kandathum Kettathum

“Ammachi shall I cook kanji (porridge) before I leave?” Chakki asked.
“Hmm, make some thoran(dry fried veg with coconut) as well. He (my father)likes thoran. Ammachi replied
I wanted to ask Ammachi ‘why is my father late, but then we will have another discussion about fate and I didn’t want to hear any more.
Evening time is different in Chengannur house. Unlike my parents home, where the house gets livelier in the evening when everyone returns, in Chengannur you feel more lonely in the evening. You feel like the tortoise, pulling the head inside and hiding.
In the evening everything has to be returned. The cows has to be brought back to the cattle shed. Hens to their coop. The rubber sheets have to be removed from the clothes line outside and hung in the kitchen window slats and Chakki goes home with Kutten.
I sat on the veranda and watched Chakki walking on the bund with Kutten. As her shadow became smaller, my heart felt heavier. I felt a sense of doom and loneliness.I was all alone in Chengannur house with Ammachi.
The air stood still and there was pin drop silence. I know it won’t last long. The frogs in the paddy field and the cricekts in the ground will start their orchestra soon.
“Nina, come we have work to do.” Ammachi called me
“What work, I thought we did everything, before Chakki left?”
“Not yet, kandathum kettathum will start at 8 PM”
“but your radio doesn’t work!”
“Ofcourse it works”
“Then why didn’t you ever use it?”
“I use it every sunday to listen to kandathum Kettathum (a small skit full of jokes)when you are not around”
“What? Why?”
“Firstly I don’t want to switch on the radio all the time and waste electricity, secondly I don’t want you to play it all day long and give me a headache”
“Ammachi how could you not tell me your radio was working?”
“You never asked me, if it is working, Nina!”
I was so mad at her, for not telling me all these times that her radio was working, and I was even more mad at me for assuming that it doesn’t work. We had a colour television when we were in Malaysia. In Kerala, there was no television and my only consolation was the radio. I liked to listen to the cinema songs. The station plays cinema songs every afternoon at 1 pm. Because I am at school at that time I miss it except during the weekend.

Ammachi removed the stripped cloth cover and switched on her radio and it cackled. She adjusted the silver knobs and we heard the station announcer announcing
akashavani, thiruvananthapuram,thrissur Alappuzha. Kandathum kettathum”. (Radio announcement)
Ammachi was laughing listening to the jokes in the 10 minutes skit. The moment it is finished, she got up switched off the radio.
“Why are you switching off the radio?” I asked her
“My radio and I can do what I want with it”
“I am not going to talk to you anymore”. I sulked
“too bad. I was going to tell you a story of a warrior”.

our family treassure

16 thoughts on “kandathum Kettathum

  1. Radio used to be so much fun. My appachan used to listen to it all evening. Some show about Krishi and all.

    Evenings are so peaceful alle in kerala villages. Everytign comes to a stand still at night.

  2. i’ve felt the same at my grandparents place in evenings,some kind of vaccum,inactivity loneliness,all the hen are back in the coop,the cows are in and darkness sets in from all sides.

    but on the other side,mornings used to be so fresh,so full of activity and that too by around seven in the morning.

    it was just the other way round at my parents place in the city.

    nicely done..felt the same

  3. We Miss Akashavani! the New DTH covers all other states excpet Kerala’s Radio Stations…not to blame Northies….thats what we deserve….

    anyways…ohh gosh our AIR Tvm was simply great those days…Kandathum Ketttathum….Yuvavani…Karshika Rangam…Chalachith Shabda Rekha…Pradeshika Varathakal…Kouthuka Vaarthakal…ohh gosh!

  4. The frogs in the paddy field and the cricekts in the ground will start their orchestra soon.
    -well written

    The radio reminds me of my grandfathers big radio of the size of a 14inch tv.

  5. radio was the coolest things once upon a time.. and now again its again polularity and its far better than T.V in certain sense.. As of now i dont even watch T.V.. its has been years watching it!!

    Its true that evening its tends to be more lonely.. even in iisc it was like that!!

  6. nice memories with the good old chubby vacuum tube radio :p

    btw Stockholm Syndrome is something different. As far as I remember correctly, its something like this. A girl after kidnapped by a guy develop a crush for the same guy who kidnapped her.

  7. You have such a BEAUTIFUL way of writing .. it is so lively and warm, one has the feeling one sees the situation happening right in front of the eyes! FANTASTIC … I love it!!

  8. Thanu: The evenings in Chengannur were so peaceful and sometimes scary

    BVN: I am glad you could experience that beauty of village life

    Cyberrody: ah.. u just reminded me the rest of the programs.. Chalachithra gananggal..pinne aa nadakom..katha prasangam..

    Mindcurry: Finally.. you reached my page..glad you could go to Chengannur with me

    Vaik: the radio was an integral part of our life till the TV killed it

    Sujit: I still like to listen to radio

    Lg: Thikki keri vedi vakkunno???

    Starrynights: I was hoping atleast some of us have the memories of our old radio and the way our life revolved around it..

    Ashok: Thank you for visiting my blog

    Jithu:’loyalty by association’.. it happens not only in kidnap..it happens in spousal abuse, and you learn to live with it..

    I love Munich:Thank you..Glad you like it

    Dew Drops: Ammachi refused to have TV in our house.
    She just wanted to listen to her radio!!

  9. you really do write beautifully. Cool picture of the radio. Incidentally, i don’t think Kerala is so quiet in the evenings now–there’s TV and in EVERY house.

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