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(This is an article / story contributed by a member of the public. This is a work of fiction. All the names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents in this article are the product of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, and actual events is purely coincidental.)
Once upon a time in the 18th century, there lived an Ezhava family named Alummootil in central Travancore. The family's origin was not directly traceable, but it was known that they held the title "Channar," a royal distinction rather than a caste indicator.
Within the Marumakkathayam system, the Karanavans enjoyed the family properties solely for their own benefit, leaving little for the other members. This callous attitude towards their responsibilities led to a proverb that highlighted their laziness: "Pathayam Perum; Chakki Kuthum; Amma Vaikkum; Njan Unnum," meaning "Granary seeds, the worker pounds, Mother cooks; I merely feast." While this statement carried some truth, there were exceptions - benevolent Karanavans who defied this stereotype. Among them stood Sekharan Channar, whose story would leave a lasting impact on the family's legacy.
The tale started with two brothers from the Alummootil family, members of the king's army in Kayamkulam, seeking Yoga training from the Lekshana family, the ruler's soldiers. Upset by their actions, the king ordered their execution. Faced with this grim fate, the brothers chose to sacrifice themselves, and the place was forever named 'Vettikkandom' in memory of their tragic end.
Their mother's sorrowful arrival at the scene caught the attention of the compassionate Queen of Kayamkulam. In a heartfelt gesture, the queen gifted her the land, where she built a Siva temple and a house for the Alummootil family. This incident deepened the bond between Alummootil and Lekshana families, eventually leading to a loving marriage between them and the acquisition of the Puthenpurakkal property.
As Sekharan grew older, he became actively involved in the toddy and arrack business, becoming a successful businessman. His prosperity, however, did not lead to selfishness, but instead, he showed remarkable religious tolerance, supporting Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity.
Despite being unable to enter the Evoor Krishna Swami Temple due to prevailing caste pollution and untouchability, Sekharan Channar wanted to contribute to the temple's welfare. To overcome this obstacle, he purchased land nearby and supervised the construction of a large dining hall called "Uttoopura," which he gracioiusly donated to the temple. This act became a catalyst for a silent social revolution.
His benevolence extended to other religions too. He funded the construction of a mosque in Muttom, gifting it to the Muslim community. Additionally, he offered a substantial donation for building a church, but the Christian community politely declined. His inclusive and understanding mindset earned him respect and admiration among people of different faiths.
Sekharan Channar's generosity and compassion made the Alummootil family the highest tax payer among the Ezhava community during that period. His legacy of love, acceptance, and open-mindedness left an indelible mark on the family's history, becoming a beacon of hope and inspiration for future generations.
In the end, Sekharan Channar's story reminds us of the power of kindness and understanding in breaking down barriers and fostering harmony among people, regardless of their backgrounds and beliefs. His tale continues to inspire and spread warmth in the hearts of those who hear it.
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