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January, 2010

Our First Issue!

A Keralaiyers e-magazine for the changing times

Virtual Agraharams
Power of internet samoohams & what
could being a “PATTAR” mean in future

Real Pattar Stories

A peek into the inspiring lives of Pattars of
the yore, some celebrated, many unsung

Also in this issue:

Bhagvad Gita for In the Spotlight: From the Adukulai:

Modern Times Anitha Krishna Chakkara Pongal
Visit us online :

V O L U M E 1 ,
I S S U E 1 1 4 T H J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 0

The general consensus is that the This is a voluntary community
HRIDYA RAMANI We are all so aware of the
pattars yahoo group and the initiative and we would certainly
Keralaiyer communities which
A regular at Orkut Palakkad Orkut groups operate in welcome more people in this
exist on Orkut, notable being the
Iyers community before, I isolation with the former mainly endeavour. So folks, start
Palakkad Iyers Orkut group and
finished my studies in Bio- consisting of the older generation contributing, because the reach of
chemistry in Chennai in Kerala Iyers Orkut Samooham.
while the latter ones have young this e-zine will not be just limited
2006, worked in Bangalore Then, there are others propping
blood. Shouldn’t we be looking at to people using social networking
for a while, followed by a up on Facebook too. While these
ways to engage both? As such, sites, but significant others from
stint at Dutch Publishing have turned out to be excellent
Co (Elsevier) in Chennai. I the internet space itself is our community and we would
in terms of one-on-one sharing
currently reside in East transforming so swiftly that one really like to engage the whole
of ideas and knowledge between
Malaysia post my marriage needs to keep abreast with the internet space dynamically.
individuals, particularly young
in July 2009. latest happenings and be able to
ones, nothing definitive has come
put the web to good community
out of these discussions for the Ideas and suggestions are
community as a whole and lets welcome. Post your articles,
face it, it has been more about thoughts, cultural knowledge,
fooling around (timepass, if you In view of this, and with a humour or pretty much any thing
would like to call that). Many wholesome goal of achieving which you believe will be
could be aware of other an integrated virtual pattars beneficial to the community. We
communities that exist outside of community which not just merely are not specifically looking for
Orkut/Facebook space. One of interacts, but also contributes contributions that show your
the most prominent of those are actively to benefit the literary prowess, but rather your
the Pattars/ Keralaiyers Yahoo community, we realized the depth of ideas and how we can
group who have existed since potential of this dialogue bring about a positivity to the
I have been intermittently 2001, even prior to advent of between Keralaiyers / Yahoo whole process. Email to:
active in Orkut Palakkad social networking sites. In fact, pattars group and Orkut
Iyers community and a they have achieved much more communities and decided to start
member of pattars yahoo that social networks in terms of Greetings for Pongal and Happy
a monthly Keralaiyers e-magazine
group. I finished my BTech voluntary community ventures, New Year.
called Tarangini, primarily
in Civil Engineering in
main ones being the Kerala Iyers bridging this gap between the With warm Regards .
2007, my MS in Structural
Engineering in 2008 and
Trust (KIT) and the Kalyanam two online communiti es, -Hridya
worked in Los Angeles as a Portal. between old and the young, the
Structural Engineer until traditional and so-called modern.
recently. I currently live in
Pasadena, California.

Inside this issue...

Editorial 1

This is Exciting!! 3

Relevance of Bhagavat Gita in the Modern Era 4

In the Spotlight: Interview with singer Anitha Krishna 6

Virtual Agraharams 9

Rantings of a “Fraud Mallu” 11

Humour 13

Real Pattar Stories: Introduction to Kakka Raman 14

From the Adukulai 16

Peep into next issue 17



I am very happy to know organization, based in the young when we started

about this initiative to bridge US, supporting Education back in 2001) during the
the gap between the older activities in India. This gave initial days. To be honest,
and younger generations - me the inspiration to give this has come down over
thus bringing in the young back to our community also the years and I have been
blood into the activities of - and I found resonance struggling to get more and Pattars to this idea with Krishna- young blood into these. My
RAMAPRASAD moorthy in Japan and Mr. personal objective is to get
SUBRAMANIAM related groups - most
importantly, Kerala Iyers P. R. Ramachander, in more young people
FOUNDING MEMBER: Trust. Bangalore. PRR mama involved in KIT activities - helped me get in touch this is an area where young
OWNER: with Dr.Kasi as well. So, we crowd can do wonders!!! Let me introduce myself to
those who may be unaware all had similar thought We should all think of
I’m currently based in of Pattars group & keralai- process and thus, Kerala giving back to the society -
L o n d o n , w o r k in g w i t h To give you a Iyers Trust (KIT) was if this becomes a "habit"
BearingPoint, a Management formed towards mid - 2002. from young age, it would
Consultancy. I finished my broad overview and a bit of
history, Pattars group was KIT aims to catalyze socio- lead to a wonderful society.
BTech from REC Calicut in
1994, worked in Hyderabad & started in February 2001. economic change in India Let me re-iterate, KIT is at
Madras, and then moved to The predecessor was a by providing assistance in present not supporting any
the US towards end of that
Yahoo club called Kerala the spheres of education, religious needs like temple
decade. For the past 10 health and welfare of renovation, poojas, etc.
years, I have been working on Iyers and I started the
Pattars yahoogroups as it underprivileged section of It is purely for humane
Business Transformation
work at various countries delivered mail right into the our society. We still are needs of Medical support,
namely US, Japan, Germany, inbox. It certainly was "new" looking for more volunteers Education, Marriage, etc.
Italy & UK. I am married and
at that time. I was in Japan who are willing to be the
have a 2 year old daughter. representatives of Kerala
at that time and through I am fully supportive of
the same group, I got in Iyers Trust in their local your ideas to marry the
touch with Krishnamoorthy, areas. interests of the two groups
another young chap from and we should do anything
Trichur, who was also During the course of the to close the chasms. The
working in Japan at that years, we also formed idea of a single monthly
time. He was a tech Guru USAPattars, GULFPattars, e-magazine sent to all the
and offered to start a Kalyanam and UKPattars groups is wonderful. I
website and groups... which are for appreciate your initiative.
was formed by September specific objectives, with The format and contents
2001 as an Onam Gift. Pattars group as the seem good - just would like
overarching umbrella to remind you that it is a
At the same time, I was organization. I had support tall order to put together all
involved a bit with ASHA for & involvement from young this - kudos to you!
Education - a student driven pattars (well, I was also

Relevance of Bhagavat Gita in the Modern Era
- K V Ananthanarayan

Bhagavat Gita is a text fighter of all time

of eternal value even if even though his role
its authorship by the is limited to a chariot-
Jagat Guru Sri Krishna is eer wielding the whip
not considered even for handle, is now willy
a moment. nilly forced to set
everything right. For
The greatest warrior *: Arjuna was the only
this he has to muster
of the generation, on person in either army
all his multifarious
whose individual who could use both
capabilities, that of a
prowess hinged the Brahmaastra ( the
friend, psychologist,
entire fate of the weapon empowered by
Arjuna with his adept in scriptures,
honour of Pandavas Brahma and Gayatri )
Sarathi, Krishna adept in lifestyle
and also the burden and Paasupathaasthra
studies (yogas) and
of redeeming the self (the potent weapon
ultimately revelation
respect of the tragic having the power of
of the divine fountain-
victim of all sorts of Shiva). In addition, Lord
head. How Krishna
humiliations that Vishnu was a part of
“How LORD KRISHNA managed this and
could be heaped on a himself - this represent-
how he transforms
female, Draupadi, the ed the Thrimoorthis. If
achieved this, is a matter Arjuna and persuades
incomparable Arjuna Arjuna was not partici-
and prompts him
of relevance not only to develops a sort of pating in the battle, and
to declare repeatedly
psychological and Krishna having already
the storyline of the epic “my mental indeci-
physical burnout at promised not to wield
siveness and physical
the vital moment any weapons, the
Mahabharata, but also debilities have van-
when he is required to Pandavas could have
ished, my intellect is
to the healthy existence perform. And where faced real annihilation
rejuvenated, and I am
failure of this one opposing Bhishma
of the human race in all standing before you
person would herald pitamaha, Dronaacharya,
eagerly awaiting your
annihilation* of his Karna, Aswaththama and
its sanity till this day and orders which I am
own brothers, wife other similar opponents.
bound to execute”.
for the days to come.” and kinsmen and the
eternal fame he had
accumulated over a How LORD KRISHNA
lifetime. He is achieved this, is a
suddenly on the verge matter of relevance
of collapse, shorn not only to the
of all bravado and storyline of the epic
dropping his di- Mahabharata, but also
Familiar to the healthy exist-
vine bow and per-
image of
spiring profusely, ence of the human
he just collapses race in all its sanity
discourse on the floor of his till this day and for
to Arjuna chariot like a the days to come.
lame duck cut on
its throat by a This is the relevance
butcher. His alter of Gita to the modern
ego, Krishna, the man.
most valorous



There are many quintes- weapons. If he is in soft nor too punishing.

sential statements made full swing, what will
by the Lord, Arjuna and happen ? All enemies will I am not quoting any
others which stand out be annihilated and all managerial jargons here,
and indicate the real their terrestrial wealth but I believe that people
import of the philosophy will be confiscated. Raw understand management
of Gita. power in action.. if jargons are avoided. If
the Lord had willed that
Let us see this verse But the presence of Gita should be full of
uttered by Sanjaya:- Geethacharya, Krishna, clichés and jargons, he
the indiscriminate appli- would have definitely
Yatra yogeswarah cation of power is done the needful.
krishnah yatra paartho impossible. The billion to
dhanurdharah the power of billion meg- Possession power with
atons of energy available the wisdom to exercise it
Tatra sreer vijayo boothi in the tip of Aruba’s only when it is inevitable
dhruvaaneethir weapon can be triggered is one of the greatest
mahtirmamama into action only with the principles of human life,
implicit agreement of life management or
Yogeswara(Krishna). The whatever it is called.
Where Yogeswara that is
meaning of the word
Krishna and Arjuna
yoga is too wide to be One has to record with
wielding the ganadheeva
described in a few regret that such a
are present, there will
words. It will be magnificent duo like
not be any paucity
elucidated in due course Krishna and Arjuna were
for virtuous plentitude,
in issues to come. But never again born. Krishna
victory self - satisfaction
the usual simple meaning said “Sambavaami Yugey
and righteousness.
of yoga can be taken as Yugey” but he should
the process of judicious come every time with his
One can see the raw mixture. The Yogeswara friend Arjuna, the dyna-
power in the allegory Krishna brings in such mite.
of Arjuna wielding admixture, neither too

In the Spotlight: Anitha Krishna

Tarangini interviews popular US based singer Anitha Krishna on everything
about her life and pattar roots in general and music in particular.

Tell us a little bit about your win almost all of them. enough to realize that first
family and background prize is not the ultimate! Being
My school principal, Sr. Fatima from Brahmin family, parents
I grew up in Ernakulam. Re- (she is no more. She was a didn’t want me to go into film
garding my ancestral house, strict lady. All the students of playback singing; even though
my father is from Trichur. He is St. Teresa's were very scared lot of famous professional
a retired Civil Engineer He of her). One day she asked my troupes invited me from the
used to work for Cochin Ship- mom to visit her. I was a little age of 12/13. My parents
yard Ltd. My mother is from scared (laughs). But then I weren’t keen. My Master also
Ernakulam-granddaughter of then came to know that she used to feel that light music
Anitha Krishna, Singer Income Tax Officer Late Sri wanted me to get proper train- was easy and it was a more
P.Srinivasa Iyer. I am the only ing for classical music under a serious business learning clas-
daughter. I did my schooling in good guru. I still remember her sical music in a disciplined
St. Teresa's, Ernakulam. I am exact words ... “ You being way and it was long lasting!
married to my Athai's son – Brahmins must learn Carnatic But I still used to participate in
Krishna. We have been living music” . My Mom's chiththi light music competitions.
in the US for over two decades was a good singer. So I took
now and I have a daughter the basic lessons from her. I was a member of Trichur All
“This is a fairly named Sruthi. Believe me, I used to hate sa ri India Radio junior chorus
ga ma, but when I reached group. I used to have fun since
commercial field, but I How was it like growing up geethams, I stared enjoying. I could spend with my grand
as a child in such a family Then, my mom's chithi was Ma too at Trichur. I used to get
have been fortunate to environment? Were you al- moving to Singapore. So my paid T.A., D.A and I got
ways interested in music? mom started looking out for checks after every recording
learn the mantra of good gurus. Luckily, We got for choir plus there was inter-
I used to sing film songs from introduced to a guru Sri. action with all big star teachers
seeing music in light of the age of five or six. When I Oachira Balakrishnan, Profes- of AIR Trichur station. It was
was in 5th std, my music sor of Swathi Thirunal Music good. I felt so proud when my
divinity and not teacher, Ms. Usha Ambika College, Trivandrum. interview came in the BAALA
sent me for an Inter school Vibhaagam. They inrterviewd
commercial interests.” competition. The occasion was I restarted my lessons and so me and gave me a 10 minute
Nehruji's Birthday called... did my regular competitions/ slot to sing a krithi. I studied in
Shishu Dhin. She taught me a studies/. This was my school St. Teresa’s college. In col-
light music and I won the prize. life, almost from 5th to 10th std. lege, I never really liked doing
My Journey started there. My I used to go for school youth B.Com. The subjects were
Mom used to take me for each festivals every year, either light boring and I did it for the sake
and every competition in and or classical. So you can say I of degree. Focus was going for
around Kochi. I used to listen grew up in competitions! I had competitions and winning the
to the radio and pick up film got spoilt, every time winning first prize. I won the Mahathma
songs it was more like listen- first. So much so that once if I Gandhi University Youth Festi-
ing and learning. I even sang get a second prize, I used to val classical music Hatrick.. 3
film songs for competitions get frustrated and would start times first place in a row.
and by God's grace, I used to crying. I wasn’t matured


Who do you think has been from Kochi and apparently he

your pillar of support in your knew me. He had seen me in I have sung with Unnikrish-
journey so far? And how did Kochi performing in competi- nan, Krish, K.J. Yesudas,
your concerts come to hap- tions. He was also a singer, P.Susheela ji, M.G. Sreeku-
pen in the US? but I didn’t remember him. mar, Sharadha ji ( from Hindi
When we met for a party, he industry). I enjoyed with
My Mother was the main sup- enquired about me and subse- M.G. Sreekumar the most. I
port. If she hadn’t pushed me, quently, introduced me to a had accompanied him to
probably I would have got lazy. couple of Malayalee musi- Europe. Switzerland, Germa-
It was her adamancy and you cians. I started my journey to ny. I was super excited when
can say that gave me a good light music again. he invited me personally to
backbone. No stage fear and U.K.. in 2003. I got good
lot of stage experiences. After It so happened that for one of stage experience in his pro-
my marriage, I moved with the concerts of Sri K.J. Yesu- grams. We are very good
Krishna to Vishakhapatnam. das , the accompanying singer friends.
He used to work IN C.M.C. I didn’t get visa and I got an
continued my kacheris there opportunity to accompany him. You have achieved all of
too, not leaving the touch. I I got a deal of publicity. By this, while being in the US.
then had my baby girl Sruthi. God's grace, I am able to ac- Do you think this would
When she was 2, we moved to company most of the leading have been possible had you
USA. It was difficult adjusting playback singers in their US remained in India? Would it
to the new place, learning driv- tours. By the way, I just came have been better or worse?
ing, and taking care of her. back from a concert with Sri. With legends
Krishna used to work late M.G.Sreekumar. When there Good question. Being in the
hours etc etc. Initial establish- is usually no politics involved, US, we are financially in a M.G Sreekumar
ment hiccups. I still continued. everything works out well. This better position here. So, to say and K.J Yesudas
Somebody heard me sing in is a now a fairly commercial it in one word, yes. If I had
Atlanta temple and recom- field, but I have been fortunate been in India, in some sense it
mended my name to a famous to learn the mantra of seeing would have been more diffi-
dance teacher in Houston. She music in light of divinity and cult. For one, there are too
invited me to sing for an not commercial interests. I many people and we have to
arangetram of her student. I have had my share of hurdles, be financially very strong to
took the offer, in spite of not which I have crossed through break through. But also true is
having the experience to sing the help of my husband Krish- the fact that in India there are
for dance and my baby just 2 na and some good friends. definitely more opportunities.
yrs. To keep in touch with mu- Experiences over the last 10 US on the other hand has its
sic, I accepted, went to her years have taught me to be own set of challenges. Being
house in Houston, stayed mentally strong and have self- here, it is not that easy and
there for 2 weeks for rehears- esteem. Krishna's support and you have to go and beg
als with Sruthi on my lap. I push is the main thing. He is around. I wasn’t all that com-
didn’t enjoy at all honestly, my manager. He is great lover fortable doing that. My own
because while singing for of music and after marriage; cousin is a popular film star
dance, we have no freedom. he even learned to identify in Tamil (Ajith). He is BIG
We have to sing for the stu- ragas (laughs). now. But I had never asked
dents comfort. But somehow him. I feel proud of whatever
did it. In 1994 we moved to Can you please mention the I have achieved so far be-
New Jersey after Krishna’s job singers you have accompa- cause I wanted to achieve
change to Merrill Lynch. It was nied till now, and with whom something on my own.
big coincidence. One of my did you feel most excited
husband's team mates was working about?


2nd time when he got a chance from the album Kumara

and so the link worked. I got sharanm in karaharapriyia
an offer the same time while I ragam (http://
was recording for the 2nd mov-
ie ( v=JSEfkk_kp4w).
watch?v=G76DpcPp_oc). Name
of the second movie was There have been so many
Nesthama. The 3rd one was greats amongst Keralaiyers One thing I in the field of music. Our
have to mention is, my Telugu community has given Chem-
speaking became better. I bai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar,
You have had some success worked hard to get the pronun- Palakkad Mani Iyer and oth-
Accompanying with your individual ven- ciation right, plus I can proudly er stalwarts of Carnatic mu-
singer Unnikrishnan tures and stint as a playback say I can read / write Telugu. I sic. Amongst the contempo-
singer, especially in the Tel- took it as challenge!! raries in light music and
ugu movie industry. playback singing, we have
Can we expect some more Hariharan, Shankar Mahade-
I have to thank the Telugu of Anitha Krishna as a play- van, Usha Uthup, Anuradha
community here. Telugu peo- back singer in years to Sriram and a young crop of
ple have encouraged me more come? Do you have any fu- singers like Naresh Iyer,
than other languages and I ture projects on cards? Mahalakshmi Iyer and many
regularly do concerts for that There have been some inde- more. What do you attribute
community here. I got my pendent albums from you. to this unusually high rate of
break in playback singing in a success for so many individ-
Telugu movie offered by a I tend to face life as it comes. uals in this field?
Telugu NRI director here. He If I get invitation from any of
used to attend my programs my film circle friends in Hyder- Yes. Basically Pattars have a
here and he had promised me abad, I will take it up, other- family back ground in music,
that he would give me a wise, I am happy doing live especially Carnatic music, plus
chance in his next movie. I programs here in the US. Re- they pour a lot of hard work.
never believed it because so garding my personal ventures, Also, I tend to think many are
many people come up with I did 2 tamil devotional albums: very smart and use opportuni-
such promises. His name is one samarpanam, second one ties to their benefit. Once they
Shanthikumar Chilmula.. He is only Murugan songs on vari- get out of Kerala, they become
software Engineer. He does ous murugan temples of USA. even smarter and they get
films as his passion for cine- I also did a Telugu album on more exposure (laughs). I
ma. Very few people keep up Shirdi Sai. I tend to find that think it has also got to do with
their promise and to my sur- Bhakthi albums have more life our religious background too.
prise, after about 3 or 4 years, than cinematic ones. I feel You know, music / religion/
I got a call from him. I went to proud when I hear it in Tem- vedas/ ragas are closely con-
Hyderabad and became the ples here. nected and historically, our
part of his project (movie ancestors have been priests/
name: Indian Beauty). I got a What is your favorite song scholars. Also, womenfolk
nice song to sing about of all times that you keep have been historically pushed
Sankranthi written by National mumbling the most? to learn classical muisc/ bhara-
Award winning writer/ poet Sri. thanatyam/ veena/ violin etc.
C. Narayana Reddy. (http:// It’s a difficult question. I like So may be, it is in our blood. kaatril enthan geethamm from
v=QZE5EicTQ24) Johny movie, (http:// Anitha Krishna maintains
That makes me very happy her own website
because every Sankranthi v=ZPrZ8a5-Gbo) meghame me- (
(PONGAL), kids dance for that ghame from palaivana cholai. I and blog
song in local associations. like Latajis' Yun hasrathon ke (
daag. From my songs, I like m).
The music director invited me jannayagathil oru rajangam

Virtual Agraharams
- Navneet T Narayan

Mami 1: Chamayal Aaya- numerous other activities portant and relevant? Is it

cha? that happen in an agra- something that youngsters
haram set up. Veda path- need to know? How im-
Mami 2: Oo, naaleki madh-
shalas could be easily set portant is Sandhyavan-
up online by enterprising danam and study of vedas
chamachachu, microwave
individuals, teaching a to a decent level? For a
oven le pootu heat panni
whole set of young pattars moment, let's just forget all
scattered all over the of this and think of only
Mami 1: Ennalaam un- world, through popular two aspects that a pattar
dakinai ? sites like you tube and oth- carries up his/her sleeve -
Our Agraharam ers. Mamas now can play a unique food and unique
Mami 2: Perisha onnum
game of chess online. La- language, things that defi-
pannalai. Innethekki Avial,
dies could video blog and nitely characterize a Pattar.
sambar and rice. Naaleki
discuss their recipes. The Can you call yourself a
madhyanathukku Pasta,
possibilities are immense Pattar if you don't know
namma style, with sambar
and one only needs to think what is unique about your
what cannot be achieved food and language? Sample
Mami 1: Namma style Pasta with the use of world wide these responses: "My Mom
wa? adhu eppdi pannuva? web. But have things come makes some things, she
cholli tha.. to such a pass that we may puts coconut oil I guess, is
eventually have to think of that what you are talking
such alternatives to stay about?". "What's the point
. connected as a communi- in speaking a language
“Mamas now can play a
ty? Hell, why is it even nec- which is neither Tamil nor
Mami1: Onakku oru
game of chess online. visheyam theriyumo? Mami
essary to even stay togeth- Mallu? I am comfortable
er as a community? We talking with my family and
Ladies could video blog 3 Palakkad sothhu ellam
have always been the odd friends in Hindi and English
vithu US pogaraalaam,
case, neither fitting in and I can communicate
and discuss their settle aaga.
amongst Mallus nor Tamils. what I want to do in life.
recipes.” Mami 2: Oh, appdiya? Enge Add to that, with further They don't have any prob-
aakum veedu ? Enna velai emmigration from Kerala lem, then why do you?"
chollara? Naangal ange oru since 1970s to Mumbai, The problem is in the fact
sthalam vangana ninachnde Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai that this trend is growing
irukkom… and other parts of India, alarmingly, and often, even
people always found it best the parents are clueless
And so the conversation
to tweak their mindset with and less conscious of these
between the mamis contin-
the new local realities ra- changes. But ultimately, it's
ues, talking about life in
ther than maintain their sum total of all these
general and other people in
odd exclusivity. Thus, in the changes which will cause a
particular (read gossips).
current generation, we now generational shift in the
While this could be easily
encounter pattars who at community. At this mo-
mistaken as a chit chat ses-
home speak only Hinglish ment, there is an obvious
sion between mamis in an
and added local varieties. gap between the way of life
agrahaaram thinnai, the
There are folks who have of folks living in Kerala and
scope of such a conversa-
no idea of what a gothram those living outside of it.
tion happening online on
is, what is a nakshatram or Many living outside don't
chat or skype is quite possi-
their Kavu. But wait, is all even realize that there are
ble. Similar is the case with
this information even im- poor and less




fortunate brahamanas of elsewhere but ours. It is world wide web? A perfect

their kind still living in the this diversity that we need place for meeting of minds-
Pattar agraharams of Kera- to utilize and forge as a the traditional and modern,
la. Somehow, the idea of single unit, ultimately work- old and young, less fortu-
Pattars as a well - to - do ing towards the betterment nate and well to do. Would-
community has been im- of each and everyone of us n't that then be a Virtual
printed and established in the community. It's pay Agraharam?
(which in part is true) to back time, and our efforts
such an extent that the should be in unison and
very idea of someone strug- mutually beneficial. It
The thinnai…. gling to meet their ends should be about discover-
meet seems like a joke. ing of roots and acquiring
Many agraharams still exist more of traditional
which are in need of money knowledge for those who
as a community in terms of know they are out of touch.
improvement of infrastruc- It should be about offering
ture, basic amenities and of intellectual capital for
renovations. They live in a the benefit of others. It
world totally different from should be about giving back
that of an urban bred, to the less fortunate ones
weekend movie going, of our community. It should
Linkin park listening pattar be about how we can in-
up in Delhi or Mumbai who crease interaction within
has no idea that such an the community for our
alternate reality exists for betterment in various
someone of their own else- spheres of excellence as
where. Such a glaring mis- individuals. Perhaps that's
match in a community in what is going to keep our
terms of the conditions that community intact in future.
people live in, in terms of Given the vast distances
the languages they speak that we are separated by,
and adapt, and the mindset what best can help us in
in totality cannot be found these endeavours than the


Ranting of a “Fraud Mallu”

Being a Palakkad Iyer outside of Palakkad! - Hridya Ramani

Yeah, you might with me. Well, at people had seen the
think it's a funny that time many of movie they had an
statement to make my classmates never idea as to what ac-
and there is no big even knew a clan of cent and what the
deal about it, I found people called PIs or character actually
it difficult :( KIs ever existed. was!!

To tell you all the I never really looked As I grew older, we

truth, I truly never like a tamilian when started visiting our
realized the fact that I was small and did village more often,
Chuda Chuda Filter I am a palakkad iyer not speak the collo- the car festival, the
Kaapiyee (PI henceforth) until quial Tamil language importance of the
I reached probably too well; English was way the villages in-
class 10. Until that the main language of side Perinkulam were
time, I was blissfully communication. So named e.g.: Kariot
living and studying in people would be con- g r a a m a m ,
Chennai, totally una- fused and would as P a d i n y a a r u
“Why have I named this ware of my back- me - which is your graamam, thekke
as ranting of a “fraud ground. native, I knew it graamam etc. the
enough to say I am a temples there, how
mallu”.. I am confused
Not that my parents kerlite. So immedi- my dad spent his
or am I at the fact—am were too liberal and ately people would childhood in the vil-
did not inculcate any tell, " oh so you are lage, our ancestral
I a Mallu or am I a
discipline of being a a mallu" Naaah, I am house, the kollai, the
tamilian, I neither Brahmin girl or that not a mallu, I am krishi that we had
speak fluent tamil nor they did not tell me from palakkad and I owned, the people,
anything about my am a palakkad iyer. there were oh-so-
Malayalam… so am I native village - in That's all I knew. So many ramans in the
not the Fraud???” fact appa would tell the next question village, for example
lots and lots of sto- would be - so what meeshai Raman,
ries of his childhood do you speak at doshai Raman etc
and his village, so home - Tamil or Mal- etc. Very hilarious,
also amma but it ayalam. Got me! I but it started making
never seemed to would say we spoke sense only when I
sink in, I never re- a mix of both lan- got out of school!
ally understood an- guages... aaargh this (very busy with stud-
ything until the visit would irritate them ies maybe).
to my native village even more. Thank
of Perinkulam, god, I knew the per-
Alathur happened. fect example to give
them - you guessed
Well, people take it right, Ka-
their own sweet meshwaran from Mi-
time to realize so chael Madana Kama-
many things in life; rajan. He was my Continued...
same was the case saviour, now that


from fraud PI to a encounter quite a

more real PI. few "rebels" but I am
sure they will under-
Exposure to so much stand that we will
about ourselves, realize the im-
something that I portance of whatever
never really realized they say... probably
although it may have a bit later. Well, I
been in front of me! can go on and on
Realize the history, about the community
geography and all but would like to
that gyan that appa stop here for now
used to keep giving with a BIG thank you
me, that made much - all the mamas and
more sense now. I mamis and annas n
have to thank the akkas, please contin-
College kept me community because ue the good work
Chakkai busy and the con-
nection with ooru
my talayalam or PI that you are all do-
Tamil has become
and PI hood was on- much better, vocab-
Varatti going, but all this ulary has improved, I also hope that all
was accentuated and so also the general those who are read-
anyone? increased with the
entry of the social
knowledge about us. ing this will encour-
Well, we are learning
age us and help to
“To catch the reader's networking site a lot say about our
called ORKUT into cuisine, the hows bring together all
attention, place an

interesting sentence or our lives. Most of us whys and whats Kerala iyers across
quote from the story
here have met about our traditions the globe through
through the Palakkad and rituals. Thanks this small initiative of
Iyer community to all the elders in ours in the form of a
fondly called PI this group at PI and newsletter.
comm and Kerala KIOS who are mak-
Iyer Orkut Samoo- ing it a point to post -Hridya
ham (KIOS) in orkut, lot of informative R
it made me probably threads. They might




Introduction: Kakka Raman, the great soul

—K V Ananthanarayanan

This is the first part of Raman” because he

ghee container and
a series of articles had squint eyes and
swallowed the whole
based on real life oc- even those eyes were
ghee. You know, this
currences of certain practically blind with
ghee had been
Pattars that we be- short sight.
brought for the funeral
lieve, would be im-
rites of Raman’s moth-
mensely inspirational The first thing I heard
to everyone, especially as an incident in his life
the younger genera- was really poignant
As I have it said before,
tion. and profoundly touch-
ing. He was a boy from this is a real story, and
an utterly poor family, if Raman were alive
and his mother passed todayhe would be
In our lives, we often away when he was about 100 years
come across people seven years old. On old. He passed away
who leave a deep im- the day of his mother’s
“He was called 14 years ago. I know
pression on your perso- death, he had no idea
“Kakka Raman” na, influencing your Raman because he was
as to what was hap-
thought processes, pening in the my mother’s own ma-
because he had
your actions and house. Many people ternal uncle and my
squint eyes ….”
knowledge for years to had assembled; the own dear mamaappa.
come. I had the good mother was sleeping, He used to go as a
fortune of knowing maybe sick. Suddenly, loukeeka* for sraadhd-
some such people dur- someone brought
ham chaappadu and
ing my lifetime, and I some ghee and poured
am writing this series it in a broken coconut he would get clothes
of real life anecdotes shell. For Raman, ghee like mundu, utharee-
of one such person, was a very scarce deli- yam etc. He had mar-
Rama Iyer, who left a cacy. So, with his half ried my mother’s elder
lasting impression on blind eyes, he looked sister and he loved me
me when I was just a around to see whether like his own son. In my
child growing up in a anyone was paying
childhood days of utter
typical agraharam attention to the ghee
setting, a life not many kept in chirattai* in the poverty, the clothes
people in the younger corner. When he was brought by him served
generation have expe- fairly sure that nobody Continued...
rienced. Rama Iyer had was watching him, he
another name to him. stealthily took the
He was called “Kakka


as my mundus. When he used to get mallumundu*or gaada*, it would be used

to stitch our underwear, periyamma’s and amma’s ravukkais* and my sister’s
pavaadais. He never wanted anything for himself. He happily gave everything
he used to get, by way of dhaanam or dhakhshina to others. I learned greatness
of giving from that great soul.

Pattar’s Dictionary

chirattai: Coconut Shell

loukeeka: a Brahmin who partakes in ceremonies and many vedic functions but
is not a qualified vaadhyar. A vaadhyaar is qualified in vedas and is well versed
in conducting the ceremonies and commands lot of respect as the family guru,
guide and maybe philosopher

mallumundu or gaada: very cheap raw cotton cloth manufactured in mills. mal-
lumundu is bleached and gaada is unbleached

ravukkais: the prototype of the blouses worn by ladies. The ladies four or five
decades ago wore it, usually it would be stitched by the ladies themselves with
a needle and thread.


From the Adukulai: Chakkara Pongal

This month is synonymous in Tamil Nadu with the festival of Pongal and hence
we will start off with a sweet and we all call it CHAKKARA PONGAL.

This is a very simple recipe and why not start off the new year with something

Ingredients required:
Rice - 1 cup

Moong dal (Paasi parippu)- ¼ cup

Jaggery (Vellam) - ½ cup

Milk - 2 cups
This is what we are
talking about :)
Ghee - ½ cup

Cardamom (Elaichi) - 2

Cashew (Kaaju) (as per liking)

Raisin (Kismis) (as per liking)

Roast the moong dal for a few minutes in a pan. Cook rice and moong dal
along with water and milk till nearly cooked. Melt the jaggery in another pan
with little water. (Strain to remove any impurities). Mix the jaggery with the
cooked rice and moong dal mixture in a pan and mix it well over a slow flame.
Add almost all of the ghee and mix for some more time. In the mean time, fry
the cashews and raisins in another pan and finally you can add it to the
cooked rice-moong dal– jaggery mixture. Also, don't forget to add the carda-
mom (elaichi) and mix once more, your chakkara pongal is ready… Chuda
chuda serve pannungo!!

Articles contributed by:
K V Ananthanarayanan
Hridya R
Navneet T Narayan
Ramaprasad Subramaniam

Special thanks to:

Anitha Krishna

Send us your write-ups/material at:


A peep into the next issue…

Special Report on Nurani Shas- Celebrity Interview: (Keep
thapreeti from our very own guessing who :) )
correspondent Vivek stationed
at Nurani gramam, Palakkad Rantings of a “Fraud Mallu” -
more rantings about my native
Bhagavat Gita for Modern village and its festivities
Era :the sudden turnaround by
Arjuna-the balanced approach From the Adukulai - another
of Krishna-stiff admonition - mouthwatering recipe
sane advice-reinforcement -
show of infinite mercy - and Humour and other interesting
wonderful transformation tales

Inspiring stories: Another And loads of other things...

Kakka Raman episode