Deserted in the broad pathway amidst the thick paddy fields lay—Theloottu Dharmedran Tamburan, the conspicuous womanizer. His Kasav mund (silk dhoti) was crumpled all the way up to his thighs revealing his hairy legs while his hands that stretched out from his naked torso seemed to grab the grass on the muddy ground. His fingernails had quite some entrapped sand and his hair tuft was untied and muddy too. His face was plunging into the soil and the rest of the body was half-buried in the loose mud. Throughout his life, he would have never touched the mud so closely and dearly. His Melmund (a short piece of cloth used to cover the torso) was strewn carelessly away from him. The cool breeze that blew towards the paddy fields carried the camphor induced fragrance from the nearby temple where the main priest was chanting the early morning mantras.
A few temple administrators who stayed back throughout the night after the temple’s yearly Theyyam (Dance of the Gods) performance were tirelessly praising the Theyyam Artists while clearing off the cinder left out after the grand performance. One of them said, “I met God, I saw it in him[the Theyyam artist]”. Suddenly a Gecko chirped; he continued, ” See I told you, it’s true!” The old temple clock struck five and the men got back to clearing the huge pile of cinder again.
The people of Theeroor were all sound asleep after watching the astounding and powerful Theyyam which got them to experience God’s presence like never before in their lives. The temple was crowded till around 3 a.m. in the morning after which the devotees dispersed. The Theyyam’s bewitching face, mystical air, the roaring of the crowd, continuous drumming, fire, loud chanting of prayers brought tears of contentment and peace to the people of Theeroor.
For some it was the ‘Theyyam‘ and for some, it was ‘Dharmendran’s death‘!
Read Chapter 2 here