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Nanu's Parents

Champazendy is a village twelve miles to the northeast of Tiruvanantapura. Coconut palms grow there in plenty. Palm leaves are used to cover the roofs of houses. The place is rich in vegetation. The jack and the mango trees grow in a undance. There was a farmer's family called 'Vyallvaram' in the village. The family belonged to the Ezhava sect. Madan Asan was the head of the family. Kutti Amma was his wife. To this couple a male child was born on the twentieth of August in 1854. It was named 'Nanu' (which means Narayana).

Madan was not only a farmer. He was an Asan too. Asan means 'Acharyan' – a teacher. He knew Samskrita (Sanskrit), and had studied Astrology and Ayurveda. The people of the village highly respected him. He used to help the rustics by advising them on many matters. His dress was simple. He wore a piece to wrap round the waist, and a piece to cover the upper part of the body. He carried with him a palm- leaf umbrella, whenever he left home. That was the custom in those days in Kerala.

As Madan was learned in Samskrita, he knew well the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, our great epics. He used to give talks on them in simple language once a week, sitting in the verandah of his house. The people of the village used to gather and listen to him with great interest. Nanu too would listen with interest. Some times when Madan was not present, he had to give the talks himself.

Nanu's mother was true to her name 'Kutti' - i.e., a child without a blemish. She was intelligent and full of kindness. She was ever calm in her work.

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