The master thief
The difference between the plains and hills made the Siddhas to choose the hills for effective meditation. All the hills are special. But among them Pon Uthiyur hills are very unique.
In general, ‘Giri’ means that which stands tall with a base circular and the tip sharp. When a man sits for meditation his appearance is somewhat similar to this.
Like the radiance that emits from the face of a person meditating, the face of a hill is also very radiant. Among these, so-called ‘Giri’ hills, some hills has got the properties of Iron. Hence the herbs and plants that grow here also inherit the same properties.That is why Siddhas choose hills as their habitat. Iron is represented as planet Saturn’s form. It is black, it is strong, it can melt and expand in sunlight. Because of this in the hills the days are warm with medicinal properties. The breeze here also has that property. That is why the king of fruits, Mango that grows in these hills are very special.
The doctor who checked Rajitha was very disappointed.
“Raju…! Again the virus has started growing in your daughter’s blood. The elixir did not work properly. When its power reduces, the growth of the virus increases.”
“What to do now, doctor?”
“Don't worry. All these days we were thinking that there is no medicine for this. But now we came to know about this elixir Okay… where is that Siddha?”
“What to say Doctor…all of a sudden he vanished without any trace…”
“No problem… go and find him and bring him to me. The secret of the medicine is in that elixir he gave.”
“Okay, doctor… Rajitha will be safe till then, right...?”
“How can I assure that Raju. But I can say one thing for sure. The moment we got to know that there is a medicine, even after you tried to die you were saved… all these show that good times are ahead. So, believe in God and start immediately. The faster you come back with him, the better it is.”
Doctor’s positive words and motivation made Raju to start his journey in search of the Siddha to Pon Uthiyur.
He looked at his wife.
“Please go and come back with the Siddha. I will be waiting for you…”
Raji’s eyes filled with tears – she bid him bye.
“Daddy ”Rajitha called him.
“Where are you going, Dad?”
“I am going in search of the medicine for you…”
“Will I get cured, daddy…?
“Okay, Dad, please take care…bye”
Raju with a heavy heart moved from there with a mind full of confidence and enthusiasm!
From the foot of the hill you will first reach the ‘Ídumba’temple.
For the hill, this god is the protector of the hill. People who climb the hill during the full moon every month first offer their respects here and then move forward with utmost devotion. They believe if they face any sort of obstacles during their journey through the hill ‘Ïdumba’will protect them. It is not just a belief but many pilgrims had actually experienced it during their journey.
There is no god or devil existing in this world other than us the human beings. There are some people who live in this world with such a mindset.
Pavithran was one among them!
He is a master thief. He can steal anything before your own eyes within seconds.
He was waiting down the hill with the expectation of someone to arrive…
He wore a dirty khaki trouser with a green T-shirt. He has hidden a penknife in his inner pocket…with a rubber slipper on and a cheap tobacco with a foul smell on his lips.
He was sitting on a rock smoking and thinking very deeply.
Pavithran used to target small groups of four to five people, especially those wearing the gold chain and with costly mobiles.
He used to climb up the hill with the other pilgrims and before they reach the temple, he will become very close with them and within no time become one among them. There are many water falls on the way and also caves. He guides them all through the way and force them to take rest here and there. The moment they were asleep, he steals all their belongings and runs away from there and that is his ‘business’!
Their presence is there in many sacred places even today.
Pavithran was very disappointed that day. Because nobody up to his expectation has turned up till now. Even those who passed him did not have much valuables with them. It was obvious that some of them were regular visitors to the hill .Pavithran could easily recognize them. He has already tuned up his mind in such a way that he will not get caught by those smart people even by mistake. Moreover he did not want himself to undergo all those whole process of police, prison… etc. He will never forget in his entire life that incident of robbing the belongings of a police officer and was being imprisoned for a period of six months.
That is why he was waiting very patiently for someone who can be easily fooled. He saw a young woman dressed beautifully. She was looking handsome along with her was a middle aged person, he should be her father. Only both of them all alone wearing a very thick gold chain!
They offered their respects at the Ganesha temple and came straight to him. Maybe they mistook him as a forest guard seeing his khaki clothes.
“Good Morning, Sir…”
“,… you are the forest guard here, right?”
“Me! Forest guard …” Pavithran hesitated for a moment and then managed the situation “Wow! How did you recognize it?
“What is in that… do we need a special brain to find that out? We can easily know seeing your dress.”
“Okay, tell me… how can I help you?”
“We are new to this place and are coming here for the first time. She is my daughter…”
“Are you going to travel with your daughter alone up and down for thirty kilometers ?”
“Yes. When I checked with my astrologer, he advised that we have to pay our offerings at the Uttanda Velayudha Swamy Temple here if my daughter has to get married. That is why I brought her here. Most important thing is that she herself has to pay the offering.”
“Okay then… let’s walk. Is there anyone else with you?”
“What to say… The astrologer that only we both should go alone and no one should accompany us…”
“Oh,has the astrologer said that also?”
“He is a well experienced astrologer. Whatever he says come true.”
“By the by, what else did he say…?”
Babu felt that Pavithran was encroaching into his privacy too much.
“I am sorry… why should we discuss all that now? I just wanted to know a few things from you, can you please help us?”
“How much time it will take to reach the top of the hill? Do we have any place to stay here, Is there any resorts nearby?”
Pavithran laughed on hearing his questions.
“Why are you laughing?”
“What else to do…? Only this hill is away from the noisy human beings. Now people have started to come here in the name of god or devil to ruin the peace here.Sir,there are no lodges or resorts here.”
“What are you saying… I am not able to beleive.”
“Come on, let me tell you in detail. I am also going uphill only.”
He stood up from the rock and started walking.
“That’s great but… you have not answered my question yet…”
“There are not much facilities up there. Rich people like you will do ‘Annadhanam’there. We can eat that. On the way, there are places to build tents and you could sleep and take rest there. That is all…”
Pavithran started speaking like a professional guide and flagged off their journey uphill. Babu and his daughter followed him.
“Can we walk with slippers on?”
Pavithran showed his feet.
“Come,Sir,…. I am also walking with slippers on only. What is your name?”
“I am Babu and this is my daughter, Bindu.”
“Her name is beautiful… she is also beautiful.”
He appreciated and looked at her with lust. Bindu tried to avoid looking at him and walked as far as away from him. But what Babu told him after that was shocking to Pavithran.
“What is the use of being beautiful. God did not bless her with speech. Because she is dumb her marriage has also become a dream for us. Pavithran stared at them…..
He understood clearly the reason behind their visit to that hill.
“Why are you looking so shocked… with god’s grace, my daughter will get married to a good boy. It is okay even if he is an orphan, I have more than enough money with me. He should love and take care of her unconditionally. That is my only demand.”
Pavithran started daydreaming imagining that how nice it would be if he is that ‘orphan’. Suddenly a deep silence engulfed him.
He walked slowly with several plans in his mind..
Babu asked, “Will this path be like this till the end or it will get more tough and hard going up?”
Pavithran did not hear what Babu asked. His mind was seriously engaged in plotting out an alternate plan to abduct Bindu replacing his first plan to steal her jewels alone.
As change alone is permanent, on the way many unexpected meetings were waiting for Pavithran.
Some people were sitting under a tree, one of them was a nomad with entangled hair. It seemed like the weight of his hair was more than his body weight.
When Pavithran and Babu crossed him, he stared at the three and laughed.
His laugh was too strange and Pavithran felt very uncomfortable so he turned back and looked at him.
“Where are you going…come here and take some rest! You can walk a little slowly otherwise you will get tired fast in this hill” he said.
“What can we do sitting here idle. You will tell some cooked up stories. If we walk, at least we will reach the temple before it gets dark!”
“Hey, you fool…I know you are a thief. I am not bothered about you… I am only worried about this innocent dumb girl who is with you!”
The words of the nomad pricked Pavithran like a needle.
Babu said “He is an elderly person his words may be true let us sit here and take some rest Bindu…”
Pavithran also thought of making some changes in his plan. There was a rock nearby to sit. He went and sat up on that and lighted his tobacco.
The elderly person looked at him in anger and shouted, “Hey,no smoking here, don’t you know that, throw that away will you?”
Pavithran got a little scared hearing his voice. With the lighted tobacco, he immediately stood up from the rock and waked away from them.
“Let him go if he wish so. You sit here, in a few minutes, there will be a storm and heavy rain which will shake this whole hill. “the nomad said.
Babu was shocked to hear that and asked him “May I know your name ji?”
“My parents named me Periyasamy (Big God). But in this whole world to me Shiva is the only big god who rules this entire universe. So, I renamed myself as Chinnasamy (Small God). Not just me, all of you are also small gods. We are not a separate entity from the god… god is with and within us…”
Babu can feel the flavor of philosophy in his speech.
“May I know what you are doing in this hill ji?”
“What can I do in this hill… I will be simply sit here and chant the name of that Annamalayar.
“What do you do for your daily bread…”
“What do you mean by that?”
“I mean, you will also feel hungry and how do you manage it…?”
“Above all, we do have our conscience and intelligence. Why did you leave that?”
“No, ji … I am asking this question just to understand you… please don’t misunderstand.”
“I don’t see any right or wrong before my eyes. To me there is no rich or poor all are equal to me.”
“How can they be equal ji. I am not able to understand your concept.”
“This is not an easy lesson that you can learn like one plus one is equal to two. This is something which is beyond the human thoughts …”
“I really don’t know… People like you do not speak things directly. If we say that we were not able to understand you then you will say it is beyond our thinking. If you say like this, how can people like us understand you ji?”
“I can answer this in just one word… shall I tell you?”
“Just one word?”
“Yes, just one word and that is the truth.”
“What is that?”
Babu felt quite disappointed hearing that.
‘It is this same answer which everyone gives, then how can he be different?’ as he was staring at Chinna with this thought, suddenly a whirl of wind from the lower part of the hill started rising up.
“Oh my Shiva… the storm has started earlier than I expected. Everyone just close your eyes and go, take cover behind the rocks. Don’t stand under this tree. This tree is going to burn itself into ashes within a short while…”.He continued “I am going now, if destiny permits, let’s meet again. Chinna walked away from there in the same direction in which Pavithran went.
Chinna walked away from there very fast after untying his loincloth, he dusted it and wrapped it around his waist. As Babu was seeing him do this, a strike of lightening passed haywire followed by a rumble of thunder.
Most probably, that was the loudest sound that Babu has ever heard in all his lifetime. After that a bright lightening hit the earth burning down a tree at a faraway distance.
That was when Babu realized the danger that he was in. He ran away with his daughter from that spot. He embraced his daughter and took cover behind a rock.
They say wind is invisible but it can speak, now the wind was blowing with a Omkar (They say when the life in the earth was created the Omkar was heard continuously)sound…! The group went here and there to hide themselves behind the rocks. They witnessed the heavy wind blowing in front of their eyes. The tree under which they were standing earlier suddenly caught fire despite the fact that it was fully wet and it was raining.
That tree was called ‘Jothigarba’ tree. It has the properties of a cotton wick. We can really burn lamps using the leaves which has fallen off the tree. It will burn bright with a blue flame.
Babu was not aware of all these.
But now he understood that if he has not met Chinna, he would have got caught in the cunning hands of Pavithran in the middle of this forest.
Babu thanked Chinna in his heart of hearts!