Stub Of Pencil (കുറ്റിപ്പെന്‍സില്‍)

wild turmeric flower

wild turmeric flower

The best part of my lower primary school day was the morning, by the  morning we meant period between 8:30 and 9:30,or the period of time before the shadow of the eaves  creeps over the flight of steps, the period of our own Republic!!!There was no head master, no bell, not even Savithrichechi who used to sweep the office and helped Raghavettan in preparing wheat uppumavu, our free noon meal with the smell of American soabean oil. Our team reached school through Chudalapparambu(burial ground) route. I plucked  out two channa flowers from the damp mossy hedges  ,one for me and one for my chum Narayanan, he had promised me to bring a Kainarippoo (screw pine flower) when it blooms .He remained incredibly cool throughout the school day and spoke only a few words to others, My mother would procure the flower from me , Ldont remember the way, somehow she managed get the flower and keep the petals in the wardrobe where our newly stitched clothes were kept.

screwpine flower with deep fragrance

screwpine flower with deep fragrance

Whenever we need to erase the pencil scribblings on the slate we used the Channa flower as a ritual.When it is rubbed, the reddish fleshy part produced a sap like fluid along with wild turmeric smell.

A cat, a bit larger than the normal size slipped into the school compound through a hole in the hedges.It had a sandy fur with banded legs.Perhaps the most spine chilling item was its eyes..a haunted glow.there was something frightening about it.  The cat stared at us as if we had committed a mistake by appearing on its smooth way.

“aah its a korkampoocha” (wild cat)
Subru commented…
Ushiran Pakru pelted a stone at it…It started to growl  and purr.the whiskers  attained iron rigidity..
It stared at us more fiercely as its hair stood erect…
Pakru threw another stone. it did not go back or move.
“i’ve told you its a wild cat”
Subru reminded.we started to withdraw.the pale yellowish eyes were weakening us mentally.
It has passed the wild cat test with 100% marks.The wild cat taught us how to respect cats, We marked it as a supernatural animal as Subru  unbundled his incredible experiences with the wild cats.Whenever Subru came near i felt a stale smell . However i tried I couldnt identify the smell or trace the origin.Still i remember the noon ‘,one friday lunch recess I  visited Subrus house .

largest seed availabe in village

largest seed availabe in village

Subru had a strange collection of articles at his home!!. We only had matchbox stickers mostly of a camel. a purple camel in the yellow backdrop !. But Subru’s collection included strange things, Xancus , strange shells,Kakkikaya seed the big seed with dark brown cover, horns of animals, feathers of strange birds Subru revealed me a secret , which he ranked as Top secret. His father used to talk with his dead grandpa through dreams !!.His eyes were widened a nd a strange sense of pride and fear started to brim on his face!.He had witnessed this at pale bluish  midnight when every body was s asleep!.His father would break the hard shell of kakkinkaya seed and chop the fleshy parts.It is  then dried and mixed with tobacco. His father used to smoke cigars made of this mixture whenever he wanted to seeSubru’s dead grandfather father in dreams.Subru always kept the seed  in his pocket that conferred him protection and supernatural powers,He would have been beaten to death by Appukuttan master  if he had not got this magical seed!.  He once promised me to give his Kakkinkaya if he gets another one.

improvised top with seed of poison tree

improvised top with seed of poison tree

Subru presented me a top improvised with poison tree nut (kanjiram) and broomstick.I liked the way it starts to wobble after a long time spinning,. when it loses its capacity to maintain balance.

tamarind tasting fruit eaten by children

tamarind tasting fruit eaten by children

Lalitha distributed much coveted pulivenda (പുളിവെണ്ട) to the early birds.She secretly gave me two buds as I had bestowed her with the stub of nail shaped pencil ( Aani pencil )the previous day.The republic was disbanded without issuing a notice as Parameshwaran master appeared at the school gate.

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