A Contribution by Joy J. Kaimaparamban, author of The Ayurvedic Healer. For more information see also his website at http://www.kaimaparamban.com/.
Seeing a house, the schoolmaster, who had been in the work of an Enumeration connected with making a Voters List, stepped onto the quad.
There was a small girl sitting, playing under a tree. She blinked at the stranger with a curious face. The schoolmaster tried to lit a flame of laugh in his lips. The girl did not smile, instead got up and sprang into the house.
The man had walked long for finding the house. Being a hilly place, there were rare houses. He wished if he could have sat anywhere. If the householder invite with a seat, he would be sitting without any hesitation.
He heard a shouting in a rough sound.
“What’re you saying girl? Who’ve come here to meet me?”
With the question, a female person entered through the front door.
She seemed as not having expected a male before her. One of her side the little girl stood catching the woman’s hand.
Seeing him she became aghasted.
Opening his leather bag, he was taking out paper and a pen.
He said with keeping his smile alive, “Amma, don’t worry. I’m a schoolmaster. I’ve come to ….”
Before he could complete his sentence, the lady interjected, “Jaya, is this your Master?”
She was asking the girl the question.
“No,” the girl answered.
“But he says he’s a Master.” The woman replied in a grave mood.
The schoolmaster tried not to burst into a loud laughter. Poor thing. His soul murmured. Uneducated and uncultured woman.
“Where is she studying?” he asked. But it was not answered by the little girl. She told the name of a school.
“I’m not working there Amma,” he said. He divulged the name of his school.
“I’ven’t heard such a school,” the woman said.
“It is far away from here.”
“Is it? Tell me the aim of your coming. You want to know the number of school going children?”
“I want to know the number of eighteen years completed persons.”
“Here are only two such persons. I and Jaya’s father.”
“You want to write them?”
“How can you write standing straight Master? I shall give you a stool.”
“Thank you Amma.”
She brought a wooden stool and placed it under a tree.
That time the sound of a wailing began to rise.
The woman went into the house again. While coming she had been taking a baby on her hip. The baby had stopped its wailing and was looking at the stranger with curiosity. Within minutes the curiosity flowered into a smile. The schoolmaster also smiled frankly. The smiles of the two beings seemed to be spreading to the girl who was standing beside the schoolmaster.
Despite the stool had four stands it was totally moving, while he was trying to sit erect. He pretended it as a good seat.
He asked, “What’s the name of the house holder?”
“He’s gone for work Master. Once in a week he comes.”
“It’s okay. I want his name.”
“And what’s your good name?”
That question seemed as making her pleasant.
She answered with a fully bloomed face, “Kumudam.”
“You’re his wife?”
“And tell me your age. First your husband’s age. Then yours.”
She stood beside him and told the matters he wanted. The girl had stood very close to him.
He wrote all the details of the persons who had been residing in the house.
Referring the list of houses he asked, “Where’s Sathyabhamaa’s house?”
On the face of Kumudam, a black lightning appeared for a second.
Then she replied in a low sound, “She’s my mother Master. She’s staying in the house, which my father had built. She’s all alone. And I’m living here with my children and their father.”
“Why can’t you bring her here?”
He asked looking at her eyes. She seemed as falling into a deep pit. Somehow she pulled herself out of it.
She said as if sobbing, “she’s in great greed for living with us.”
“Jaya’s father won’t give consent for it.”
“Appa won’t allow Amma to go to the house of grandma. But yet she goes there frequently. And when he asks Amma can’t lie Master. Then he’ll beat her blue and black.”
Jaya was describing all the facts. Despite of her age she seemed as a matured lady.
Kumudam had fell into a dilemma. But she did not forbid her daughter from telling it to a stranger.
Kumudam said to the girl, “Jaya, go with the Master for showing my Amma’s house. Master it’s at the next shore of a paddy field.”
Then she came close to him and whispered, “I was loving Divakaran. I had become unable to live without him. Now I’m paying the penalty for my desire. My mother is alone. So I’ll go there. I fear that one day he’ll kill me. He’s such a cruel man.”
Catching the hand of him, Jaya said, “Let’s go to the house of my grandma, Master.”
The Ayurvedic Healer
by Joy J. Kaimaparamban
Set in the intriguing atmosphere of India in the early 20th century, full of mysticism, love, compassion, and political drama, The Ayurvedic Healer tells the story of Madhavan Namboodiri, a physician practicing an ancient medical science, and his enduring love for Rosilie. By healing the underprivileged, regardless of their civilian and religious status, touching the untouchables, he follows his beliefs and disobeys the rules of his society. His life story is set in the background of India’s struggle for freedom, the communist revolt in the Southern State of Kerala, social advancement, and the emergence of new societies. The Ayurvedic Healer sweeps the reader into an exotic place and time, rendering an intimate experience through sharing Madhavan Namboodiri’s life and love.
Joy J. Kaimaparamban is not only a passionate story teller. He envisions people and events, past or present, in his native India as material for unwritten works. These visions and the ability to transform them into fascinating stories about his country is a trademark of his novels. [More information...]
The Ayurvedic Healer ia available through Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.