(by Late Mundoor Krishnankutty)

Pisharody community is a miniscule one and for that reason this it has certain peculiarities.  A group of non-affluent people – with only livelihood as meagre income from the services they rendered in the temple.  Yet they produced some illustrious scholars like late Panditaratnam K P Narayana Pisharody, late Thrikkandiyour Achutha Pisharody etc. Achutha Pisharody was the guru of Melpathur Narayana Bhatathilripadu, the author of “ Narayaniem” the ever revered and daily recited book of Sanskrit Slokas.  Many of us do not know who K P Achutha Pisharody (brother of Late Panditaratnam), another living legend in our community and how knowledgeable is because of his simplicity.

Similarly we never knew who was Kalayikullangra Raghava Pisharody, the author of  famous Kathakali script “Ravanolbhavam” which still continues to be performed, enjoyed and appreciated by one and all.  A great but noble Sanskrit scholar who was fond of imparting his knowledge  to the children, lived  almost two centuries ago.  He was very attached to the then King of Palakkad “Kombiyachhan”. History reveals that due to the harassment King Kombiyachhan meted out from another King Samoodiri, he requested Hydrali’s help.  Hydarli acceded to Kombiyachhan’s request and constructed the famous Fort of Palakkad.  History further says that it was this Raghava Pisharody who laid the foundation of the Fort at Palakkad.  Therefore, it is a matter of pride for us that that our tradition is great, but we lead a calm and quite life, with simplicity in customs.

Another point worth mentioning is that women were and are never treated as a liability in our community.  Unlike other communities, we have absolutely no cruelty of dowry – we never ask for, take any, nor do we ask how much gold jewellery the bride brings along, and it is entirely up to the parents. Our Kulapathi, Panditaratnam K P Narayana Pisharody often used to say that the “bride herself is a dowry”.  It is very interesting to note that in our community it is the bridegroom’s parents who give a token of say, Rs.101/- or Rs.501/- as a tradition, at the time of engagement (Kallyana Nischayam) and we must ensure that this tradition is followed by our next generations also.

Let’s preserve our custom, tradition and identity.  We must live harmoniously with other communities without keeping any distance in the name of cast or creed.  We are the descendants of those illustrious, cultured and broad-minded people.  This is the great Indian tradition as well, and let’s keep the flag flying.

(This article appeared  in the Thulaseedalam Silver Jubilee issue of September 2004 as editor’s note)




It is indeed gratifying to note that inspite of some adverse comments and conditions, the Samajam has taken firm roots and grown up quite satisfactorily during the past twenty five years. It has spread its wings far and wide from Kanyakumari to Canada. This is the result of team work and close co-operation amongst a large majority of our community members. However,there are certain elements within our own family, who are not yet convinced about the efficacy of our samajam and/or even the need for such an organisation. It is farthest from my mind to question their fundamental right to hold on to their own views and opinions; but if the facts and figures briefly set-forth herein could help them decide on second thought and, perhaps,change their opinion and attitude, I would consider my efforts amply rewarded.

To begin with no-one in his individual capacity can perform such an enormous task of reaching out to our community members spread throughout the country and abroad much less render assistance whenever needed for the simple reason that we have neither the capacity nor clout of Tatas, Birlas, Swaraj Paul or Ambani's. We simply do not have the resources for building up an infrastructure to extend moral, physical and financial support to a large number of needy families in our community. When other communities have set up such organizations long back, which are now rendering massive aid to their people, why not we, though rather belated. Gone are the days when our people can solely remain depended on temples 'Kazakam' for a living. Surely it does not mean we should throw out our age-old culture and tradition. However, we do need to move with a rapidly changing world and come out of our self imposed shell to become professional managers, we need to explore new pastures we need to reach out into other fields--Doctors, Engineers, C.As, Lawyers, Architects, etc. to attain economic freedom, that too in substantial measure. We have to be ready to play a new role in society if we are to be reckoned with. We should raise our voice loud enough to be heard through-out the universe. All these of course cannot be done overnight, it calls for hard work and mighty efforts. Rome was not built in a day.

It is an undisputed fact that collective efforts and organized bargaining have become the order of the day. They have their own merits. Remember, little drops of water makes the mighty ocean. If this be true, then the resources pooled from members of fairly well to do family of our community would tantamount or atleast be equivalent to a small lake - if not the vast ocean - from which we can draw and distribute some to those in distress.

I think it redundant for me to go into great details and dwell at length on the multifarious activities of our samajam, which have directly or indirectly helped the members. Suffice it to say, there are many sponsored scholarships to encourage our students, there are medical and financial help for those in dire need and above all a pension for the aged and destitute within our community, however, small the amount may be. Agreed, the amount is insignificant, but it is not the volume that matters but the idea and the very principle itself is worthy of emulation. Hence, there is no reason why we should fight shy of holding hand together to uphold such lofty ideals and noble causes.

As I said before, it is all indeed a team-work with contributions and help from various quarters, some as far away from New York, U.K., U.A.E. and Canada. What we do for ourselves is short lived and easily forgotten after us, but what we do for others will be gratefully remembered for a long time to come and may ever be engraved in golden letters in the chequered history of the Samajam of Pisharodys. The Lord said give, and give till it hurts, for it is in giving that we really receive - it is in dieing that we are really born to eternal life. True, in God's creation all are not made equal, all are not made heroes but none of us here is a zero either. So, friends, let us come together to find a solution to our problems and march forward to face the challenges of life.

If I am wrong, I am open to correction. After all to err is human.



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