Monday, April 30, 2007


A long shot of a girl in a verdant hilly landscape. She emerges as a teenager, topless. She turns her head and looks up at the sky. Camera would greedily have sucked her rural untouched beauty if it had been a tele-film. It would further have siphoned out her perky breasts, exotic wheatish skin, shapely lips and upturned nose - a silhouette perhaps! This is not a tele-film, that I narate about, it was a scene from a tale that pertains to the genesis of a family that would have prematurely vanished into oblivion had it not been for the devine intervention.

A Brahmin -Nair couple of considerable wealth and fame lived in a the rural outskirts of Valluvanad. It was customary for the Veluttha Paaraappatty Mana Thirumeni (Devine body) to be betrothed to a Nair lady, but it was unusual for him to stay married to her for longer than, say, a couple of years. It was part of a farsighted custom of the Nairs to get hybrids of progeny through conception by Higher caste males two centuries ago. In a usual sequence, the Namboodiri would have some nuptial bliss for a time until the Nair girl was pregnant, thereafter he would withdraw from the Sambandham and move away to greener pastures. The Nair girl would get a Nair boy as husband, who would be formally married but stay separate. Ironically, the Brits tried this kind of ethnic cleansing 120 years later among Australian Aborigines!

As for this particular couple, they stayed in marriage, eventhough they were not blessed with a child. Grieved by the absence of an heir apparant to continue the matriarchal system, the pious pair travelled to Mookambika temple far away north in a bullock cart which was in vogue in those innocent bygone times. Their trip was based on a prophesy by a reputed astrolloger that the merciful Goddess would bless them with a baby. After staying in the temple surroundings unscathed by humans and 60 days of intense prayers, the couple were urged to return home by the Goddess in dream.

It was on the return journey they came across the rural teen. She was limping and looked so forlorn. The lady felt obliged to help the girl and asked her to accompany them. The legend is a bit sketchy at this point. There are so many unanswered questions, but I guess that's how miracles are. Anyway, the girl acccompanied the middle-aged couple to their rural abode. On reaching, the lass was instructed to have a dip in the tank and change in a room to the east of the house. That was the last time they would see her. The soul that went into the room to change just vanished into thin air!

It did not take for the astrolloger, who was summoned, a long time to guess that it was all Bhagavathy's miracle. He proclaimed that Vellat House would never end its saga because of lack of progeny. Three cheers to all the Vellattians!

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