a writing by Satheesan Rangorath

My Stories Part II

My schooling in Mananthavadi had hardly lasted a term, Before the end of school term I had to pack my books to my birth place called Elappulli .In a shot span of Manathavadi school days, I think I did not turned out to be a good student. Frankly speaking I felt school was some kind of a jail. I could not concentrate in my studies .The topography and climate affected me a lot in my studies. Moreover, my fear about my father was often a hindrance. to my progress in studies. Mechanically days went on and on in a slow creepy pace. With in a month’s time all my note books were turned into loose pages. I was very lazy in writing notes from the class when it was dictated. I fared poor in all subjects. Technically I did not read any lessons at home.. As soon as I come from school I left my bag under my table and never looked at it before next morning. My sister did an additional job for me as she took all my note books to play and almost dissected it page by page. As soon as I get my supper I used to hide under my blanket pretending to sleep so that I might escape my fathers questioning. I had an ash coloured blanked which I loved very much. Under it I lived my night hiding from fear and cold. Moreover, it was my exclusive hideout until sunrise. I pretend to sleep so that my father could not wake me up and compel me for studies. I was safe to return to my self imposed shell where
I dreamt about prince and princesses. I used to dream a lot until sleep cover me with its soothing hands of love. While I tumble down to the depth of sleep precipice I listened to
Threatening howls of foxes and owls from far away woods.

There was nothing remarkable about my schooling in Lower primary classes. Fear of slapping and beating from Class teachers was my main concern. This fear really worried me a lot and affected my studies and personality in a negative way .Moreover, fear of my father worsened my confidence. Some times I felt so helpless that I could not look forward to comfort from any body. My only console was my father’s aunt (sister of my grandma) she was with us during this period of life. I mentioned about her in my earlier chapters. But shame did not allow me to seek her comfort . I turned an introvert not interested in school games. I was very shy and often resisted from talking to my class mates. I could not make many friends. I remember there were two with whom I spent most of the time at school. Even talking to them was bit difficult for me because I was afraid if my father would like it or not.. During the play time I sit alone watching others play. One or two incidents in my life those days would be good enough to explain my mental state at that time. At the beginning of the school season I got a pencil sharpener along with my text books and other stationery items that my father bought for me. It was looking very nice and kept it like a priced possession hiding away from other students as I feared that some one would use it and spoil it. But one day my friend Philip asked for the pencil sharpener and while sharpening his pencil he spoiled it and broke it into pieces. I really was very much worried not because he broke it but because of my father’s questioning. When I returned home I kept quiet and did not tell about it to anybody. I kept my vigil about it and avoided my father Until he left for his school next day. To my surprise Philip brought me a brand new pencil chipper .although, I refused to accept it
Philip did not agree and he left it in my pocket. Now I am in real trouble my worry was
How to convince my after about the new sharpener because its colour and shape did not match with the one I had. He will definitely question me and sure to slap me for accepting something which is not mine. I might have to do a lot of explanation about it.
So I decided to either throw away the headache or just give it to Jayan, my neighbour.
I forcefully gave the pencil sharpener to jayan as asked him to take it as his own and not to reveal about it to anybody. He happily took it. Being relieved I took a deep sigh.
My relief did not last long as I found Jayan in my home talking to my mother about my generosity. When mother asked about it I made some excuse and got away with it. Since I am remembering such incidents in my life, reader would be surprised but its is a fact that
I had a childhood that was not very comfortable that would have made my adulthood life more confident. I OFTEN FELT THAT I DID NOT achieve anything in my life while
Looking back at this age of 60.. But one thing I am sure if it was anybody in this type of childhood experiences would have turned into a psychic. By describing a couple of reminiscence during my days at Mananthawadi I shall wind up that chapter of my child hood days in Wyanad

I saw a whole lively River Mananthawadi River. It was a beautiful 1st childhood experience that I remember always.. One Sunday My father decided that in the evening we will go to see the river. It was summer. The climate in Mananthawadi was still cold..
But was pleasant. People slowly started removing their woolen clothing to lighter cotton
Clothes. My father started wearing Khadi Dhoti Juba and shawl on him. I started wearing cotton trousers with shoulder bands and half sleeved shirts. One of the shoulder band often fell off my shoulder which often made me very uncomfortable as I had to keep it on shoulder properly just to avoid a hot pinch from my father if I left it hanging.

As planned, we left on foot to see river on Sunday. It was a very thrilling experience. We trekked our way to the bank of the river. As we were nearing the hummm of river was echoing fearfully .A certain unknown fear and wonder a mixed feeling crept into my little mind. As we neared, the river was more visible. I could not take yes off the splendor of her site. The river was flowing full even in summer.. Every species of plants on banks were touched by the loving hands of the mighty river. Many birds and animals had nested nearby areas. Their long pleasure filled howls and chirping could be listened too. Cows and bullocks resting nearby . Villages taking their evening bath. There was a bath palce
Where the river was not deep and current was very slow. We all washed our feet in the river. Little fishes touched our feet tickling. Our foot print fell on the white sand under our feet.. I felt like my mother fondling me. It was an ecstatic experience that I find no words to express enough.

On our way back my father took us to a historical site. An abandoned gun storage building, which was built by Tipu Sultan, he was the ruler of Mysore and attacked
Kerala several times. I do not wish to go into details of history as I have not done any research on the subject and irrelevant to my stories… In my next blog I shall write about my final days In Mananthawadi as I have migrated to my native place shortly after the summer.

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