Monday, 27 May 2013

A Compliment to Nourish Nature

Vaikom Muhammed Basheer

Yusuf Siddique, a septuagenarian ailing fakir (A mendicant Muslim monk), who is lying under a tree beside the road, requests a little water from the teacher couple Rasheed and Azma. The couple gives him the water, which he pours to a mango seedling beside the road. Having watered it, the fakir drinks the remaining water, blesses the couple in the name of Allah and dies in front of them. The couple takes his dead body to a mosque, bathes it and gets buried according to Muslim rites. They also transplant the seedling at their home. It is now grown up into a tree yielding plenty of mangoes, which are as sweet as honey. The couple offers some slices of a mango to their guest and tells him the story of planting the tree. The only son of the couple gives the guest some more of the fruit.

“Mone, are you studying?” asks the guest

“Yes, in a college” answers the boy.

“Your name?”

“Yusuf Siddique”

Thus ends the short story, penned by the famed Malayalam writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. The short story has been included in a book Manitharkalum Marangal Pol Vazhum Kaalam Varum (Will come a day, when humans live like trees), whose copies were distributed as mementoes along with two saplings to every guest at Kurinji Illathirappu Vizha a house warming ceremony held at Sulur recently. Besides this wonderful short story by Basheer, the book also contains writings by famous authors and scholars like Nammaazhwar, Theodre Baskaran, Vannadasan, Arivumathi, Devathatchan, Ponnambala Adigalar, Marudhayyan, Victor Louis Anthuvan and Tho. Paramasivan.

Dubai-based Aranga Vijayakumar of Sulur, the proprietor of the newly built house presented the copies of the book to their guests to spread awareness on the importance of saving nature.

“Ancient Tamils had fool proof natural methods to cultivate crops. The native paddy variety cultivated from the seed Maduvu Mazhungi helped the crops grow tall that they survived even during floods. However, the ancient lore of agriculture was lost after foreign seeds entered our country” rues Nammazhwar, noted organic agriculturalist, in his article.

Disapproving the rapid changes in food culture, writer and cultural anthropologist                       Tho. Paramasivan says in his article:

“Buying a bottle of soft drink produced by a multinational company is nothing but annihilating our own food culture”   

Well-known ecologist Theodre Baskaran rues that many of us hardly know the vocabulary for our native wild life.

“The wild animal, which can be differentiated according to its species as Pidi, Vezham, Komban and so on in Tamil, is just called by a single word as ‘elephant’ in English. The dolphin, which we believe to be a foreign breed, is a native of Tamil Nadu. Ancient Tamils called the fisherman’s friend as ‘Ongil’” avers Theodre Baskaran in his article.  

Link to The New Indian Express:


No comments:

Post a Comment