Tippu Jayanthi… Birth of Mysore Tiger Tipu Sultan’s TIGER – Part 5

It was a sad day not only in the history of Kodagu but also by whole of India.

Finally on May 4th, 1799, while trying to flee likes an unknown coward, Tipu was killed by a stray bullet or by an unknown soldier marking the end of so called Anglo-Mysore War. While Mother Nature created a severe thunderstorm to cleanse herself of the dirt and grime of a monster along with chasing the last wisp of his Satanic Soul, cowardly British connoisseurs were putting their final act and touch of coating on to their Poster Boy.

An hurried burial with military honour for the limply body with a limp developed by falling from his legendary eight legs horse {sorry palanquin} along with his celebrated ornamental sword in Kerala. When a lie is told, too many arrangements are made to cover it up with meticulous preparation. Unlike trust, a lie black or white or multi coloured, it always leaves trace and shadow, no matter how smart or far reached the tentacles are. I am even wondering if they really found his body or buried a dummy in his place.

British were not only thieves but also seasoned liars who lied to the world for more than two centuries and sadly they got away with it too with the support of power hungry cheap politicians. The Kannada proverb goes “Kote shringara olage goni-soppu” (the fort is decorated but inside it all empty except few inedible leaves), seems to truly reflect the British mighty!

It is interesting to note that the residue connecting Tippu-British-Kodagu ended in 1864 at the Brampton cemetery with a cocktail of manmade religions. A cocktail of Kodava and Lingayat  blood converted none other than by Queen Victoria herself, who also tried to play cupid between the belle and another brave community from North, a Punjabi convertee to produce a super offspring failed to materialize. All these drama leaves a question mark in my mind…. was Hitler’s experiment to breed that special Gene was any different from Victoria’s attempt to thorough-breed a super Tiger from the Daughter of a Kodava mother?

What the heavily Corseted Mother goose failed to understand the simple fact that Kodavas are Tigers not Ligers!

In my individual capacity I stand along my bygone sister-clan, the Kodava-mapilas in dignity who became the collateral damage of the whole saga over mangled ego, power, wealth and fear. Wish the situation was different then… then perhaps I would have not written this article at all.

However the narration leaves a qualified question on the European integrity over the history of rest of the world. It’s time to look at the real Indian history without the smoke screen and who know what lies in the Pandora box? Also I guess it is time for both French and British, to return the stolen treasures of India and apologize to India, along with the tail ended falsehood propaganda makers including politicians within India.

As much as I feel proud to be a Kodava, I feel sorry for Tipu for his ignorant sad psyche, for the Politicians without integrity who used Tipu as a crutch, for the British who took shelter to maintain their image, for the French who stretched their hands for Tipu’s crumbs and last but not the least the misinformed souls who worship Tipu.

While most of the world fought over the religion, in the name of the unseen God, either by hook-or-crook to increase the physical number count, Kodavas the original inhabitant of the beautiful land of Kodagu, without the bondage of religion fearlessly roamed among the trees, bushes, plants, grass and seedlings under the sun and moon, swayed over by fresh wind soaring like 100-D journey among the rivers, valleys and hills reaching to Cosmos. Their philosophy, their free spirit and love for motherland is the secret behind their bravery.

While I admire, appreciate, love and cherish Kodava ancestors, I want the other religious fighters to know that religion does not relate to mortal body. The real religion is intangible…. God has no religion and true religion is magical like the unseen blood and water of our body lay deep among the creases of our heart and in every cell of our folded brain waiting to be explored. Once you are out of the physical religion box, everything becomes tangible. Don’t be the instrument or collateral damage for anyone. Do it for yourself… find the sparkly light individually… in the depth of your heart under the deep mystery of mind.Stop fighting over religion and destroy humanity to fulfill the madness of another individual. Use your common sense… listen to your heart the most precious organ of your body which works from birth to death without expecting anything in return.. waiting to be explored and finally leaves the body and slips away …. Don’t use the bodily religion as the crutch to reality. The physical body with the bodily religion, slipping into oblivion just rots or burns or floats unwanted even by the closest of the closest. Don’t waste your time, spread or spreading peace and harmony in an individual capacity. Live like a human being. I often wonder what if, he was humanly and stretched his hand in friendship to Kodavas and sought their help to fight the British. History would have been different today!

 

Tippu Jayanthi… Birth of Mysore Tiger Tipu Sultan’s TIGER – Part 4

Finally Tippu took a larger army and marched towards Kodagu. On the way towards north of Kushalnagara to reach Kodagu, he saw large trees felled on the narrow, rugged paths and covered with thorny bushes. Anticipating a larger attack, Kodavas had created the obstructions. On the outer part of the path large trenches were dug. The dug up mud was used to create a wall from where the Kodagu people fired shots and arrows and managed to retract two contingents.

Then Tippu gathered the bravest men from his army and under the command of French man Lally, sent to Kodagu. These men with great difficulty killed many from Kodagu people and managed to defeat them. Then Tippu entered Kodagu with his army and pitched his tent at Uluguli santé-malaa. There he remained fifteen days. Within those fifteen days, he called the mukyastas of Kodagu and told them that he would rule the land justly without troubling the people and made oppanda {agreement} them saying they will not revolt.

At that juncture, {while Tippu kept the leaders of Kodagu busy} Jainullabdeen Susthri came from Bettadapura via Kushalnagara looting and set fire to the place, imprisoned and dragged the men, women and children to Tipu’s tent. There Tipu gave Susthri four contingent and loads of ammunition, food and ordered him to carry it to Madikeri alias Jafarabad fort. Tipu was at Uluguli from Ashwaja month three to Kartika shudda fifteen that is third week of October till November first week of 1795. Then he headed to Madikeri along with the army. Before departure the forest between Uluguli and Madikeri was cleared.

In Madikeri, Tipu pitched his tent on an elevated place at the eastern section. He stayed there for fifteen days. During that time he made the elders whomever he met to promise him that they will not oppose his rule.

{Tippu knew very well that honourable Kodavas never went against their words and sadly the Kodava elders thought him in par with them and failed to understand the cunningness of a greedy man from the street}.

But before Tipu reached Madikeri from Uluguli, most people from around and from southern and western nadus had vacated their homes fearing the consequences if caught by Tipu’s army and reached impenetrable hills and forests. Angered by this Tipu sent his commanders with men to all parts of Kodagu to catch and bring the escaped people.

French officer Lally was sent to the most difficult part of West and South cardamom male, Husain Ali Khan Bakshi to North Kodagu, Meer Mohammad to Bhagamandala nadu and Imam Khan and others towards Kushalnagara side. They were sent with the orders to bring the captured prisoners to his next camp.

Then Tipu left Madikeri on margashira shudda padya day that last week of November reaching Bhagamandala in two days. There after meeting and inspecting his men went to Iyangeri area and pitched his tent at the large field called Devati Parmbu*along with his army. When he was at Devati Parmbu, queen of Kannur {Cananore} Ballia Banu sent elephants, horses and other valuable items as kappa to show her respect. In return Tipu sent her an expensive dress.

{*Devati Parmbu is a large ground at Ayangeri grama near Bhagamandala. It is the very place where Kodavas backed by Veraraja I, the founder of Haleri dynasty had fought with Nayaka Karnembahu, in which two of my own ancestors were the well known fighters, Commander Manicha and Madaiah. Commander Manicha’s gallantry was so powerful, unable to withstand him; Karnembahu’s men threw chili powder to his eyes to immobilize him and killed him cunningly. It is said that with the recording of Manicha’s bravery, the recording of viragathe, viramarana started in the form of folk songs}.

The Officers and Munshis who accompanied Tipu to Kodagu were astonished to witness and experience the forest, rain, cold of Kodagu. Felt difficulty with the experience too.

The historian accompanied Tipu wrote about Kodagu this way:
What can I write about this astonishing kadu-sime {forest area}, with the very mention of its name my pen shivers. Its bamboo bushes, so dense and impenetrable like the curls of Abyssinian sheep. Its large paths and small paths are squeezed like the paths in-between the stars in the sky. It is impossible to pass through the hills and valleys of this country. The crops in the paddy fields of plains are as high at chest level. Sun, even though with self heating ability, afraid of the cold here, everyday covers himself with clouds and slips away as fast as he could. Every night, fast moving moon veils himself, covering his face under the blue sky. If summer is like this, in winter God only has to save us. During rainy season, for six months, the rain is so heavy that like the tears in the eyes of a sad person, the earth is filled/soaked with water. From evening to until after two hours of sun rise, mist covers hills and valleys. Many tall, muscular and active young men, losing their body heat in cold, sleeps in their hut pulling their legs close to their chest. For six month, farmers cover from head to toe with old blankets or thick cloth and work in the fields for nine to ten hours. During this period, the leeches from trees and fields will suck enough and more blood from them and their cattle before leaving them. Even before I describe the cold of here, my hand which is holding the pen is frozen as if dipped in the frozen sea. The tongue which describes the weather, even though hiding behind the lips, is frozen like ice cube with fear and astonishment.

While stationed at Devati Parmbu camp, Tipu invited all the Kodavas from around and assured them that he will take good care of them and will be good ruler to them. However, his talk was all mosagarike {cheating andr dishonest} only. However, most people did not come to him voluntarily. But within fifteen days of Tipu’s camping, the commanders whom he has sent to captured the fled people returned with ample prisoners.

The military commanders with great difficulty captured thousands of people and brought them to Tipu. Lally managed to bring not only civilians but also few leaders too. Like this until margashira bahula panchami day that is tenth to fifteenth of 1785, eighty thousand men, women and children were brought in writes Tipu’s royal historian Mir Hussain Ali Kirmani.

Marks Wilks writes in his History of Mysore about it and writes seventy thousand men, women and children were captured. {Perhaps because a list was not made, it was difficult to give the exact number}.

Tipu sent the prisoners under the guard of his army to Srirangapatna. Then strengthening all the garrisons at Kodagu forts, returned to Srirangaptna via Siddapur.

{A French report says that a good number were butchered at Devati Parmbuand too many died on the way.}

Once in Srirangapatna, he converted the entire captured lot from Kodagu and distributed them to different borders of his country. These convertees were called as Ahmaddiyas. Before that well built selected men from the convertees along with their family were kept at Srirangapatna and formed eight tukadis {regiments}. To train the newly joined recruits in warfare and strict life, he appointed the experienced senior officers. These people from the rugged hills of Kodagu were well trained within no time. Tipu honoured the trained officers with neck belts stitched to their uniform made of gold and silver according to their ranks.

The Ahmaddiya soldier got the uniform in Tiger-stripes* specially commissioned and stitched for them. Before that, on the day the Eighty-five thousand {this number might be the correct figure} captured men, women and children were forcibly converted to Islam was deemed a Holy Day and he conferred the title of Badshah on himself and proclaimed that he was free from the control of Moghal Badshahs of Delhi.

{Perhaps that was the origin of the expression of famous Tiger-stripe mania of Tipu.

Tiger and tiger stripes were part of the decoration of Tipu’s possession and anything made to proclaim his rule or personal association. His throne, his coinage, his swords, guns, small bronze mortars made for his army, the men who fired lethal iron-cased rockets against the British wore tunics with stripes woven into their fabric. Even though Tipu never killed a tiger, he must have fulfilled his desire of killing a Royal Tiger by leashing Kodavas, the brave people of hills where both men and women killed tiger}.
Before British took over the control of India completely, most parts of the India including modern Pakistan, most part of south India including Northern Mysore and Arcot in Tamil Nadu. Those days, both those who were under and those who were not under Mughals paid tribute to Mughals, and expected birudu {titles}. Until the middle of nineteenth century, even British Governor Generals wore the titles such as Nawab, Mali ul Alkab kurshid janab ummar, etc., etc., before their profession. Hence, the other rulers of Hindustan were under the impression that British were dependants of Mughal until the beginning of nineteenth century. Hindu rajas of Mysore had sent gifts Mughal and gotten titles. Therefore, until then Tipu was under the impression that he was under Mughals. But with the conversion of Kodavas, Tipu declared himself Badshaw.
End of translation

Tippu Jayanthi… Birth of Mysore Tiger Tipu Sultan’s TIGER – Part 3

Tippu Sultan not only kept his garrisons in all the four major parts but also appointed his favourite nowkara (workman) Jainullabdeen Susthri as the adalitha-adikari (ruling officer) of Kodagu. He also ordered him to severely punish anyone who goes against and vacated Kodagu before the dawn of rainy season and returned to Srirangapattana.

During the period of Tipu building the fort at Kushalnagara, it’s worthy to mention few things about the place. After the death of Lingaraja, to keep Kodagu under his control had arranged to keep his Tanya, seems like there was a station at Kushnagara too. Before the place was named Kushalnagara, it was part of Mullusoge grama {the place was closer to Kaveri River and was ideal to send soldiers and goods to Madikeri. While Haider was at this place, the good news of his eldest son Tipu winning over his enemies was brought in and the place was named as Kushalnagra (happy place). Rice Saheb in his history of Kodagu writes that Haider got the news of the birth of his son Tippu here and hence the name Kushalanagara. However, historically this does not match as Tippu was born in 1750 and at that time Haider was a small Nayaka (leader) with Mysore army. After winning Bidanuru in 1763, Haider kept the Mysore ruler for name sake and became the controller of Mysore kingdom.

After winning Bidanuru, Haider claimed that Kodagu was under the dependency of Bidanuru Nayakas and since he won over them, Kodagu became his territory and wanted to rule over Kodagu. However, Haider for the first time occupied part of Kodagu in 1780, after the death of Lingarajendra Wodeya*. Perhaps at that time he must have built a wooden fort at Mullusoge {Mullusoge is a thick thorny acacia tree which grew plenty around} and while keeping station possibly must have called it as Kushalanagara.

{*The term Wodeya was suffixed by the Mysore ruler and the Haleri rulers used suffix raja in front of their names. Hence, Lingaraja Wodeya must have been a wrong term used by one historian or record keeper which was copied by others in the due course}.

Opposition to Tippu Sultan’s rule in Kodagu: no matter how much Tippu Sultan tried and made arrangements, people would not accept him as a ruler. Same year that is in 1785 during the rainy season people of Kodagu stopped food supplies to the garrisons. Left the plains and went to the forest area. Tippu’s men were not accustomed to the forest, hills and valleys of Kodagu and on the other hand Kodavas who were well versed with the terrain of Kodagu, comfortable living there could attack them at will and disappear again into the wilderness even before Tippu’s men lifted the weapons. So it was impossible to defeat them and more over Mysore men were not used to the cold and rains of Kodagu.

During that period as well as until the Europeans established coffee cultivation after British occupation, Kodagu was a dense forest except for the Kodava farmer’s paddy fields and backyards. The thick jungle was home to plenty of elephants, tigers, bison, deer, kadave {stag}, wild goats, boars, etc.. So to travel from grama to gram, nadu to nadu, either elephants backs or boies carrying the palanquins were the only mode of transport and the roads were just big enough for that and was filled with ups and downs.

In summer, shallow parts of the rivers were used to walk and during rainy season boats were used to cross the river. Between the Nadu, deep kadangas (trenches) of about 25 feet with high walls were present. Between many miles, there were small path openings for the people to cross. They were called as Bakka in the local dialect. In these Bakkas, raja’s watch guards were present.

There were no restrictions for the people to go between the nadus. If people are traveling to Malayala or Mysore to bring things or sell their rice, they had to obtain a permit from the Taluk Subedar. Only Yelusavira-shime and Nanjarayapattana which were to the east of Kodagu were on the plains. The forests were not dense; there were not many deep kadangas like the middle and west parts of Kodagu. Hence, most part of Kodagu was like an abyeda-kote{impenetrable fort}. It was the period of 1785 – 1789.

Thirty years after that between 1815 – 1817, Lieutenant Connor who arrived at Kodagu to gather details on geography, weather, fauna, crops, etc., wrote about Kodagu: the aspect of Codagu presents an entire forest, the long and narrow cultivated valleys enclosed within it serves best to render those vast woods more striking.

Those days because of the thick forest, rainy season was longer and heavier, pouring all through the day. During winter the mist covered the area until ten in the morning and was very cold. Because of the severity of adverse weather, Tipu’s soldiers were like prisoners in their own fort. The seasoned Kodavas occupied the other parts of the land and trouble the soldiers.

Hearing about the people of Kodagu taking the control back on most places, to contain them and bring Kodagu under control again, Tipu sent Fifteen thousand soldiers under the command of Jainullabdeen Susthri to Kodagu. This large army entered Kodagu from East and pitched their camp on Uluguli santé-malaa {market place}. Uluguli santé-maala is the current Sunticoppa area. Weekly santé {sandy} was held there for the surrounding area. The army stationed at santé-maala was attacked by 4 to 5 thousand Kodavas and in koota-yudda {hand to hand fight} managed to chop/kill many from the Mysore army. However, commander Susthri managed to gather the remaining army and reach till the Madikeri fort {around 9 miles}.

But once again Kodavas attacked him. Without enough food and men, feeling weak he turned to go to Bettadapura and pitched tent again at Uluguli. However, Kodavas once again surrounded the army and attacked him and thrashed his army. Finally with heavy loss, Susthri ran away with the remaining men leaving behind whatever was left with him to Bettadapura. From there he wrote to Tippu of his defeat and asked for more men {army}.

Tippu Jayanthi… Birth of Mysore Tiger Tipu Sultan’s TIGER – Part 2

However, unlike Tippu, the British understood the psyche of Kodavas and that’s why they offered the hands of friendship than of foe. That’s why inspite of Rev. Mega-Linga (Rev. H. F. Moegling) writing to company to increase the tax and expressing unhappiness over the other facilities, {indirectly expressing his inability over not been able to convert the stubborn Kodavas}, no action was taken by the company!

After French man Lally had managed to escape through North Kodagu (Coorg) despite losing his entire arms cache from France meant for Tippu at the hills of South Kodagu, anger of both maniac-Tipu and mercenary-French fleet against mighty Kodavas had no bound. Do or die situation…. They had to beat them at any cost and the plot took shape secretly. Though not a great fighter, Tippu was a great strategist, and traveling in the comforts of palanquin like a newly married bride, with his famous 7.4 kg ornamental Sword, reminding of how important it is to stay in power along the writing equipments and desk, carried behind him he could plan it well too.

It was rumoured that the Kodagu fighters from South Kodagu had moved to help the fighters in North. So a plan was meticulously hatched to beat the Kodavas. Without trusting the generals, this time Tipu kept the plan with himself and wanted to execute it in secrecy. Hence, he became a gomukha-vyagra… showed the face of cow under the cover of animal of his obsession which he could never kill…. the Tiger.

The question remain why did British kept him on pedestal. According to me, the answer is simple:  the British dint want to be known as the lesser fighters than Kodavas. Perspective alters history…The untrained, self taught Kodavas had beaten both father and son duo again and again, until they sought help from French and shelter under cunningness to beat Kodavas!! So what would be the face value of or credibility of “Great Britain” for fighting with the duo so long? Hence they elevated his own aura to make them look good!

Well from the foreskin of cunningly imprisoned Kodava/Kodagu men, women & children came out the hero on the mechanical toy tiger… No wonder politicians still cash in on it… while the world condemns Hitler, Tippu is celebrated, and the Kodava men’s foreskin indeed is expensive after all! Perhaps with very few exceptions, Politics coupled with ego teaches the valueless believes which politician in general inculcate in their philosophy. That’s why for few votes they glorify even the blood thirsty monsters.

Shame on those who calls Tipu, the son of soil and a freedom fighter…. I am sure if you look deep into their eyes of those beholders, it has the scar of foreskin in them.

The translation:
Tipu Sultan won Kodagu again: Before waging war on Kodagu, Haider had won the places around Kodagu. However until Lingarajendra {Lingaraja I} asked for asylum under him, he could not win over Kodagu because of its rugged hills, deep valleys and thick forests. More than expansion of his country, Haider was always eyeing and wanting to win Kodagu because of its strategic location where he could keep his army to control over Dakshina Kannada, Malayala and Mysore Kingdoms. Therefore, when easily it came to his indirect control because of the infighting of the Haleri dynasty (Branch II and III}, Haider did not want to return the land to Virarajendra {Lingaraja’s son Vira raja IV} as long as he was alive.

Similarly, after his death when his son Tippu Sultan took over the reins, he did not want to give up Kodagu easily. He was also well aware of the strategic position of Kodagu, wanted and made up his mind to win Kodagu again. However, the fight with English which started with his father was yet to get over, so he could not concentrate on Kodagu.
During this period that is in 1783, he transferred the entire royal family of Haleri, who were at that time imprisoned at Goruru Fort in Hassana, to the Periapattana Fort in mysore. Soldiers were placed both inside and outside of the fort to guard over the family, so that they would not escape. The family got an annual grant of three hundred pagodas that is thousand two hundred rupees. They were housed in an ordinary building. After a short period, due to shortage of food, unhygienic and spread of small pox took toll on Devambike Amma {wife of Lingaraja I}, mother of Virarajendra and his brothers’ and few other family member perished there.

As soon as he ascended the throne, Tippu Sultan continued his war with the English. In 1783 and 1784, he attacked Nagara kote* and Mangalore kote, winning it back, which was under the control of General Richard Mathews. After which on March 11th, 1785 Tippu and English made an agreement at Mangalore, putting an end to the fight. Finally Tippu Sultan had the time to wage war against Kodagu.

{*Nagara kote {old name Fortress of Bednore}, had been surrendered to General Mathews on 14th February. Tipu Sultan came with an overwhelming body of troops and forced the British to retreat to the citadel –smaller part of the fort. With shortage of supply, after ten days, they surrendered and General Mathews and his army were taken into captivity. After imprisonment, General Mathews was executed on 16th August 1783.}

On his way back from Mangalore to Periapattana, Tippu Sultan arrived at Kodagu. He invited the heads of Kodagu and conveyed the message that: inspite of you all revolting against me, I will forgive you but if you all revolt again I will catch and convert all of you. According to historian Wilks, Tippu Sultan told the mukyasthas that: after my father won your country, you have revolted seven times and became the cause of thousands of our soldiers. I will forgive you once but if you revolt again, I will convert every man in this country to Islam; such is my oath to God. And also I will make you all stay away from your homeland, away from your homes and property. I have heard that your women practices polyandry. If you all are converted and sent away both your revolt and your women’s polyandry could be stopped in one go. Tippu’s opinion and comment about Kodava women practicing polyandry was a wrong notion, wrote the later historians.

When Tippu came, Madikeri fort was of mud walls and he got it removed and built with stone walls. {Knowing the situation and the availability of raw materials, it seems either it was strengthened or makeshift one were built. Hence there are no remains.}

He kept a garrison and appointed a Sardar {commander-in-chief} Jaffer Kuli Baig as the kille-dar {kille meaning fort} and renamed Madikeri as Jaffarabad after his Sardar. Remaining soldiers were distributed between Kushalanagara, Arameri of Beppunadu and Bhagamandala*, with orders to build forts so that Kodagu will not slip out of his hands. Similarly, not only Madikeri fort wall was rebuilt in stone, forts were built at Aramane-geri {old name of Armeri} of Beppu-nadu, Kushalnagara and Bhagamandala forts were built. In all the four forts, Tippu Sultan’s tukadi {garrisons} were kept. The yards of Bhagandeshwara and other temples of Bhagamandala became the station for Tipu’s soldiers.

{*Arameri had a damaged fort from Utha Nayaka’s era which must have been repaired and in Bhagamandala there was no fort and the temple was used to station the army and the walls of the temple became their fort. Kushalnagara it’s hard to say. Hence, building a fort with limited labour and material in that short period seems little confusing. All in all they must have found ways for makeshift forts}

The outer walls of the temple became the walls of the fort. Since the rivers Kaveri and Kanake are flowing on two sides of the place, Tipu named the land as “Abjalabad”. Even before the soldiers had occupied the temple, Brahmin’s had vacated the temple and had taken the Linga and idols to safer place to perform poojas.*

{*The amazing story of Pattamada Uthiah’s bravery and dedication for four months to the Bagandeshwara and other idols, when all the Brahmins ran away in fear of pollution, made him famous all over Kodagu and later the ruler had granted him annul rice “padi”. A brave tiger killer, Uthaiah had not only carried a Brahmin boy everyday religiously on his back to perform the daily rituals but also had given up nonveg and alcohol}.

Tippu Jayanthi… Birth of Mysore Tiger Tipu Sultan’s TIGER – Part 1

Famous French historian March Bloch quoted: “History is neither watch making nor cabinet construction. It is an endeavor towards better understanding. The very names we use to describe ancient ideas or vanished-forms of social organization would be quite meaningless if we had not known living men”.

While researching for my forthcoming book about Kodagu and Haleri dynasty, I came across one of the strangest and disgusting claims one can ever grasp. Sadly no one has the time to read, that too Kannada books and hence I took the liberty to translate few pages for the younger generation to know the truth. This five part article traces one of the ugliest steps in the history of humanity and can quell many misconceptions about the real history of Kodagu and Mysore.

Though I had taken a break from blogging to concentrate on my book, the content was too valuable to be ignored. As I read sitting in the sun room, thousands of miles away, my late father’s words echoed at the back of my head… darveshi nai sulemova tipu kodavada samanramele samrajya kettechi… my father knew it but I was too naïve to understand then! Tippu–British–French–ugly Karnataka politicians, naked danced around me…. the ugliest sight one can ever see and bile was rising. Born and raised in Kodagu with values, it took a while for me to digest the utterly disgusting reality.

A step by step, day to day bullock cart journey leading to the grand finale of action is described meticulously by historian Mr. D. N. Krishnaiah. Buckle up, take a deep breath and experience the ugly side of maniac Tipu’s manipulative journey first hand on the rugged path of Western Ghats..…. …. Though the famous historian has given clear step by step pictures of the horrendous journey, luckily has spared the unpalatable and gruesome details on Devati Parmbu massacre and the painful journey of prisoners to Srirangapatna {it is mentioned elsewhere}.

On the other hand, ironically while Tipu was busy fulfilling his Tiger quest, by piling the manhood of Kodavas strand by strand, without his knowledge the British Empire was meticulously carving out their own “Poster Boy”, a hero larger than life in flesh and blood with an artificial aura of supremacy to save their own self-image from Tippoo. Tipu, armed with only good strategic capacity of a mere cunning tiger-salamander was promoted shamefully as a real magnificent Tiger known for its grace, strength, agility and enormous power, the pride of India. This allowed them to use this aura as an excuse for their own shortcomings against him

Sri Krishna says “Dharma only will protect Dharma” and I think Adharma only exposes Adharma.

It is said that everything happens for a reason and it’s for a good reason. Thanks to the manipulative vote monger Tipu-Jayanthi celebrations, glorious past of Great Britain’s “Poster boy’s” bravery is a household name not only in India but around the world. Hence the read would fascinate more people than before. However, it is time to do the postmortem of Tippu Satan’s Tiger Fallacy, clear the air and restore the peace, dignity and honour of not only Kodava Ancestors, but also scores of other innocent souls from many other communities within and around Kodagu, e.g., Catholics of Mangalore, Nairs of Kerala, etc., etc., to have their own moment of peace. I realized that it was the reason that I had found it and had to offer “pinda” to each and everyone. I couldn’t have asked for more blessing from the Creator than such a noble deed.

Blogger’s Note: The word Kodava is used rather than Kodagu warriors as the highest majority of them were from the Kodava clans and included families. Secondly, sorry about the language used… but after four years of research, I believe that one has to be bold and brash to tell the truth. The comments in {} is not part of translation and is instead my own insertions used for better understanding.

If there ever is a question…. who had the most prized “Foreskin” on earth, the answer would be definitely “the men from Kodagu”!! Am I kidding? Not really.
Tippu rose to power on it, British extended their friendly hand to Kodavas but portrayed Tippu as a hero to boost their Self-Image, like leeches French lived rather sucked on it and politicians still continue to suck on it for votes. When our own people could conveniently pull wool over our eyes with treason, it was not difficult for the white men. No wonder Truth is always bitter…

Beaten again & again by the ill equipped, self taught Kodava/Kodagu warriors, Tipu’s ego was tired of both the insults mooted out on him & his dead father as well as their inability to expand. The French, one of the European suckers shared the same sentiments too. Haider had the collaboration of more than 3,000 French soldiers and weapons at his disposal. Later numerous proposals of alliances were made by Tipu, leading to the dispatch of a French mercenary fleet of volunteers to help him. Infamous French man Lally was transporting metal cannon balls which can be still found in Kodagu.

Kodavas had a secret of their own for winning the wars and taking up the arms again and again without fear. They were raised under the warmth and love of an undivided family tree called Ainmane, their prospect of wealth was different. For that matter their ideology was different and miles apart than the mercenaries, traders or anyone who ever fought with them. They were the guardian of the boarder….Safety, Sanctity and Security of Motherland was their dharma which connected them with their past and their heritage, and a reason to live. They deemed it as their proud duty and fought for the safety and honour of their beloved Motherland and their family, often even without remuneration.

This is unlike the story of Tipu, who was the descendant of a mercenary from the deserts of Middle East, follower of an unknown strange sect, who spent first thirteen years of his life on the back streets of Devanahalli fort, perhaps radicalized, once even abandoned by father when Haider ran away, life was all about wealth and power. Coming from the streets of Devanahalli fort, with an absentee father, Tipu did not know the value of a true family or what a real family is.

True to the say: culture is caught not taught, living in an Ainmane, for a Kodava, the treasure “Kodavame” or the Kodava way of life passed on by generation to generation through watching their predecessors was/is a natural inborn instinct. It was/is the foundation of his courage coupled with love and reverence for his land, culture and family, becomes his passion. It was inculcated in their blood, their very DNA. River Kaveri was the strength behind them, the very umbilical cord which connected them to Kodagu.

  1. Fighting for the protection of mother land was inborn and came naturally to Kodavas and when necessary they could blend with each other like milk and sugar from all the four corners of Coorg Proper without any hitch as they were fighting for a single cause and not for wealth or power. That is what made them different, stronger and selfless.

PM Modi’s effect…. Swach Bharat, itchy hands and leaky members…..

While in Mysore, I like to do two things religiously every morning: one is go to Kukkarahalli-kere (lake) and the second is to drink tender coconut right after. One fine morning in mid January when I landed in Mysore, I was happy to see mass cleaning on the South side of the lake. Then, I saw the road in front of the Crawford hall closed as the road was being widened and everywhere spick and span.

I was telling my husband the MUDA (Mysore Urban Development Authority) was really taking a sudden interest in keeping the city clean. Guess they are vying to claim their title of “India’s cleanest city” back. When I stopped for my tender coconut, my husband said there were hardly any coconuts and it must be from the previous day.

When I asked the old man who cuts the tender coconut, he said boss is not bringing more.

I asked him why?

He said because of PM Modi’s arrival….

I was surprised and told him, PM Modi came to Bengaluru and why the boss is not bringing in Mysuru?

Showing his missing teeth, he said I don’t know Amma….

He is an innocent hired villager and he had told me that on a good day he sells up to 150 tender coconuts. He had also told me that weekly his boss pays Mamuli (usual bribe) to three different persons and every Sunday they come religiously to collect. If someone is around that time they will wait till the coast is clear and then collects it!

Later I spoke to his boss and he confirmed what the old man had said and gave me the list too.

Someone from Abhai (MUDA) collects Rs.300, traffic police Rs.300 and another police collects Rs.100. So Rs.700 total weekly payment. He also told me that they will drink tender coconut and if they find it fresh they will also pack 2 each to take it home! (Each tender coconut costs Rs.25).

Sad there is always room for black money and different avenues and channels available…

After two days the old man was moving his cart when we stopped by. He said Amma we are not allowed to sell on the pavement, the municipality people warned us and told us to stay away until after PM Modi’s visit on 18th and 19th of February 2018. Swachh Survekshan people will inspect…

So the mamuli does have its benefits and the less stocking was not because of the previous visit but preparation for the future visit… the whole system is a vicious circle and goes back to the roots…

I was also told that the cleanup operation and kicking the peddlers out was limited to the route PM Modi will be taking. I hear there are no rooms available at Lalith Mahal Palace hotel as it’s fully booked by a retired bureaucrat for his son’s wedding. So from where ever PM Modi is staying (mostly Radisson Blu)… going to Railway station and then to Maharaja’s College ground, the order will be maintained…

Wish PM Modi also visited the Kukkarahalli Lake so that the human waste coming in to the lake would stop and the little paradise would shine further.

Cleaning also brought to my mind the leaky privates some men sport besides the charandi (ditch at the kere)… or even in other open places. To this day I wonder why they can’t simply go at home before they set out on their journey. Interestingly I don’t see poor people doing that or a villager doing that. The middle class who travels in two wheelers or cars does that. Why do they really do it? Do they want assurance that their man hood still intact. Or is it just force of habit?

Wonder what might discourage them to do it? Does it help if everyone starts clicking their pictures in action and start posting in the social media… if they are shameless to do what they do why not take the picture?

Sadly there is this small breed of specimens who considers themselves as the leaders in such smelly business and presume their action justified. I see there is only one place remains which poses competition in this respect… however there is a minor difference. There the specimens have four legs. It’s at the world’s foremost city… Manhattan, New York. City of dogs, where the dogs are treated better even than the children or spouses.

The handsome, fancy dogs in leash, taken for walk, is a feast to the eye and the love and affection they receive is enviable. This perhaps is the reason they are also tolerated when they pee around. Most of the time their poop is collected and disposed but no effort is done to stop the pee. Everywhere they sport the little boards: Please Curb your Dogs… wonder what could be the befitting board for the educated fools here? A question and comparison which bothers me whenever I am in Manhattan!

The other city, the city of love which had the long standing tradition of drink and wild peeing, since before the day of Napoleon has finally put an end to the adventure and tradition with the introduction of Uritrottoir. Well you guessed it right, it’s Paris. Wild peeing was another tradition along with haute cuisine and chic fashion, they were wilder than the leaky dicks in India. So when will we be able to call it quits in India?

The Drunkard’s dozen, and one for the road;)

When I visit Kodagu, I not only make a choice to blissfully cut off myself from the gadget civilization, but the erratic Electricity Board practically forces it on me too. So I try to read the local news papers  in Kannada to brush up my language skills. Last visit, I was reading the paper and burst out laughing with tears rolling from the eyes. My husband was curious to learn the reason and I warned him, you are not going to like what I say… but he insisted!

I said have you heard of Drunkard’s dozen? You can use it in your next Bingo session… (actually I made up the word) and started laughing again because my mind went elsewhere, to Pakistan to be precise! He was looking at me with a sort of grin and irritation… then I narrated out the news item from the newspaper dabbed with little spice:

{May 28th 2017, – Virajpet} The way it seems, the Keralites are exceptionally Law abiding(***) citizens of India. The Cops seems to be either busy controlling the striking employees or chasing the drunken brawlers… If you take the Nagarahole road to Mysuru, after the check point of Thithimathi, you can often see many Kerala  registered cars from Mercedes to little Nano parked here and there even braving the elephant crossing. I joke with my husband, guess Mallu’s are scared of their abkari and cops more than the biggest mammal!

Lure of alcohol is more powerful than most, as long as the effect is on, one can be what they want to be… a Maharaja or a Celebrity or a Super being. Moreover alcohol is unbiased, has no religion, no gender or language discrimination, sings lullaby even to the beggar/pauper/criminal alike, teaches punctuality to the believer, and embraces everyone in the same manner including animals. Jokes aside, heard of fermented Marula fruit party of animals in Africa? The animals relentlessly keep coming back for more and more inspite of losing balance while walking. Fortunately (unfortunately for some) there is a limit to Man’s ability to drink and eat… and unlike Mr.FAT there is no storage facility for the alcohol either. The chemical cocktail that runs through every creature called addiction are often difficult to control and in Kerala there are one too many devoted to Ms Madire (alcohol). So what is the easiest path to romance or mate with her?

Simply get into a bus or car and depending where you live travel to Mahe or Karnataka. For example the boarder Taluk of Virajpet in Kodagu district of Karnataka and have a fill. Sadly one State’s restriction is another States boon. Ironically Mahe (aka Mayyazhi locally) surrounded by Kerala on three sides but governed by the union territory Puducherry (Pondicherry) with low taxes!

So during the last week of May 2017, one young genius in Lungi, the traditional attire, came up with a brilliant plan. He brought eleven quarter bottle (usually its flat bottles) and tied them to his sexy legs with white cotton rope, one with six and the other with five. Though seemed a dubious plan, it was the best he could do to avoid being caught by the custom officials at the check posts of Makutta and Perambadi. Perhaps he even would have gotten away fairly easily as the Lungi would cover the bottles and rope without any bulges. But like the famous phrase.. “One for the road”, made the plan famous and colourful.

That day KSRTC, – both the Kerala State government and Karnataka State government transport buses are called KSRTC – was running late.  Poor man in Lungi could not resist the call for the last drink like a snake to the charmer’s Pungi, got another quarter and chugged the shot fearing the arrival of the bus. Already high, as the Ms Madire subjugated, he could not even stand or walk. So under duress just sat on the ground, as the Lungi opened revealing his beautiful sexy legs along with the bottles. Rest is history… someone with the smart phone got smarter and clicked the picture and sent to the media.

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As I finished my narration, my husband burst out laughing but in between he said then what is the Drunkard’s dozen and Pakistani connection?

Well, sorry guys I have to admit its little nasty but that was the thought that came to me… I am not challenging the manhood but it’s just a funny episode in the mundane day to day life. I told him, it’s all about the importance or perception of manhood for certain category of people. I was wondering why only the odd eleven bottles and why not twelve? Then realized that in a drunken state, the man in Lungi must have mistaken or counted his organ as the twelfth bottle! It’s not different from a drunkard thinking he/she can drive in supersonic speed or consider themselves as superman/woman.

And as far the Pakistani connection goes, remember 4 – 5 years ago a suicide bombers’ devise would not detonate because he was wearing a metal shield around his genital area to carry it whole to heaven? Wow, amazingly he thought leaving it whole on Earth would reach Heaven without blemish too. Then there is the failed Christmas day unwashed-underwear bomb too…

My husband did not say anything so I thought it was OK to post it… But I am still wondering who is the smartest of the three? And which addiction is more powerful? Is wearing pant better than Lungi while smuggling?

*** Even though India is one sovereign entity, each State has its own independent rules and regulations within the state. Often it is stretched too thin and hard to comprehend. For decades I lived in a tax free country Kuwait, where there was restriction for very few items like drugs, alcohol, pork. Yet people try to smuggle it not only for quick bucks but also for personal indulgence. Always the modus operandi is exclusive; often mind blowing which could turns funny, nasty or stupid too. Like the drugs carrier mules sorry humans, swallowing plastic bags with drugs or kept in private parts, etc.. I often wondered how it is in a large country with limited restrictions or free movement between the states.

In Karnataka, alcohol sale is a big business… both as money spinner to state government as well as politicians/abkari/police department’s coffer filling golden goose, who are like the mosquitoes sucking out on decomposed mushrooms! Sadly as long as the last alcoholic is standing, demand and supply will continue and the trend will continue. Pathetically, as if the half crack-nasty, ego bound drivers are not bad enough, it is even sold on highways… However, the next door neighbour state Kerala has a different covenant even though they enjoy “Kallapam”, a alcohol based breakfast. Say no to “Kallu” and encourage drinking “Chaya”, the famed Kerala milk-tea,. According to Mr. Google uncle, the state owned Bevco (Kerala State Beverage Corp) has 338 shops, and Bevco will shut down 10% of them every year. Consumer fed, which has 46 shops, will also be closed. However, sale of alcohol will continue to be permitted in 5-star hotels, and there were fourteen 5-star hotels in the state as of August 2014. That means big wigs can still drink, in other words liquor is not really banned; only the location is restricted!!