I came to Delhi with a distant cousin last year from Kerala in an attempt to find some odd jobs here and pull my family out of the claws of abject poverty it had got into. My father was a Mel Shanti(Chief Priest) at our local Bhagawathi temple in Krishnapuram. The menfolk of our Illam(home of Brahmins) were experts in Thantric(vedic and astrology bound) rites. It was not long back when our grandfathers used to practice rigid orthodoxy and sense of caste and purity (Shudham). We used to consider ourselves polluted by even the touch of other Brahmins[Embraan Shudham (by the touch of Tulu Brahmins), Eda Shudham (touch of Tamil Brahmins such as Iyer, Iyengar, Pattar which required us to bathe before resuming activities)], leave aside people from other caste. (*Nambudiri:Wikipedia)
Today, I share a shady little room in Mayur Sarai with Ibrahim, a Parsi guy who, like me, had come to the capital from Mangalapurram(Mangalore) in search of some job. You don’t fill your stomach by clinging on to old traditions and rituals. I would have been an outcaste in my Illam had I stayed with someone from the other caste back then. I still would be, provided I inform my father of the same. All kinds of Shuddhi rites will have to be performed before I get to lie down on my cot back home. For him rituals and traditions may precede an empty stomach, but not for me. He wont touch the money I sent back home after slugging it out in a small roadside South Indian restaurant picking up plates and cleaning tables. He would prefer to die and let the family suffer than accept this fate. He is happy to know that I am assisting a Mel Shanti(Chief Priest) at the Ayappa temple here. Let him remain happy. Let my family have two square meals a day, even if it’s on the expense of my lying……a cardinal sin for a Brahmin.
Catch me soon…Right here….As you live a day alongside me sharing my sorrows and happiness. See you soon. Ohhh…Table no. 4 is done with their meal. I have to pick up their plates and clean the table for the couple who is waiting…….Pinne Kaanaam Ketto(Will catch up later, Ok)