K U D A A L ... Ratnagiri district .... Maharashtra
Peacefully located in the Western ghats, the exotic place where the world famous Alfonso mango grows in abundance.My reason being there was to install a major
machine (Optical emission Spectrometer ! Impressed,,hmm !! )in an upcoming
factory.Not many people had ventured into the then backward area which Govt was
trying to promote.A guest house modified from a garage,which perhaps was a home to a
thousand rats.I joined as rat no.1001 !!The only other unique thing in the vicinity
was a distant tower clock in a far off village and which never failed to chime at the stroke of every hour.Besides these, it was endless Ghats...
Installation completed and grand inauguration done with a handful of people.The
Director asked me to stay back for three more days as an observation period.I had no
choice but to accept. I was also very fatigued since the installation had taken
over 25 days.Something or other was going wrong.Inauguration was to be done on
AMAVASHYA day(NEW MOON )but could be completed only on the third day after
that ,which was the day of MOONDRAM PIRAI.
After a late dinner,went out for a walk.The air smelled so sweet ,I wanted it to be
bottled !!With only the stars to guide me,I sat on a stone.So romantic was the
ambience that I started singing a Tamizh Song loudly.Thambi Tamizha,( Are you a
Tamizhan )an old voice pierced the otherwise noiseless ambience.Startled but
composed I said yes,trying to identify the person.An old man ,with a spotless kurtha
came and sat opposite me.
After asking me several questions,which I painstakingly answered,I wanted to know
what the hell he was doing in such an obscure place.
Me ; What are you doing here?
He : I am here for several years and have been alloted this place
Me : You are a chowkidar or something ?
He : No
Me :Then ?
HE :I am in charge of the graveyard,a sort of leader
ME :Where is that? and a leader ?
He ;We are there only( meaning Graveyard ) and you are sitting on a tombstone
Me :What, saying this I tried to get up ,in vain
He : you cannot move without my permission.I am a KOLLIVAI PISASU(Fire eating
Me :whats that!!
He ;After being a RATTHA KAATTERI( Dracula or an Vampire ) for several years,I have
been promoted as this..
Me : pinched myself hard,but realised it was real
He :You just listen to my story and then I will let you go off
Me :Thinking it was a good deal.. Please tell me fast since I sleep off early.Its
already 1030 pm
He : Our family was in TN,a sort of cursed family.We would be leading a very
normal life .But between certain period in the nights,we turn into a Rattha
kaatteri,ie the blood sucking urge increases.So during that period we isolate
ourselves from everybody,in particular women. Even from our wives we used to
hide this fact and stay away on some pretext or other.Because once we drank
the blood from the neck of the women,thats it.. both of us are turned into the
RATTHA KATTERI (!!)and then we can no more lead the normal life .
It So happened one day, while playing, my son accidentally had turned the
clock couple of hours backward. Without realising it,I was talking with my
wife.The clock was showing only 9 PM, but my urge was overpowering me.And then
it was fate,both of us joined the clan .
(I could hear the distant clock chime 11 timesindicating it was well past my
Thats how I became one..Thats my story,said the old man...
Me :(I pretended I sympathised with him) I have heared your story,Please allow me
to leave.By the way when will you ever get beyond this stage and reach
heaven (orhell I thought to myself )
He : Take care of yourself and be very careful of whatever I told you,especially
the time and your wife.
Me :What the hell this man (KOLLIVAI PISASU)talking.Enna sollareenga.(what are u
HE : Onnumillepa.(Nothing )If I narrated my story to a man sitting on tomb
stone ,on a MOONDRAM PIRAI,between 10pm and midnight ,I would be off this
world for good,leaving the family curse to the person who listened to it.It
happened to be you.You seem to be a nice person.Be careful at home too.Never
stay with your wife from 10pm till 2minutes past midnight.You may get the urge
and then you know what happens....
Saying this he just vanished into the thin air
Me : yoooov....yoooov...yooov
PS..I request Makkal (PEOPLE ) to be careful on MOONDRAM PIRAI nights !!I understand,the clan is widely spread,deep rooted and very difficult to identify except at.....