Friday, August 26, 2005

Thathri-kutty

It was the summer of 1983 and a car screeched to a halt, in front of a well known tharavadu (family house) in south Kerala. Dust sprang up from under its wheels and created mysterious figures in the dry air. A set of small tear-filled-eyes were there inside the car which were about to dribble, and a small mouth which was about to snivel. As expected, a high pitch cry emanated from the car. After sometime, a lady in her early thirties came out with the small girl. The girl was still crying. That was the day on which Thathri-kutty came to the village for the first time. From the city, her family has shifted to a house situated behind the tharavadu.

Her parents didn’t allow Thathri-kutty to play with the children of neighborhood. Before going to work, they left her at the tharavadu, where she played with Ramu, a kid of her age. Ramu-ttan became her childhood friend. Maniyan, Ramu-ttan’s puppy, was the third one in the gang. The mischievous activities they did every day did not have any bounds.

Going to the nearby fields kept barren after the puncha-koythu (harvest), finding out a small colorful insect called pasha (beetle) available aplenty in those fields, incarcerating dragonflies and make them hold small pebbles, making bubbles from the juice of a small shrub growing on the ramparts, buying ice-candies from Ramu-chettan using the paisa collected, playing achan and amma (father and mother), pretending to cook using sand and leaves of different colors, serving it hot using coconut pods as the plate, making and flying kites which failed in its ventures, making small houses using sand, catching fish from the stream that flow adjacent to the field using a thorthu (towel) and what not.

Thathri-kutty's younger sister Karthi-kutty was born when she was four years old. Lots of relatives visited their house on the following days.

On the noolu-kettu day (a ceremony on the 28th day from birth of a child) of Karthi-kutty, a few relatives and family friends came to their house with new clothes for the baby; some of them carried gold rings and some other brought gold chains (sort of a tradition in Kerala). Everyone’s attention was on the baby and no one noticed Thathri-kutty. She sat near one of the corners of the house, separated from others.

Previously her mother used to be with her every time. But now whenever she went to her mother, her mother sent her back saying that the baby would wake up and cry. Her mother also said that Thathri-kutty may hurt the new-born. She felt very sad. She was depressed for a few days until Balan-maman (Balan Uncle) noticed it. Balan-maman consoled her and afterwards she started liking her vava (younger sister).

Later Thathri-kutty realized that this was the case of the elder child in any family. When a new offspring comes to the family the elder one loses his/her attention. It also points out the care that parents need to give to their daughter/son when a new kid is born in the family. Later she decided that she will have only one child. But then she thought for a while. If vava was not there then she would’ve been alone in her life. She was in a dilemma...


44 comments:

silverine said...

Lovely post. Hope there is a sequel to this. This has the potential to go into a serial blog.
I love posts like these which are reminiscent of childhood spent in Kerala. I don't think children anywhere have so much fun as mallu kids have in their sylvan countryside.

And Thathri-kutty's dilemma is faced by every kid with a younger sibling.Hope you write another blog on how she deals with it and her life with her younger sibling.

Keep 'em coming Jithu :)

Geo said...

a glimpse of 'old' jithu.

>|' ; '| said...

is there a dilemma? then, let fate play it out...

Jithu said...

> silverine
ha ha thats true, we mallus enjoy a lot during our childhood. btw, that doesnt mean that others dont..

if i was that character i cud've come up with wt it might've felt, but :-( hmm.. anyways, lemme see..

sequel.. hmm.. as of now, cant think of any.. :-)

> geo
ha ha ha... dey, u r sooo very intelligent.. just kidding :-))

> poison
the dilemma is, whether to have one child or more than one children.. fate's play in deciding it.. hmmm.. i think she has a say rt :-))

Invincible said...

i just read your 'next blog' post.
It was intriguing and that you have seen the blogs evolve right from their inception, it comes as words of authority.

I hav killed the 'next blog' button from my blog cos 6 out of 10 blogs it led me to, used to be Adsense blogs, it used to be frustrating.

Keep writing mate .. yours is one of the blogs tht makes me think n adds to my knowledge too.

i will b back to read Thathri-Kutty.

Jiby said...

very nice post...reminded me of stories from my own childhood told by all my elders...how i used to push my sis down when she tried to walk and how jealous i was as she cornered everyones attention...these things must have happened b4 i wuz 3 or 4 years old... bcoz i dont remember any of that! the last sentences of the comment i left for your previous post holds true this time too...good job!

divya said...

lovely post....reminded of some sweet memories....and im the elder of two daughters so i know how it feels.....
the post ends abruptly......do u have smthg else on ur mind....maybe a second part?

Jithu said...

> invincible
thnx man.. :-) yes the ad blogs are too annoying. i think the new flag feature will remove a few.

> jiby
thanx yaar! actually thats the good thing.. having children with a difference less than 3 years. the elder ones tend to forget that ;-))

> divya
thnx yaar.. :-) u still remember those?? cool! btw as of now, i'm not able to think of a sequel.. :-))

Fursat said...

hey thank u so much for visiting my blog..i cudnt read the post but surely come back to read.

take care

God bless u !

Sonia said...

i used to be insanely jealous of my sister! but things are better now! :o)

karthika said...

hey...superb post jithu....

keep posting intriguing stuff..wanna read a lot more frm ur blog...

injinuity said...

cute post jithu... I remember going through some of the same emotions when my little sis was born... that was also around the same time I watched the movie 'god father'... and hence I became my little sis's godfather... weird isn't it? haha

niki yokota said...

very nice post!! my boss's daughter has that dilemma nowadays. i hear the best thing is... just tell her "the baby is yours." (instead of saying "the baby is your sister").
i dont know if this will relieve her jealousy though.(^o^);;
best wished for the cute Thathri-kutty!!

Jithu said...

> neetie
ur story is too good! awaiting the last part..

> sonia
ha ha.. i hope the jealousy didnt turn to fightin any time ;-)

> karthika
thanx yaar! hmm.. lemme try.. :-)

> injinuity
thnx man, it seems everyone here is elder in the family :-)) how abt making a fellowship then?? god father thingy, ha ha.. a gr88 way to handle the situation :-)) innovative too...

> niki
thank you :-)) hey thts a nice idea, "the baby is yours", i think will definitely make a change...

silverine said...

@jithu: Correction, everyone here is not the eldest. I am the youngest in my family with two elder brothers. But they were 4 and 3 years elder to me to feel any jealousy when I was born. hehe

Jithu said...

> silverine
hmmm.. the fellowship had broken :-(
btw, i was thinking abt ur brothers for a while.. poor chaps.. they only know their pain.. he he.. just kiddin :-))

silverine said...

@jithu: Thanks for the comment on my last post.

bt its always targeted towards poor managers... :-(

hehe get used to it. This is not even a fraction of the jokes that are churned with amazing regularity in an IT company on Managers. I would suggest, practising the fine art of 'selective deafness'. LOL

Deepu George V said...

Jithu,
Thanks for visiting my blog. I haven't read your blog completely. Will be back.

hope and love said...

nice.. made me nostalgic..

Jithu said...

> silverine
hmm... once even i myself made fun of them quite a lot.. (i worked for two years in an IT company) but as us said, used to hona hee padega :-(( 'selective deafness'.. lol...

> deepu
:-)

> HnL
thank you mam! nostalgia is such a nice feeling...

Matter of Choice said...

ah well...i am the youngest in the family too...indeed almost the youngest in the entire generation of extended family!!

but i still do remember my time as the youngest in the street where i lived..all the chechi's punnara..and then another baby was born..i used to be so jealous of him!!!

btwn this is too good a start..we demand future episodes!!

cheers
anish

. : A : . said...

Well captured human relationships through this piece.

ranju said...

lovely post Jithu... i remember having played 'home- home' in the childhood, collecting leaves and seeds of different colours and pretending to cook sadya. we even used to make 'appams' out of mud with cocnut shell. it was really fun. i too agree that we mallus enjoy childhood more than anyone else.

Looking forward for you next post... and thanks a trillion for visiting my blog. it was really encouraging to get a comment on the very first entry... :)

Jithu said...

> anish
ha ha.. u got it.. :-) future episodes.. hmm.. as of now, notthing, but yeah since many of my freinds including u are demanding it, ok, i will give it a try... :-)

> a
thanx man.. btw the pictures u posted were really nice.. :-)

> ranju
thanx yaar! hmm.. yesterdays moments are today's beautiful memories.. its too difficult to get out from those memories, btw they are too good too.. :-)) mallu children enjoying the most!! hmmm.. :-)

Kiran said...

Sweet post.Since I am the last child, i never had to face such probs. Infact,all were looking forward to my birth,including my 2 elder sisters. So,i am pampered a lot,even now.

Your post is an eye opener for people like me who never realized that the elder children might have suffered. Anyways,what we can do is to make sure that our kids dont face too much of stress in recieving thier younger siblings:)

Kiran said...

Sweet post.Since I am the last child, i never had to face such probs. Infact,all were looking forward to my birth,including my 2 elder sisters. So,i am pampered a lot,even now.

Your post is an eye opener for people like me who never realized that the elder children might have suffered. Anyways,what we can do is to make sure that our kids dont face too much of stress in recieving thier younger siblings:)

Jithu said...

> kiran
ha ha.. so thts some words from the other side.. eye opening? thts cool.. yup! thts true.. v needa ensure that..

MadV said...

Lovely post! Yah we need more of it.

Jithu said...

> madv
thanx madhvi, hmmm.. :-))

Anonymous said...

aarokke nirulsahappeduthiyalum neeyi thallu thudaruka njaanithu krithyamayi vayikkunnundu
thanx divya

Jithu said...

> divya
thnx mam! ee thallukal njan iniyum thudarunnathanu.. afterall jeevithathinte rasam thanne itharam kochu kochu kaaryangal alle.. :-))

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