Thursday, May 14, 2009



The job of going back generations backwards is an hazardous journey and the lesser willed will falter at some points making it that much more difficult to recreate, if one goes to our roots just as Mr.Alex Haily went in his famous novel Roots, in which he almost succeeds in recreating about 7 generations ,mostly a creation according to his understanding of the dramatic forefathers ,who had been slaves bought by American Whites to make them work in the fields and mines to only benefit owners, while the slaves were chained and fed like animals for centuries before they came out of the system during the time of President Abraham Lincoln, who made history of sorts when he freed all the slaves and made strict laws trying to ensure parity in treating both populations with equal importance and equality for the blacks in US who was till then at the receiving end some even now ,but surely with the new president the American people can look forward and correct the wrong doings of the past, by first of all admitting each and every religion on parity and most equal importance and security. The majority Community at no point should be allowed to push the weak, which will then equal to wife beaters and sadists.

I am trying to recreate my roots for the benefit of my children and future generations, who will be able to understand who their forefathers were and their family tree.

My father was the son of the youngest daughter of last of 7 generations of Adhikari’s as they were called due to their power [‘Adhikaram’ in Sanskrit.] to collect taxes from the general public for the exchequer of the erstwhile king [Vettathil King] who’s General of the Army of Vettathil Raja, After 3 generations of being the Generals was the Adhikaris who followed, Their Family name as my Grandmother who belonged “Mangalath” at times I heard her pronounce as “Mangalathil”.They still runs an school near to present day TANUR in Malapuuram Dist.of Kerala.

Three generations of Generals of the said King. They were all fighters and Kshatriya’s who become a fighter and warriors experts in “Kalaripayattu” the King of all martial arts. They owned huge and mass land holdings due to their proximity to the king, who later was made powerless by the British. Though all the land held were later usurped by those Christians, who came from down south, looking out for livelihood and annexed such land as no one bothered to reclaim all the said land, which included mountains and thousands of acres in Malabar.

While my fathers’ father, my grandfather paternal, apart from being Kalaripayattu warriors, was a scholar of sorts as well who worked for M/S. Harrisson Crossfields, a British owned Cement Company but died, while he was at his prime and only 27 years old, then he was their Accountant and I realized he was using single entry book keeping, unlike the double entry book keeping in existence today. I saw the books owned by him and while scanning through could find it was single entry book keeping, but as I only had access to one or two of his books, the rest was in our “THARAVADU” named Mechakkatt near our present day Karaparamba and Karuvussery. One of my Grandfathers’ brothers named Achuthan was a teacher in Karuvusserry School which exists even today.

My father who studied Civil Engineering and Kerala, I am not sure had an Engineering College during the British period so; he had to do it in Present day Chennai, but then known as Madras presidency. Guindy Engineering College exists even today. My paternal Grandmother became a widow at the age of around 18 Yrs, but never got married again and in spite of her ill health, she managed to run the Tharavadu named Mechakkatt with the help of my fathers’ uncle Mr.Achuthan ,who as a teacher in the nearby school and the system of joint family made the place lively, and filled with children of all ages growing together ,the earnings from coconut plantations salaries of people employed in and around Calicut, [Kozhikode now] made the life ok, and the British Company unlike our Corporate culture, did pay widow pension to my grandma every first of the fresh month for years till my father finished Engineering and joined then Madras P.W.D as a junior Engineer, my grand mother to whom we all are indebted for engraving the virtues to be followed in life like Dharmam, Satyam, Neethi etc.[ As a daughter of an Adhikari, my grandmother can be classified with any sophisticated ladies of her era, and fittingly she studied in European Convent at Calicut along with British and scored more marks in English than her British class mates.

My Grandma’s father not only abdicated the power of Adhikari’s, but ventured out to ensure education for all, during the British period itself by becoming the pioneers who willingly joined the British Govt. and became District Educational Officer, who was the one responsible for bringing or opening educational institutions in Malabar area as it was known before Kerala State formation in the Fifties. But my Grandma proved as the bravest women and ensured her sons education and job with the help of the meager pension [widow] the British were providing and did tailoring at home for enhancing the income for the smooth running of our tharavadu named “MECHAKKATT”. But tragedy stuck again because my father married a laborer from the paddy fields of Palakkad , and by the time she overcame the shock of seeing her only son desert her for a poor girl, she not only forgave my father, but accepted my mother as any loving mother would, but the greatest loss was the accidental demise of my grandfathers’ brother , Late Shri.Achuthan Mechakkatt, who was the teacher I mentioned and was supporting my grandmother morally, in running the Tharavadu. After his demise, all the good souls in our Tharavadu left favoring nuclear families, those who stayed behind usurped all that was left of the palatial house and the land surrounding it which all belonged to Mechakkatt.

But my grandmother was not the least affected and taught us that, we all come empty handed to this world and ultimately will go empty handed, so not to be unduly sad or joyful, but the importance of keeping your poise, while facing good bad ugly in terms of people. Like wise she also reminded us every day that “VIDYA DHANAM SARVA DHANAL PRADHANAM” which means wealth, may come and go, but knowledge is everlasting and our pursuit must be for the knowledge, which is enough to take you through the journey called life with detachment for materialistic pursuits.

My grandmothers’ name was late. Mrs.Kunhi Madhavi amma, [People called her Kunhelema] she was my inspiration and strength every time I fall, which has been quite often, but the very thought of how my granny {Achamma as we called her] would have faced such a situation makes me leave all worries behind and gets back to fighting for existence, as the survival of the fittest is the norm. I salute her for her courage and imparting, whatever little that I have learned. She not only outlived my father, but took charge at our worst times, especially during my father’s demise and instead of crying she was a person with courage and inner strength, who performed with poise, proud ness and courage but most importantly gave us all the strength, during plenty of occasions when some even think of giving up life.


A tribute to the greatest human being I have known in life.

Memoirs of my childhood, by ‘Solitairebala’ Blogger in Google.

1 comment:

solitairebala said...

those who take it as a malice/insult to them is purely coincidental and the auther doesnot mean to cause hurt or is not in any way feeling for having lost our land ,which belonged to humanity anyway,we all are custodians for a brief time.Money lost also is nothing as it comes and goes uninvited and when least expected/likewise dissappears as well. no one can keep wealth for more than 2 to 3 generations 'the truth and fact of life' bala.