Mooku POi

It was a very fine day. A tired Thatha was slowly shutting his eyes trying to sleep. Then came Thatha’s Maithree Kutti lead by her Mummy. Appa, This cute Pethi of yours wants to sleep with you. The bundle of joy and mirth smiled. “Thatha, Please”, pleaded the little one. Thatha, took the little one inside his mosquito net and told his little one,” Be a Chamattu and sleep

Maithree with all the mischief in the world chimed,”One story today, Thatha, then I will sleep”,”OK”, said the Thatha, “only one story today, little one.” Maithree was reclining on his tall pillow ready to hear her Thatha.

“ Once upon a time, Kutti”, told the thatha, “there was a mama owning coconut gardens. Have you seen a coconut tree, Kutti? It is tall like a pillar.” Maithree Kutti asked, ”If it is a pillar why do you call it a tree?” Thatha continued,” If you ask too many questions, I will not be able to even start the story and so keep quiet. At the end of the pillar like tree, there would be leaves and Coconuts. You, Know Kutti, Mummy buys them from Albertson’s and Appa breaks them with gloves in his hand. There is sweet water inside.” Kutti replied.” Only when you are there, I am able to drink it, Thatha, It is very nice.””Ok, OK “, continued the Thatha, “ Two thieves in the village decided to steal the coconuts from the tree”. Kutti did not leave” Why, Thatha, when you can get them in Albertson, why steal them?”Thatha was not pleased, He was feeling sleepy, “Hey, Kutti, I told you, you should not ask questions. Anyway in Albertson’s, you have to pay money for getting them. If you steal, you need not”. Kutti seemed to understand

Thatha continued.” Mama heard the thieves talking about stealing the coconuts and so he decided to climb up the tree and wait for them. Along with him he took a jar of salt, a tin of Chilly Powder and a knife.” Maithree started screaming.”Thatha Chilly powder is not nice. The other day I touched it and it burnt my hands. Mummy also chided me. Why did the Mama take the Chilly powder?”

Thatha was not pleased with the questions of Maithree but he had no option. Maithree Kutti displeased will start crying. So he patiently explained,”Kutti, the Mama wanted to punish the thieves, OK.After dinner mama climbed on the tree and hid himself among the coconuts. The two thieves came when it was dark.” Maithree suddenly asked” Why, Thatha, how can they see when it is dark? Please, Thatha, make them steal in the evening.” Thatha continued,”Hey, silly Kutti, be a dear. If they go in the evening, they would be caught by the Coppers and put in jail. So they reached below the tree and thief Kittu told to thief Ramu, You climb the tree and pick up good coconuts and throw. I will wait here and see if anybody is coming. So Ramu climbed and Kittu was waiting below the tree. When Ramu reached the top of the tree, Mama cut his nose, applied lot of salt and sprinkled some chilly powder.” “Ouch”, told Maithree Kutti, “Thatha that is bad, if you cut the nose it will pain. Please ask the Mama not to do it.” Thatha continued, “Kutti, stealing is bad and they should be punished. If you ask, one more question, I will stop the story. So Ramu lost his nose and due to salt and Chilly powder his nose was burning. He came down quickly from the tree. Kittu who was waiting below the tree asked Ramu, “Where are the coconuts? Ramu replied”Mokku Poi, Mooku Poi.” What is that Thatha,“asked Maithree Kutti. Thatha replied,”Kutti, it means I lost my nose in the language of the village. Kittu could not understand nor he could see , like you. So he also climbed the tree and reached the top of the tree. Mama, who was waiting there, cut his nose also, applied lot of salt and sprinkled some chilli powder on it. Kittu also came down the tree. He was also screaming, ”Mooku Poi, Mooku Poi” when he met Ramu. Both Ramu and Kittu were telling every one in the village next day, “Mooku Poi, Mooku Poi”.

So the story is over for today, Kutti. The eggplant has flowered and the Okra has borne fruit and so my little Kutti would go to sleep.

By that time Kutti was fast asleep. She was muttering, Mooku Poi, Mooku Poi, in her sleep.