Panagudi stories 1

Hi all,
Long time no see?
No problem, the writer in me never sleeps, then as the festive season nears, one gets too much reminiscing.
Yes, for me and my panagudi folks, pongal means reminiscing panagudi.
I told you guys, as for R K Laxman a Malgudi Days, for this poor Pasupathi a Panagudi.
So there was, our hero, in all his youthful energy skimmed from eating lot of dry fruits which he has pocketed from his father's famous grocery shop, redied to ran away to Military as there was never a ceasefire between him and his very strict, beleaguered father.
Relationship between K and his father never been good, since K is too hot potato for A to handle. He purchased an Imported Ralleigh Cycle for his Kanakku Pillai (actually a Konar) who promptly cheated him and ruined his later life.
K had no cycle to go to school, which is located far away from panagudi. It is called vadakkan kulam. The school is filled with British teachers. So K has got an exemplary Primary education in all the subjects, especially English. He had a taste for novels, especially those days Kalki. He used to read "Sivakamiyin Sapatham", "Ponniyin Selvan" etc. in the class, at the last bench, as he was a tall youth. One day the British teacher found him reading the book and not concentrating on lecture. To the wonder of all students, he could tear the Voluminous Kalki book into pieces.
That fuelled K's dislike towards formal studies. He failed at 10th.
Having failed at 10th, he could not face his father. His father, Mr. A, always found the "Puliya Maram" an easy way to vent his anger. K was again called to the Pulia Maram, thrashed with its branches till the time of the arrival of K's Grandmother, who is Aunty of Mr. A.
Those days in-laws are not to see each other face to face. Especially the opposite sexes. So the arrival of grandmother at the scene always guaranteed K an escape from punishment.
10th standard fail, but those days it was easy to find a job if you have crossed 8th. So K got a job as a Co-operative store assistant, a govt job of decent salary.
Also there was scope of getting teaching job in a school. But day by day the relations between father and son getting more strained.
1948, Gandhi was killed by Godse. All shops of India shutdown to mourn for the father of the nation. A also did the same, as he is an avid Gandhian, with his Kadhar clothes.
Soon there was a news of Nehru coming to Kanyakumari to burn the ashes of Gandhji in the waters of Kanyakumari. K went to see the occasion.
There was lot of crowd in Kanyakumari that day, the Kanyakumari sea is very rough as it has the most dangerous rocks, which challenges the course of waves in to un predictable Bezier forms.
In to those blue depths some of the last ashes of Mathma were laid to rest, as per his wishes, from Ganga to Kaveri, From Himalayas to Kanyakumari. 

The Funeral Parade by the Mahar Regiment were excellent performance befitting the father of the nation. Anybody would have lost heart in that performance.
So K too decided to join them, the uniformed masses, whose discipline and functioning overwhelmed his childish heart of 18 years.
So he decided that moment to join the Army. He could not wait to tell his father, mother, just he disappered from his beloved red land, one day night with his bosom friend, Mr. Vanniyam pillai.
Travel to army takes place through the Army Registration Centre, Tiruchi. K already changed his Gold ring with ashoka charka symbol on it. That ashoka charka is a meaning of national pride, our national flag carries it. K's mother fondly made him such a meaningful ring on the occasion of his completion of secondary education (those days even 10th fail is considered an achievement).
A train took them to Pune, where the Army Training centre is located. Due to strenuous exercises vanniyam pillai could not love the Army anymore. But for K, it is LIFE. He love the Army life, he loved the Jubilant March, he loved its adventure, he loved the changing places and jobs, he loved it all.
K got a Trade, that is AMC –Armed Medical Corps, a healing touch in Army.
He got that trade because of his improved English knowledge. He read, more and more.
Army life took him to many places. 1948 he joined till his unceremonious retirement in 1971.
He saw 3 wars.
1 with china in 1967
2 with Pakistan 1948 and 1971
23 years service in Army Greens. He used remember those days with fond recall.
He got promotions on time, up to the rank of Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO).
He flew in Packet aircraft, shipped in high seas, saw blood and death on those killing fields of NEFA (those days the J&K was called as North East Frontier Agency).
He developed a taste for alcohol. Strictly speaking he was not an addict. He is one of those seasoned drinkers, who took pleasure out of doing anything.


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