Olappamanna Mana

I hate noise. But living in a city like Mumbai, you just don’t have a choice but to accept it as part of your everyday life. Now, to a large extent, I can cope up with noise, but at times it reaches a point where it gets on my nerves and all I want to do is escape. It was one such escape that took me to Olappamanna Mana, the house of the famous poet Olappamanna manakkal Subramanian Namboothirippad, in the small and culturally rich village of Vellinezhi in Palakkad district, Kerala. (Mana means a Kerala Brahmin home.)

The photographs below are categorized into 2 sections with some text accompanying each photo. Quite a few Malayalam words are used, but wherever possible, I have given the English equivalent.

 

Part 1the Mana, its interiors, and things that caught my fancy.

Olappamanna mana – front view.

 

Side view.

Side view.

 

Poomukham (lobby).

Poomukham (lobby).

 

Wooden carving on the threshold depicting Lord Vishnu as Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu while Prahlada and the saints watch.

Wooden carving on the threshold depicting Lord Vishnu as Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu while Prahlada and the saints watch.

 

Chenda (a cylindrical percussion instrument used widely in Kerala).

Chenda (a cylindrical percussion instrument used widely in Kerala).

 

Chenda (a closer view).

Chenda (a closer view).

 

Uruli (a traditional cookware used in Kerala).

Uruli (a traditional cookware used in Kerala).

 

Wooden pulleys for drawing water from the well.

Wooden pulleys for drawing water from the well.

 

Kottathalam (portion of the kitchen where vessels are washed) and a stone grinder on the side.

Kottathalam (portion of the kitchen where vessels are washed) and a stone grinder on the side.

 

The kitchen and its big windows.

The kitchen and its big windows.

 

An aluminum steamer.

An aluminum steamer.

 

Coconuts.

Coconuts.

 

A small window somewhere inside.

A small window somewhere inside.

 

Door knocker.

Door knocker.

 

A vintage electric switch.

A vintage electric switch.

 

Manchiraathu (earthenware lamp) inside a small enclosure.

Manchiraathu (earthenware lamp) inside a small enclosure.

 

A door latch.

A door latch.

 

Giant wooden windows.

Giant wooden windows.

 

Bhasmakkotta (used to hold vibhuti or the sacred ash).

Bhasmakkotta (used to hold vibhuti or the sacred ash).

 

An old umbrella.

An old umbrella.

 

Silhouette of a temple bell.

Silhouette of a temple bell.

 

A small temple inside the mana.

A small temple inside the mana.

 

A traditional bell metal lamp used commonly in Kerala.

A traditional bell metal lamp used commonly in Kerala.

 

Manchiraathu (earthenware lamp) - a closer look.

Manchiraathu (earthenware lamp) – a closer look.

 

Coconuts.

Coconuts.

 

Aavani palaka - a wooden platform used as a seat by the pujari (priest).

Aavani palaka – a wooden platform used as a seat by the pujari (priest).

 

A closer look at one of the locks.

A closer look at one of the locks.

 

My room key [1/2].

My room key [1/2].

My room key [2/2].

My room key [2/2].

A door.

A door.

 

Wooden steps leading to my room [1/3].

Wooden steps leading to my room [1/3].

Wooden steps leading to my room [2/3].

Wooden steps leading to my room [2/3].

Wooden steps leading to my room [3/3].

Wooden steps leading to my room [3/3].

The corridor outside the room where i stayed.

The corridor outside the room where i stayed.

 

View of the mana from the corridor.

View of the mana from the corridor.

 

The milkman.

The milkman.

 

Kulam (the bathing tank) - this is the women's section and hence the very low tiled roof to obstruct view from the opposite side.

Kulam (the bathing tank) – this is the women’s section and hence the very low tiled roof to obstruct view from the opposite side.

 

An old lampshade, porcelain i guess.

An old lampshade, porcelain i guess.

 

Part 2 – Kalamezhuthu

The following photographs show Kalamezhuthu in its various stages.

 

 

The colors used are all natural - turmeric for yellow, rice flour for white, charcoal for black, powdered green leaves for green, and a mixture of turmeric and lime for red.

The colors used are all natural – turmeric for yellow, rice flour for white, charcoal for black, powdered green leaves for green, and a mixture of turmeric and lime for red.

 

 

Sword, chilambu (anklet), and aramani (huge and heavy waist belt studded with bells) - these are all auspicious items that belong to the velichappadu, who is an an oracle or a medium between the goddess and the worshipper.

Sword, chilambu (anklet), and aramani (huge and heavy waist belt studded with bells) – these are all auspicious items that belong to the velichappadu, who is an an oracle or a medium between the goddess and the worshipper.

 

The finished drawing.

The finished drawing.

 

 

The chenda being played during puja.

The chenda being played during puja.

 

 

 

Olappamanna Mana – a chapter I will never forget in my life.

 

From a nearby hill – taken the day before i left.

 

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