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4 LEAVE LETTER

Neyyatinkera is a small town in Kerala. The town may be small but it has made a mark as one of the most importent places in the state of kerala. The small town in the remote part of the state is bestowed with such an important position, because of SHIVA TEMPLE. The temple has inched its won legacy. It is the statue of lord shiva sitting in the meditative posture that has made Neyyatinkera shiva temple famous. People say that Neyyatinkera Shiva is more powerful than Shiva of Khashi and Mallikarjuna of Shrisailam. The people of the town even talk that those gods would come to Neyyatinkera for consultations on certain important issues concerning with the settlement of disputes between gods and goddesses, at such times Neyyatinkera Shiva‟s verdict would be final. Another point to be specifically mentioned is that the sixteen inches statue is molded in solid gold. The statue weighs about four KGs and added to that it is about eight hundred years old. The readers could estimate the market value of that golden statue. , The deighty is seated on silver seat; just by looking at the seat any body could know that the seat represents a tiger skin. The golden statue is fixed to the silver seat and in turn the whole statue firmly fixed to an erected plat form of stone in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

5 Of course a section of people are there who make a mockery of the belief of devotees. They put forth their arguments saying “Why Viswanath of kashi and Mallikarjuna of Srisailum should come all the way from their places .why count you give smart phones with lot of currency putting in to it so that they can keep chatting of all the trivial as well as important matters concerning disputes of gods and goddesses Most important aspect to be mentioned in this context is, so for no body could make an attempt to steal it, leave off stealing people say no one in their wildest dreams could dare to think of even to set their hands upon it. Of course there seems to be certain amount of truth in what they say. The temple is eight hundred years old; so far no theft has occurred. The temple authorities are so sure of the safety and security of the statue that they did not bother to appoint even a guard. For staunch supporters this has become a strong point of argument.

In course of time some significant incident happened. Richards as a thief. H e had successful record of ten years. It means he has been thief from the past ten years. He has made a mark in his circle as thrift and smart. Of course he was caught once or twice and served jail sentence for ome time, but compared to the intensity of the theft his sentence is small. Once or twice he has even broke open he locks of houses. He was fed up of small thefts and decided of making a big catch so that he can lead a uxurious life; his eyes fell upon Neyyatinkera Shiva., because he had heard that the security was not that much. e thought he could make a successful attempt. He decided to steal it. With this intention he came all the way om his place Thrisur, and stayed in Neyyatinkera. Before making an attempt he decided to know thoroughly bout the temple. With this intention he dressed as a staunch devotee of Shiva and began to visit morning and vening .Putting yellow vermiline SANDAL paste and red KUMKUM. Seeing his dress and attire any body ould think that he is a great devotee of god. Folding his hands half closing his eyes he started going round the mple prostrating again and again. By doing like this he was closely observing the temple premises. One day he ame very near to the sanctum Santorum standing at the door again and again he was tenderly slapping his own heeks every time repeating the name of Shiva. The priest has been closely observing him and pleased by his ehavior one day he began to tell---“Pray my boy pray heartily, the god would surely fulfill your wish. He is sitting here only to fulfill the ishes of his devotees.” “So swamiji you say he is really powerful...”Putting one more step forward keenly looking at the statue e asked. “I challenge no doubt about it.” He said. “Swamiji, what happens if anyone tries to steal it.” As soon as the word steal came from his mouth he ooked as if he heard a sound of a thunder bolt. “Steal!!!!???” he stood stunned. “No No I am not going to steal. Just like that I asked.” Shaking his head violently he said, more strongly apping his cheeks with his won hands. There a burst of laughter came from the priest‟--“Ha ...ha..Ha stealing the statue. Stealing the statue…ha..ha.ha,” Amidst laughter he began to tell the owers of the god. “Just lay your hand; you will know his powers...” Richards could understand challenge that was xpressed in his words. “I see, you mean that nobody could lay hand up on it.” When Richards asked the priest began to narrate. “Impossible. Of course attempts have been made. Once or twice. Do you know what happened to hem?” He began to tell looking in to the wide opened eyes of Richards. “With the evil intention in the dead of the night the they came and stood where you are standing now” As soon as he heard he stepped back by two steps and looked where he was standing. The priest ointing to the place where Richards was standing said.

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“Just at this place they died vomiting blood. Next day whole town saw them lying in the pool of blood.” he priest could see expression of fear in the face of Richards. Having inspired by his expression he further egan to tell. “Mark my boy in the eight hundreds of the history of the temple no body could dare to steal .How can ny body could dare when people are dying vomiting blood. Do you know the story behind the installation of mple?” Richards nodded showing his ignorance about the matter. “I will tell. About eight hundred years back Shiva shanker Nair was chief ton o f this place he was a very reat devotee of Shiva. One day lord appeared in his dream and told him – “You build a temple for me , people need not go all the way from here to Kashi or Kedar to have my arshan. If they visit this temple it as good as visiting Varanasi...” and he even told specially to make the main dol to be in gold. Then only Nair expressed of his doubt about the threat of theft. For that the lord said “Don‟t orry I can look after my self. Just do as I said without saying any thing. So as per his instructions the deity is nstalled like this.” Saying so the priest setting aside the garlands aside showed clearly how the statue is fixed to he stone platform See the statue has this much of height. It has this seat made of silver. Lord‟s statue is fixed to the silver eat this in turn is fixed firmly to the stone plate form.” This fulfilled Richard‟s wish to closely observe the statue After this he began to contemplate pros and cons of his objective He was frightened by the ords of priest. Especially vomiting of blood was trembling him. He decided to abandon his plan. It was his mpting mind that told him“You stupid you are a Christian a Hindu god cannot punish he can only punish Hindus not the people of ther casts. His jurisdiction is Hinduism. He count touché the followers of Jesus Christ. Your god is Christ he very nice not like shiva to make culprits to vomit bloods it you say -“FORGIVE OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE TRESSPTESSERS TRESPASSES” he will ay‟O.K.MY CHILD FROM NEXT TIME DON‟T REPEAT. So with out second thought carry on with your lan.” He was not able to resist his desire to steal it. Especially after seeing it so closely it stuck him that it was asy to remove the statue from the platform and from the close observation he understood it was not difficult to reak open the door. All he needs was only a strong crow bar of length twelve inches. When he thought of crow ar Nagar coil Madhavan Nair‟s hard ware shop came to his mind. He knew very well that Nair‟s hard ware hings were of very good quality, so on the very same day he set out to Nag

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Murugesh was a poor vegetable vender in Nagar Coil. He was about thirty five years old; he was sitting efore his hut. He was immersed in worried thoughts. Now and then scratching his head looking his hands he egan to think what to do? He had a daughter she was about ten years old and was studying in fifth standard. She roved her self to be bright and promising .Seeing her intelligence and good behavior the school was giving free ducation with out taking a single rupee. She was named suitably „SRI VIDYA‟. It was his ambition to make her district collector, it was not only his wish it was the wish of his wife. From the day of her birth both husband nd wife fostered to educate their daughter, in fact it was his wife who aspired to make her collector. nfortunately because of some complications she developed after delivery she died. On her death bed he romised her that he would make his daughter a district collector. Seeing her studiousness and intelligence the achers predicted that she would make some mark. He wanted to earn more money. He was sitting under a tree nd selling vegetables He thought if he could bye a pushing cart, he can sell more vegetables going from street o street. His friends advised him to approach banks for the loan. Thinking that he would surely get a loan he ent to the bank. The bank people told him to come „this day „ and „that day „ and after making him to come many times they refused to give him loan. Not only that bank he went to the other banks even from them also had e got the same reply. This completely crumbled his ambition. Tears rolled down from his cheeks. In side the ottage his daughter was pilling up all the old note books of previous year. She neatly tied them to a thread and ame out holding them. Murugesh could under stand where she was going --“Kuchu mole(means little baby) are you going to Nair shop?” for that she replied“Yes appa (father) kerosene is not there?” and went to the shop and sold the note books came with erosene can. It was by chance Richards came very next day and the type of crow bar which he wanted as there. He selected it. Nair tore a page from Sri Vidya‟s book and wrapped the bar in it and handed over to Richards. The page was from her composition book. It was again by chance the particular page contained „LEAVE LETTER‟ composition. It contained the particulars like name of Sri Vidya along with the required details of class, and name of the school with full address. It was written with dark pencil since the school was insisting the students up to fourth standard to write with pencil not with balled pen or ink pen. The very same day he went to Neyytinkera .It appeared even the lord Shiva was favoring Richards. here was a mango tree adjacent to the temple boundary wall. Its branches had spread in to the temple premises. limbing that tree he could very easily come in to the temple. As usual of his habit he particularly choose new moon day. The pitch darkness facilitated his entry. The other operation went on with least effort. He stood few ards away from main temple .Removed the leave letter paper that was wrapped, squeezed the paper like a ball nd threw it in to the well of the temple. What surprised him was, he thought he had to sweat a lot to break open he locks of the doors of the temple, but with one or two strong strokes the chains broke, he entered and stood efore meditative Shiva, there was a light of the oil lamp that was burning brightly. He closely observed the lord. hiva‟s eyes were half closed and there was a serene smile upon his tranquil face. Before striking with his crow ar he felt like folding his hands. He stood before him with folded hands slapped his own cheeks and lifted the row bar. For few seconds his hands trembled“THEY VOMITED BLOOD.‟ The priest‟s words reverberated in his years. Some how he began to feel uddenly some vomiting sensation. He took courage forgetting for a minute that he was Christian, uttered‟JAI HIVA SHOMBHO‟ and gave a strong blow with his crow bar. Just with one strong stroke the statue got eparated from its seat as if waiting to leave from its seat. Richards stood stunned the moment the idol came in to is hands. He held it very dearly to his chest, unable to believe that the challenging task was such a great success.

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he joy was so immense that he was not able to breathe properly and was galloping. He had brought a gunny bag e thrust the idol in to it, and then his eyes fell upon the silver seat. It was quite broad and had a thick ness of bout one inch. He tried to remove it and began to give blows. The seat which so easily gave away god seemed o be firmly adored to the stone plate form. He feared that the loud noise may awake people and leaving it he ame out while stepping out he again felt he may vomit, but when such a thing didn‟t happen he thought,” othing happens, what all was being spoken of the shiva is a big bundle, in fact shiva himself is bundle his owers are bogus. It is only a lifeless statue, that‟s all.” With this conclusion he came out of the sanctum anctorum, When he came near the well he looked at the crow bar in his hands, he felt its work was over and it was ot of any use. The thought of golden idol that was lying in his gunny bag was making him very proud. And the on bar which helped him to posses the golden Shiva became useless, so he glanced at and threw in to the well. nicely got stuck to the wall of the well, and laid there.

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Next day it was the chief priest who came early in the morning that came to now about the theft. The temples of kerala have their own architectural pattern. There will be open space around he sanctum sanctorum; the space will not have any roof. It would be just left uncovered, so the main entrance ould be few yards away from the main deity‟s place. The chief priest came in to the temple opening the lock of he main door, it was intact. The readers are aware how Richards found his way in to the temple. From the distance the priest saw the wide opened doors of temple he began to tremble ith fear and began to sweat profusely when he saw the platform with out god he could not take courage to enter nto Santorum. Next the things moved very fast with in half an hour there were police people in the premises the heft spread like wild fire. Superintend of police Mr. Gokuldas began investigation operations. The first step he ook was to close the temple doors and the public was not allowed, and he began to search for the clues. Mean hile the news in no time spread through out town like wild fire the whole town gathered around the temple. It as in deed a great day for those who used to make fun of the devotees, they began to say“See what your god was doing when was being stolen?” “Yar…he must have got fed up of meditation. Needed a change.” “No he must be fast asleep after having prasadams.” “Must have gone for tour with his wives and children” Poor devotees had to bear their funny remarks and criticisms. Finally with one voice said,” This is aliyuga the sins are mounting, so god has gone to his abode Mt. Kailash.” They were really disappointed seeing his. Mean while other development took place in side the temple. police man after going round the temple came and stood near the well. Just causally looked in to the well. mmediately his attention drew the paper ball. “Sir.” He shouted. All the police personal came running to the well. In few minutes the composition paper and the crow bar were in D.S.P. Gokul das‟s hands. Mean time Richards crossed a brook and went in to the adjacent forest. There was a pit, he put the gunny ag containing idol in to it and covered with mud and leaves made some markings and went in to a village that as about three kilometers. By that time the people of the village were talking“See it seems Shiva got fed up with and went away” One said he went to Shrisailam the other said he went to Kedar, others laughed at the ignorance and innocence nd said – You stupid you know a smart thief has stolen it. By this time it must have reached Bombay and would on it‟s ay in to a smugglers den.” appeared it was suggested to Richards who was thinking what to do next. His criminal mind began to make uture plans. 4

Mr.Gokul Das is sitting before the head mistress of the school. He had come with the ntention to know Vidya‟s address. The head mistress knew who he was and told himSir, she is one of the best students of our school. They are living in a hut.” Saying so she gave in detail about he place where she was living. She became curious to know why he came all the way for the girl. When she sked he saidFrom the department we are planning to honor some poor and eligible students.” And told her even before she sked how he got the composition paper I purchased some camphor in a shop, he wrapped in this paper and gave me, as soon as I saw the hand writing I elt that she must be good at studies, so I came to your school. The principle was very much pleased and said –

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Oh, it is very kind of you sir. She really deserves the honors.” He thanked her and headed towards Vidya‟s ouse. His investigation gained momentum. Purposely he went in civilian dress to Vidya‟s house. When he ent there she was doing some class work. She came out seeing a gentle man standing at the door. He told her hat he was from the police department and told what he had told the head mistress. The girl‟s face shined rightly, and when he showed the composition paper she took him to the shop where she had sold her note books. The very next day the officer went to his shop with all the photographs of culprits, and asked him had ny one of them had come. The shop keeper immediately recognized Richards, and told when he came what he ook. When Gokul Das showed the crow bar he said that it was the one he sold to Richards. Immediately orders were passed to the all the police departments of the country to trace for the culprit. he department people began their search especially at the bus stands, rail way stations and air ports. With in hree days their search yielded results. y that time Richards contacted one of his friends and told about the theft and also told him about his plan to sell to smuggler. His friend who in turn contacted others had made arrangements for the sale of the idol. The price as fixed to be more than a chore. Richards bought a big leather hand bang wrapped the idol with his clothes and oarded a bus. He was on his way to Calicut; because it was there the sale was arranged. When he was sitting a erson came and politely asked him to get down from the bus. Naturally when he refused the police who was in vilian dress said that his friend Macha was waiting for him. Macha was like his guru from whom he got the aining in the art of theft. Immediately he got down with the bag. As soon as he got down Gokul Das with his orce surrounded him.

5 The day was a great day for the people of Neyytinkere. The idol was again reinstalled in it‟s place ith great pomp and show. It was the turn of the devotees; to attack the people who had made fun of their god. When the idol was stolen the devotees felt being let down. Now they fully made use of this opportunity, and arted attacking those that laughed at them to their hearts content. The said-Wasteful souls of ignorant and innocent at least under stand the mysteries and miracles of lord.” They uttered in ne voice. The people who had made fun of them scratched their heads and bit their finger nails. More than all it as upon Richards the incident had its maximum effect. With out telling any thing he surrendered himself, he lently bore their beatings and scolding like a dumb man. In fact the incident seemed to have taken away his oice. He had some jail mates and friends they too were criminals, even they too did not approve his act. They howered all kinds of abuses up on him. Bowing his head down bore them all silently. On the day of Judgment he court room was full. This became sensational news and the channels fully made use of this opportunity. They lecasted them every incident recreating all the events that had happened. This made Vidya, Murugesh.even the chool and the teachers popular. Murugesh‟s life ambition to make his daughter collector spread through out the ountry along with this the managers who refused to give loans were strongly criticized and questioned by both he journalists, channel reporters and their higher ups. All the banks immediately sanctioned loans and went to is house by that time many people and various organizations had come forward, help was pouring from many orners. They even said that they would take full expenses of her education, but Murugesh expressed his strong ish to educate her selling vegetables he said he wanted the pushing cart. Even though many came forward to rovide him with a cart it was the temple authorities that donated him a nice cart. He was happily going round the reets of the town selling vegetables. He had a good propaganda people are eagerly buying his vegetables. It eeds no special reference that he has a roaring business. Finally the judgment was pronounced and he was given a some years of rigorous imprisonment. The udge asked him whether he has any thing to say he nodded and said that he wished to visit the temple once

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efore serving the jail sentence. Here and there were protests saying that he must not be allowed in to the temple. he rumors even spread that he has some links with the smuggler and terrorist groups that have planned to blast he temple. The judge granted him permission. With tight security that too early in the morning when no visitor was there he was brought to the mple. He came and stood before the god. The priest that had seen him was there. He readily recognized im. Richards kneeled down before the lord. Held his hands at his chest and suddenly as if there was a cloud urst tears started pouring out of his closed eyes. He is sobbing with gallops like a child that had lost its way and gain found it‟s way. The eyes of the police and the priest became wet. Richards sat, his eyes were closed, and the ars were gushing out like waters of flooded river. In his heart there was only one prayer echoing again and gain. LORD ENOUGH OF THE PAST WORTH LESS LIFE. GIVE ME NEW LIFE. GIVE ME NEW LIFE” Wiping the tears priest went near the statue and began to offer APATHY chanting Vedic hymns. The police rang he bells. The birds gathered in large groups in the branches of the trees in the temple premises were chirping as telling our god has listened your prayers. Surely your wish would be fulfilled. --------------------------------------------------------

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