Nagamanathhu Tamburan

"People cannot undergo that temple road," my friend Krishnakumar vented his anger. I asked what exactly happened. "A new person has been appointed as temple priest". So what! I exclaimed. Krishnakumar took the newspaper from my front room . within the fourth page he showed news about Nagamana, an ancestral house of a noted Brahman landlord, very interesting news to archaeologists. Krishnakumar continued, news about this house appear within the newspaper often. Whenever such news appears, the newly appointed temple priest will call upon all who pass via the temple road and brag about his forefathers' greatness. People had become disgusted his bluffing. Krishnakumar was one such who got bored by Raman Namboodiri's interminable narration. Having made me understood of his account on Raman Namboodiri, Krishnakumar left for the nearside river on the thanks to my home.

After Krishnakumar leaving the scene, I developed an excellent desire to satisfy the newly appointed temple priest. From the start , I had been a lover of Brahmanism. Moreover, I just wanted to understand the veracity of the newspaper contents by personally interviewing him. Being an introvert, I couldn't muster enough courage to introduce myself and start alittle talk in order that I could dig out more. I expected Krishnakumar would help me during this regard but to guy proved to be too elusive for this cause.

After this incident, I met Krishnakumar frequently. Although he reported more on the priest's boastings that burst me into laughter, little he did to introduce him. As days passed, my focus turned to latest political upheavals which became hot news. One day, i used to be sitting on the roadside to read a left newspaper. At that point , my attention was drawn to a stranger short in stature beginning from a close-by kiosk. He was clad in dhoti sans shirt with lines of ashes on his forehead and sacred thread round his body. As I observed his movements, he approached me and introduced him, "I am Raman Namboodiri, the new temple priest." I couldn't hide my glee as I stumbled upon what i used to be checking out . Cleverly hiding sarcasm, I told, I had heard about him through my friends and newspapers reports. I complimented him, "you are the talk about village now." This impressed him to be in his good books.

My eagerness to concentrate to him developed good natured friendliness. In fact, few listened to him thanks to his self boasting. He started visiting my house and that we discussed on topics concerning casteism, religion et al. Whenever he visited my house, he would invite a grass mat which I duly provided. Whatever he talked, I listened with great interest. He told, "our forefathers had 5000 acres of land. This land was given by Lord Parasuram, one among the avatars of Vishnu". thanks to land reforms, they lost their lands. Poverty made his father to sell the mana (ancestral home of Brahmans) to government. Now they sleep in rented house. I sympathized with him when he narrated his pathetic story. Even the sitting MLA of the nearby town was their lessee. There was seething anger in his words against this democratic found out .

Although both folks liked one another , I noticed one thing. Most community people literally hated him especially the elite class Nairs for his lack of reference to their community. As I believed his words that it had been thanks to jealousy that the locals hated him, I wanted to clarify that with my childhood friend Krishnakumar. at some point I asked Krishnakumar about this. Krishnakumar revealed me, "Namboodiri may be a man of oddities with explicit character flaws". To my utter shock Krishnakumar told me the priest had the habit of eating beef from roadside eateries. He added that Namboodiri often involves temple without taking bath. "Although this was delivered to his attention several times, he showed only callous disregard", continued Krishnakumar. this is often a cardinal sin, I interrupted, "a Namboodiri should get on a high moral ground, he should neither consume beef, nor should he skip bath". I asked for proof for this. On those days, there have been no cell phones with cameras. Therefore taking snap of his mischief as proof wasn't possible. "You need to believe the hearsay, without fire smoke won't billow", quipped Krishnakumar as he rode away his bicycle.

As i used to be brooding over this matter, I felt myself on the horns of dilemma, the way to dislike and avoid my friend. On those days he wont to frequent my house for little talk. In my presence, he behaved sort of a gentleman. I consoled myself, "perhaps, of these were falsely fabricated stories, or time will prove who is right".

A month had passed after this. For days together, i started to miss my friend Raman Namboodiri. As usual, Krishnakumar was riding the bicycle to the river for his evening bath. I called aloud and brought his attention. He turned and rode straight to me. Without me asking, he said, "Raman Namboodiri has been transferred for misconduct." Wondered, I entreated Krishnakumar to reveal more. "While offering flowers to women, he put a billet doux in flowers within the hands of an honest looking girl who showed immediately the letter to her parents. In no time, the oldsters brought the interest the Dewaswom board." Therefore this transfer, narrated Krishnakumar.

As Krishnakumar hurried to the river, I cautioned myself, character flaws ruin career, Nagamanathu Tamburan's example may be a pointer to the present .

Avoid bores of all sorts. They waste your valuable time speaking about them.

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