With the coming of inverter and later generator, all these interesting ‘extracurricular’ activities ended. Moreover, from time to time the government decisions would put an end to power cuts.
The good news is that for the past few months the government has imposed a half hour power cut and nowadays we do not use inverter and generator. The good old days are back, in the form of a large candle. Once a teacher told us that power cut times were the times when the members of her family came together, sat around a table and used to share their thoughts and experiences.
When I was a small boy, I visited my uncle’s tharavad, Pazhavoorkonathu Veedu, in a place called Channapetta, in Anchal, which is in Kollam district. It was a new experience living there as the old house was situated on top of a hill, far away from the busy and noisy city. There were small granite steps leading to the house. The house was surrounded by rubber plantations (rubber trees were first introduced at the time of Visakam Tirunal, during 1880s, the very first tree that came to Travancore can still be seen in the gardens of Napier museum.) and nearby there was a small thekkath, which housed the family deity. There was a large ‘chempakam’ in front of the thekkath, with its numerous branches, without leaves, looked like the claws of a Yakshi guarding the thekkath. The tree was considered as the abode of ‘Yakshi Amma’, a minor deity.
Sharat Sunder Rajeev