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Friends or fiends .....blame the roots

Om Sri Ganeshaya Namaha. 


A great start to my new blog .A baby step to define Avadhani. An Avadhani is a scholar in subjects like grammar , prosody , multi-tasking skills......who faces an oral test (special to Telugu Litt). This test analyses his memory power, his prosaic rendition, his ability in multitasking based on his knowledge of  the religious scripts.Of course the story mentioned below has no link to the real Avadhani except nomenclature.
Avadhani, in the story by Tilak is skilled at speech...whatever it was; he was expressing softly, smoothly, solemnly, blending it all with special pity and tenderness.

Avadhani ....a manipulative man
( Before speaking about the man let me tell you how this character has grown in my mind though it was created by another Indian writer)
He said," With fruit, flower,leaf or even water"--ancestors said - God is easy to please.Then why ask for cash donation".
To build faith one needs a temple, to secure the temple one needs a wall.To build a wall one needs money.

The etched character...

Avadhani a member of the temple committee was solely responsible for donations from villagers.He did attempt to bait Gavarayya the hero.

He tried his best to squeeze out cash from the 'Scrooge' like Gavarayya, who had an ugly exterior but a divine interior. It happens when a man who lived a wretched life, earned money in a wretched manner he could not be indifferent to human values.

"With fruit, flower, leaf or even water"--ancestors said--God is easy to please.Then why ask for cash donations. To build faith one needs a temple, to secure the temple one needs a wall.To build the wall one needs money.
Avadhani a member of the temple committee was solely responsible for donations from villagers.He did attempt to bait Gavarayya (The hero of the story 'The Man who saw God' by Telugu writer-D.B.G.Tilak) .

Sorry this is no critical appreciation of a simple story but one tends to look for identification in real life like Avadhani & Gavaryya


Bonded to unbond

So close was the relationship between the Keshavans and and Panikkers, little did they realise that one day they would turn foes.Too early to predict.

Keshavan was a daily wage earner in a big  godown that stocked refined coir.
"The quality of coir is losing its original coarseness, " said Karupilla ,
 the village headman.Little had he fathomed the consequences of global warming. The Western side of the globe has been corroding off its shores due to excessive heat that constantly
 denied moisture to these palms.Most palm groves are turning yellow from green.This directly affects the coconuts and the COIR naturally.
More than a century ago jute was replaced by indigo so also coir may seek a synthetic substitute. Any substitute is sub-standard but the earth keeps revolving and its inhabitants keep pace with it wearily.

The Panikkers generally stuck to second 'hand' labour. Labour here refers to manual labour.In Kerala where trade unionism occupies a kingly status the manual labourers are kingly subjects. Their services are in great demand.The Panikkers are like those middlemen who are polished and smooth in talk but when they encounter trouble from muscular  men they slink into the shadows.


An innocuous utterance



 Keshavan could be referred to an 'Avadhani' as he was always a know-all person who introduced Panikker to business. A scholar in one's field--- Avadhani. When the first profit fell on Panikker's lap, the two friends longed for a binge which turned from the casual to the wild.
It was then that Keshavan prophesied to Panikker that their friendship would see bad days since money is the route to all evil (Money the root of all evil) .

 Destiny sometimes overhears unwelcome words.How the Ks and Ps got friendly were driven through a whirlwind of circumstances.
 Then came that Providential event that spelled disaster for 'friendship'. Had he dissuaded his daughter to marry a cousin of Panikker may be the camarederie would have lasted. The tryst of faith did not deter the lovers to elope.
Sneha and Paddu became friends at the institute of Oceanography where marine technology was not as tough as rocket science.

The  two scored grades and flew to Malaysia to slog and build a nest. How are we different from animals and birds. The only difference is that we should show due diligence and allegiance to our flock.The pair  was ill-starred and within a few months they parted ( Dark clouds are evil omen). Here the dark clouds refer to separation. At times women take separation more soberly and men do not. Paddu was hurt , left for a deep sea assignment and did not return . The shores of  Ks and Ps got eroded which fell like a curse for the two families.Sneha was refused return to the family home in Kerala, nor could she visit her parents-in- law.

How could the K's and P's get friendly again? The first generations were friendly neighbours barring the Sneha & Paddu episode. The second generation was smarter but later, quite naturally  the socio-economic disparities dug a fissure (after the tragic death of Paddu) that split open the link and the third generation gradually flew out to search a new identity.

The link rusted...

Mukesh Keshavan  runs a decent showroom in Kochi  but Suresh Panikker preferred the suburbs where land is exchanged for gold .Now when land is in question can we ignore brick and mortar.Yes they are the conniving companions of 'land' these days.
Reverting to the absence of Avadhani (in the story mentioned earlier) , we only imagine a silent war of deals and payments that form the crust of advancement and affluence.Morality and scruples become underdogs, sometimes spineless , compelled to comply with underhand dealings.

The so called protagonists, M.Keshavan and S. Panikker are now sailing on the seas of wealth which will never bring them ashore. Surfing on these waves of Fortune, the surfer feels his sins will wash away the sins by undercurrents and then settle like silt on the seabed.Good days wind up faster with the passage of time. Nobody is eternally content.
The swords were crossed and two fortunate business men parted ways. Then one fine day day S.Panikker despatched Income Tax sleuths to embarrass M.Keshavan. The latter leaked information about his compatriot's booty buried in the forests of Nilgiris. The end of this apparent friendship witnessed a dog fight that offers bites, scratches and blood stains bartered for a feigned friendship.

Today they(both) offer fruit, flower and tulsi leaves to appease the Gods. Really God can be pleased in simple ways.Do we need an Avadhani if God decides destiny ?
The Gap that engulfs the vulnerable with Path Makers on one side and Path Breakers on the other.
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