Medhu vada

Someone once told me, life is like a game of chess, you keep playing with life as a pawn hoping to get the king. Now I am faced with the reality of worrying how the ‘king’ will react.
On one hand is my story and that of many women like me, on the other hand is my safety and that of my sisters. I have kept quiet till now, because I was worried about my family’s safety.
I have often wondered, Should I be a coward. or should I go for the kill?
Then I realized, that was ‘his’ intention. He ruled by instilling fear. Fear of retaliation. I am aware that, he is still capable of inflicting harm, but my story has to be told. So that, the next powerful man will know, power and authority comes with responsibilities. If it isn’t today, then tomorrow someone will find their voice.
So to all of you who wants to know who ‘he’ is, I can only tell you this much right now. At one time, he held the highest power of authority in the Indian civil service. He dined with ministers, travelled with diplomats , even got the police to arrest people I know on trumped up charges and wrecked what was left of my family. He is my nemesis and my uncle.

Medhu Vada
I was still in shock. I was like Alice in wonderland. Although everyone called me kochumaharani, that was just a name. Now I really felt I am the little royal princess. As we walked to the car, the driver and the security guard, cleared the way for us. I could see the awe in the eyes of strangers. 10 minutes ago, the same strangers were pushing and shoving me and now they stood in attention and was watching us with respect. I felt important.
He sat in the front seat and the five of us sat at the back seat. I watched the driver barking at people, so they move away from the car.
A lot of things were coming clear in my head. I remembered the fights my mother had with her mother,regarding someone in India. I remembered my father fighting with Amma for the same reason. I remembered Tante Ida telling us about her brother, who came to study in India and decided to stay on. But none of it mattered anymore. Here I am, travelling in an official car, with someone very important.
looked outside. The landscape and the people were so different from that of Kerala. The green colour hills of Kerala was different. They had a charm, while Bangalore looked completely different. There were few trees here and there with dusty green leaves, occasional lakes and even the houses by the side of the roads were different. They lacked the charm of a red tiled roof.
I saw my first vineyard. Vines growing on granite poles. My mother and Maria was speaking to him in english and I didn’t understand anything.
Little while later, I heard him speaking to the driver in a language that sounded very funny.
“Uncle, what language are you speaking?” Liza asked him
“I spoke Kannada, and you know something, Kannada is very easy to learn. All the words that start with “pa” in Malayalam is.”ha” in Kannada. For example Palu(milk) is Halu, pallu(tooth) is hallu”
“So is patti(dog) hatti?” I asked him.
He turned and glared at me.
patti(dog) is ‘naya’ in Kannada”
Amma pinched me on my leg, and I looked at her. She had fire in her eyes. I tried to figure out, what did I do wrong? He is the one who said about ‘pa’ and ‘ha’. How am I to know Patti is not Hatti in Kannada!.
Driver stopped and parked the car by the side of the road. My uncle took the wallet from his pocket and took some money out. That is when I noticed, he had a thick bundle of 100Rs notes. I haven’t seen that much of money since we came to India. In Malaysia,my father’s salary was paid in cash and he used to come home and count the the bundles of RM 50 notes.
I watched the driver crossing the road and going to a restaurent and buying something. He came back to the car and gave the parcel to my uncle. I watched him opening the newspaper bundle. Inside was a dried leaf and he opened that and took something that looked like parippuvada (lentil fritters).
He gave one to each of us saying
“This is called Medhu vada, They make the best medhu vada here and I know someone here likes to eat parippuvada(lentil fritters)”
I was so surprised that, he knew I love parippuvada(lentil fritters). I was on cloud 9. Finally there is someone who cares for me. Although I did wonder how he knew so much about me, I tried to ignore that. Because what mattered now was, I have someone who cares for me.

27 thoughts on “Medhu vada

  1. patti and hatti….roflmao!
    that was a good one.But I was wondering why he had to glare.he should have laughed instead!I don’t think he is the typa guy who would entertain jokes…hmmmm
    And he seems to be giving Kochumaharani alotta importance.

  2. How are you now Nina? Is your hubby taking good care of you and your kids? Nothing was written anywhere about your husband?
    Still looking out for jobs, any luck on the area?
    I am just waiting to hear something good from you, like the most happiest day… comeon Nina, write up fast.

  3. Your mom seems to be quite something, difficult to believe that a mom can be a woman too. After reading your posts I am confronted with that thought. Always thought moms were moms only 🙂
    Just ignore the Anons and keep writing 🙂

  4. p.s I love your narration, it is without prejudice and matter of fact. You don’t let your personal feelings or views cloud the narration and therein lies the beauty and charm of your story.

  5. By the way I visited Icefurnace and left a comment.
    Follow your conscience, Sarah. Don’t let anything from people’s reaction hurt you.
    And try to make it up with your family (an advice from my heart, for your own peace)Try to reach your Dad. Let’s get to hear that there has been a reconciliation and you have talked it out with Amma, chechi, Appa (I am wishing this for you)
    Whenever I pass through Kerala, I remember you. This time when I saw the vallomkali and when I went to Kottayam (shopping!!!) I remembered little Nina and little Rahel (Arundhati) who have touched me deeply..

  6. I have been a silent reader of your blog. Your stories seem so alive that I can visualise it.
    Only when you see the story vividly yourself can you make your audience see it!

    You are an achiever, Sarah.

    medhu vada is UZHUNNU VADA. Parippu vada is called ‘Ambode’ in karnataka

    – AJ

  7. controversy is on the vada. i thought u meant Maddur vada. this looks like parripu vada but soft. there is a place called Maddur on the way to Mysore where u get this vada. it is very famous… very tasty..yummm…


  8. I think its rude to comment that Sarah may be exaggerating or not telling the truth. If you feel that way, you dont have to comment at all.

    The truth is not everyone has a good past. Doesnt everybody see that?

    Remember that kidnap girl who was held for 10 yrs… if she told her story would anyone say she is lying or embellishing? NO. and only because she was in the media and everyone thinks “poor girl, went through hell”. a lot of people have gone through other types of hell, and just because it wasnt in the news, doesnt make it less true.

    Sarah, I know how it feels to have a bad past that people dont believe…
    You have many friends here who support you and really care.

  9. Thanu: I still love parippuvada

    Jithu: Really? Unpredicatable eh?

    Jay: I am sure, he never taught anyone Kannada after tht..

    Maya: I agree

    Maya: He wasn’t someone who ever wanted to be kochakkify.. I think he thought I was laughing at him and honestly, that question about patti and hatti was genuine

    Sujit: Yes, Indeed..

    Anna: I am doing good. Thanks

    Rocksea: parippuvada thinnu tninnu urundu urundu karangi karangi irikkunnu

    Visitha: I have to write.. that is the only way I can be free of this burden

    Silverine: You are such a wonderful person.. Always there with the right words.. after all there is a silverline in all the ….

    Thanu: Ente karthave..pattum thudangiyo?

    Techno: He and my mom are first cousins..

    Rocksea: Ente thala novunnu.. ee comment ellam vayichu pongipoyi.. celing low aa.. otta edi.. entha cheyya.. 911 vilikkandi varum

    Meddur Vada

    What I had was the softer, flatter version of the parippuvada on the way to Mysore from bangalore. There were 2 shops. One close to the railway station( i think Meddur station) the other a km later on the right side, near a huge tree.. Both sells the best Meddur Vada.. And I am sorry for the wrong spelling..

    Aqua: It is parippuvada.. Uzhunnuvada has no ‘feeling’

    AJ: Terima Kasih.. It is easy to write a story that you acted!


    Jay: Phew.. U saved me.. I was pretty sure I had parippuvada.. I am not fond of uzunnuvada.. unless it is tairu vada..I still remember the shop near the railway station.. A little down the road, there used to be a milk factory( can’t remember the name) they had a drive in restaurent and shop.. They sold the best milk pedas I ever had!

    Sk: After all I am methran Thambi’s grand daughter… pavam heaven il irunnu karaayunnundavum.. aval ente peru kolam akkum nnu paranju

    Just me: Thank you.. When I used to watch kids walking holding their parents hand, I dreamed.. When I saw kids wearing beautiful clothes, I dreamed
    When I saw parents talking and not fighting. I dreamed.. Just because I dreamed, it doesn’t become reality.. Just because it didn’t happen in other’s life, it doesn’t mean that, it is all a lie..

  10. Hi,
    Patti is not Naya, but Nayi in Kannada. Ur writing is really beautiful. I have been reading ur blog non-stop from yday. I laughed, I cried, reading ur childhood. U writing remind me of R K Narayan’s Malgudi days. Hve u read it?

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