SAMSKARA by U. R. Anantha Murthy
|Dasacharya||A poor Brahmin of the agrahara|
|Naranappa||a Brahmin who leads a non-Brahminical life|
|Manjayya||a rich Smarta Brahmin of Parijatapura|
|Garudacharya||a relative of Naranappa|
|Lakshmanacharya||a relative of Naranappa|
Dasacharya secretly eats food in Parijatapura
Dasacharya is unable to bear the law that adults should not eat food until proper funeral rites are given to the dead Naranappa. He is unable to control the temptation to eat, and added to his woe, the smell of food being prepared for children in the agrahara teases his tongue. In order to yield to the temptation of tasting food, he goes to the Tunga river without being noticed by anybody. At the river he takes bath and goes to Manjayya’s house in Parijatapura.
The time when Dasacharya meets Majayya is eating time for Manjayya. Manjayya eats uppittu that aggravates his hunger further. Nevertheless unable to ask him food, he pretends as if he has come to discuss the nature of his people. In order to please Manjayya, he degrades Garudacharya, Lakshmanacharya and also all men who visited Parijatapura the previous day to know whether any Smarta Brahmin would be willing to do funeral rites for Naranappa. Dasacharya points out to Manjayya that such act shows that his people (Madhva Brahmins) look down upon them. (Smarta Brahmins).
Manjayya knowing that Dasacharya would be willing to satisfy his hunger asks him whether he has had a bath and Dasacharya says that he had a dip in the river. Therefore Manjayya asks him to eat food with him. Dasacharya’s desire to eat food and the fear that his people would not invite him for any meal, if they come to know that he has had food before Naranappa’s funeral rites, brings forth irritability against his people and remarks that they are ‘rascals’. When Manjayya gives a promise that he would not tell anybody about it, he accepts to eat. Nevertheless he says that he would not eat cooked food and asks for plain flat-rice mixed with sugar and milk. But then when he is offered four spoonful of uppittu, he eats that as well and then he closes the plantain leaf for courtesy sake saying that he must leave some food for Manjayya’s family.
Note: Uppittu – A popular south Indian dish made of semolina, eaten as breakfast or dinner
1. canopy – noun
Meaning: roof (a covering usually of fabric, supported on poles)
Example – He soon stood in the shade of Manjayya’s thatched canopy.
2. crosslined – adjective
Meaning: offspring produced by crossbred
Example – In all his born days, he hadn’t even touched water in the houses of these crosslined brahmins.
3. glossing over – phrasal verb
Meaning: giving a deceptive appearance
Example – ‘Ayyo ayyo, is that so?’ said Manjayya, glossing over things, not interested in getting into anyone’s bad books.
4. clucked – verb
Meaning: uttered the cry of a hen brooding
Example – Whatever you may say, Manjayya, Praneshacharya is our one true Brahmin. What luster, what ascetic penance!’ he clucked.
5. gurling – adjective
Meaning: irregular flow of air
Example – As soon as the word uppittu was uttered, the bowels in Dasacharya’s belly turned and made loud gurgling noises.