|Sarppakavu. Photograph via http://www.trekearth.com|
Almost all my life, I've spent in the corner of the Ernakulam corporation (Kochi as it is popularly known), once a small town famous for its churches and temples, now for having Kerala's biggest malls all stacked in a kilometre radius. Edappally, the face of the 'metro', also has a history deeply interwoven with rich folk culture and religion.
Edappally Raghavan Pillai and Changampuzha Krishna Pillai, often compared to Keats and Shelly for their astounding works in Malayalam literature, come from this little suburb of Cochin. While their life stories, especially their coming together, are known to many in the state of Kerala their personal lives still remain a mystery. Very few know about the death of of Raghavan Pillai's mother. Or his own tragic death, committing suicide at the age of 27 after a love affair with an upper class girl forced him to flee the town. Inside the town, rumour always was that the poet's family had destroyed a 'sarpakavu' (an abode for snakes, especially the sacred cobra) and the curse of the Naga Raja has been with them ever since. Raghavan Pillai's life is filled with tragedies. Changampuzha himself died at a young age of 36 falling prey to Tuberculosis. And there are other stories too about the town. Some not so popular like the tale of the Mozhangumthara family who had no children. It is believed that around 60 dogs lived in that compound, all ferocious, trained to eat children. I still remember having had to jump into their compound to fetch a cricket ball once. Some five dogs had sniffed their way to us right after we climbed the wall. They were not exactly beasts but they still barked like mad. Stories of spirits, yakshis, bison legged men who roam about the streets at midnight.. the stories of the town are endless.
Why am I saying all this though? Who believes in all these stories in the 21st century? As I was saying in the beginning of the post, I was outside trying to figure out some functions in my camera. But later that night when I was analysing the photos I found out some disturbing patterns. I had put camera on sequence mode and taken some photographs. But the shadow patterns on the tiles were very disturbing. It was different for each photo.