As a second part of my ‘Yesterday once more’http://somatmika.blogspot.com/2012/03/only-yesterday-and-yesterday-once-more.html , I may have to pen certain of my experiences in connection with after Delhi days. The Delhi Secretariat has two blocks, the North Block which housed Home Ministry and South Block which housed Finance Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office. My first appointment happened to be at North Block in the Home Ministry. After my disillusioned arrival from the Capital, I became part and parcel of three things, viz., Navabharath Tutorials, Thiruvampadi Temple and Century Cricket Club.
Think back the days of Mahabharath Television Serial. Episode after episode it reverberated in the length and breadth of India. In our ‘Athreth’(the colloq for Akatheraym or the corridor) the entire Talichalam sat in front of the TV. I started frequenting again to the very Tarangini Club where we Talichalam youngsters sat at and played in my college days. The Club, where we played Carroms, Rummy or Bridge of Cards and quite often cricket at the adjacent ground, after a decade became almost deserted, for all except me got hoisted themselves at better positions( I had a middle scroot!). A rival club in the name of Yuva Tarang, started by further younger generation in the next room flourished. Now my love of cricket made me befriend anybody who wielded the willow. Although we had broken cricket materials, we had better grounds.
The Great Migration
One day, my self and neighbor, Krishnakumar saw some of the youngsters playing at the other part of Elambachi Angadi, close to the Kunhalinkeezhil Ara or Temple, and close to the School ground. We stood there a few while and watched the play and slowly and slowly one day we became part of that group. It came to pass that one day with whatever broken cricket materials we had at Tarangini club, of the northern side of the
Elambchi angadi, we made a migration to the opposite part, the southern part of Elambachi, i.e., the school ground part. In my school days the Elambachi Angadi was known as Elambachi Kovval, meaning vacant large area and the Kutcha Road was bordered by giant Banyan trees, almost looked like Boulevard. (Presently we see two grounds in the North and South Part of Elambachi, in the south the School Ground, and the North, Ground made by the Panchayat. The Kovval is no more and in its place large private and public building emerged).This migration became eventful as these cricket loving friends became members of three important things, the renovators of the dilapidated and neglected Tiruvambadi Temple, founders of Navabharat Tutorials and the Century Cricket club. Now the last mentioned two only lives in our memory.
Except for friendly matches at Kalikkadavu and at Korom in Kanayi, we could not go much further in the matter of cricket . The tragic death of nephew Satheesan made me a little averse to the club. Job, first temporarily at Ernakulam and then at NES Block ( the Block office that we know carries its original name as National Extension Scheme Block) made me fully aloof with the Club. Nevertheless, when I was in Block Office, we successfully conducted the first Palliath Kunhambu Nair Criket Tournament in the north ground and a rolling trophy was bestowed to the winner. True, it also had its days of turmoil when one day when we were playing in the School ground on a Sunday morning members of the nearby Red Star Football Club rushed to the ground and threw away our stumps saying that its spikes spoiled the ground.
The Pidiyari Movement
The temple was passing in its worst ever times, and the priest had to find other source of income at least to enlighten the temple lamp in the dawn and dusk. We had with our Cricket club, Tutorial Governing body and the Century Cricket Club successors of the original owners of the temple, the Tayakkattu Mana ( The Mana in its glorious days had Kathakaliyogam of its own) and we made a committee in which a Syndicate Bank employee from the Mana, Shri Madhavan Kutty, became the President and I, the Vice President . We kept small earthen pots in houses of devotees and collected the brimming Pidiyari ( fistful of rice) pot every month, sold it to the needy at 2 Rs. per kilo. In this way first we found the means to give salary to the priest. Then we collected donation for the Mike set etc, on the strength of a notice printed in English with a caption “Dharmo Rakhashati Rakshita” which was drafted at the St. Joseph’s Parellel College by a Macmillan returned old man Mathew sir, who used to be an English teacher there and who was an addict of liquor. Gradually the temple got into the wheel of development. Over an argument with the Treasurer Unnikrishnan of Kishekke Madom, I left the Temple Committee one day and true to say that this very public committee paved the way for all the public committees which brought developments in its train.
Nahi Gnanena Sadrusham, Pavithramiha Vidya te.
The Tutorial, started in a Bhargavi Nilayam ( a well made and old -style haunted and abandoned house close to the school ground , owned by a Tayakkattu mana member and who happened to be my school teacher. We first gave tuitions for all classes and started SSLC and Pre Degree failed batch classes and Parallel Pre Degree ( former Plus two) education at night time. An association was formed with byelaws and meetings at the open school ground. An attempt was made to get the association registered but found no result. An emblem was carved out and lines quoted as above from holy Bhagvad Geetha written in large letters on entrance of the class rooms became our slogan.
The house and its premises was very quite and calm and there was a plenty of trees including mango trees. It was an ideal place for an educational institution.
Quite often we made tea in the kitchen. Classes were conducted in the lights of Petro Max . When the tutorial grew, our demand for furniture became dearer. And we had to undertake an adventure of carrying broken branch of a giant Kuchimangalam mango tree through the river. The giant mango tree ( the costly alphonso mango) in our Taravadu had its branch broken down one day by wind and weight of the tender mangoes. It was rolled towards the river and we carried it through the river walking and swimming to a saw mill at Kavvai (about two kilometers away near the Payynur railway gate.) Some days after from the mill the wooden planks were taken to Elambachi by jeep. This venture did not give any fear to me, but the nauseating and hell like stench of the cattle bones soaked in the salty water in scores of sacks under the Road Bridge did give me the nightmarish feeling. At the Tutorial we made benches and desks with the help of carpenter friends who also were students of Pree Degree night batch. Within one year we had a branch at Kaikkottukadavu close to the High School there .
Soon, almost all teachers got Govt. employment in and around the District.I kept my connection with the Tutorials until I had to pack up to Calicut University. It had a coup by the new employees in my absence and the new teacher’s usurped power but slowly the tutorials had it is last breath. The haunted house changed hands and now in its place stands the Gokulam auditorium.
-- Sasidharan Kana