.By seein that my uncle sharef his doubt,he said ya it is.But when it started sprouting leaves ,we all came to know and scolded him.
It was him,who bought xmas carol to our home.The santa sings..danced to the beats of daler mendhi songs and ended wit jingle bells..ane went with money.From then I loved xmas,i loved snows,loved candles,colours,i loved santa,loved xmas tree…

I belived ‘ kanthi’ the common name of cocanut pluckers.Later I realised when he fell sick;somebody else came for the day.
“krishnan kutty,pillerkku ilaneer idu”(pluck tender cocanut for kids)”-my uncle shouted to the top of the cocanut tree.
Krishnan kutty!!why not kanthi?
My mom resolved the mystery for me,after laughing for an hour.
She resolved one more mystery about him, the Kid ME thought kanthi really had some relation.with Gandhiji as the name is similar.He didn’t had any nor his forefather except they votes for congress party,when the bishop says.They don’t have their choice.Shepeard says;sheeps follows.

Janardhanan- that was kanthi before he got converted to christian.It was the time when christianity spreded like a drop of ink in water.It coloured all the lower class waterdops to christianity.They later came to know,they are christians so no castes,no benifits from govt(same as in god of small things-Arundhati Roy).They attended  sunday masses,went to church.They were christians,except in records.Just for benifits.
Janardhanan gave us money secrerly for offering prayers in temples on his birthday.
‘Janardhanan-pooram.nakshtram’ oru pushpanjali’.
No one asked,who is Jardhanan? Neither the priest nor the God.

Even after coverting to christiany,his mind was ruled by Hindu Gods;brain body by Parish Priests.

Ps:Ok Amma.. U take rest.I will call u later.
I disconnected the call.Memories flooded into my mind.It took years back.

He died two years back.Still can’t belive he died.He died as the water in streams vapourized.As the green leaves all over the way turned red,red to brown.
Today his thought came into mind,d scribbled to this post.


2 thoughts on “Kanthi-the cocanut plucker”

  1. very attractive :-)….memories are very powerful sometimes that it ight transform into words..thats wat happened here…keep it up..great:-)loving..cute.

    1. ya 🙂 thanks bhagyam.. I thought of writing this post in a paragaraph or two.But while penning it went long.. Can’t resist myself..Memories are powerful wen transformed into words.

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