Act 1:

It was a hamlet in the province where it was hard to separate urban and rural. Everything covered with a canopy of dense green on top. Underneath the foliage is a world with dappled sunlight streaks everywhere.

Its morning in March when we see the young Brahmin man who looks like he’s just left his boyhood behind recently. He approaches the kaavu. In the kaavu the kajal streaked eyes dazzled in the golden light of the diya. She is lighting the lamp in front of the little mandir in the (kaavu) tiny clearing in the clutch of forest next to the temple where tall trees and the rearing undergrowth is held back, but just held back.

His hands feel up her soft and creamy skin just above the line where her white mundu starts. We see the recognition in her eyes which she gently closes with a smile as she tips her head back to lean against the crook of his neck. She knew he would come and slowly bends her knees and comes on level with the little mandir shaped like an old malayali house, pagoda-like and the flame in the small depression in the temple glows brighter. Now both their faces are on level with the light. The golden light glows off both their skins turning them both golden in keeping with general theme of yellow mottles everywhere in this 24 carat sunlight.

Love finds fertile ground in these peripheries of the world. Her clothes remove themselves on their own and their golden bodies find their own crevices to fit like a rounded 3d jigsaw. The trees the temple and the world outside would know but mere humans cannot see it even if they were there right now next to them.

Vidya was late today for the temple, as she hurriedly crossed the forest bunch, she just caught a flash of a women gathering her clothes about and rushing out of thebrahmarakshas’s cove. Through the trees someone was watching Vidya watch the other woman. But Vidya did not linger too long, she had to go off for another rendezvous herself, the temple was just an excuse, but you cant displease the Krishna of the temple, he’s the lover’s guardian, only he could have saved her love too.

Six o clock and the world has turned a reddish shade of golden Vidya meets Anish at the bus stop, she had waited for him so long in the morning and he had eluded her. He’s just come back from the town nearby with its 6 bars, 4 movie halls and the big market.  He has no job yet with his Arena multimedia post-graduate diploma and he has just met with a rich NRI about setting up a design studio. Vidya wanted news of the success he had, news that he will be soon having a steady income so they could elope. At 21 she was ripe for the wedding market and she wanted to elope before the bridegrooms started to come to her house for tea and snacks. A disgusting and degrading program she would do well to avoid.

But Anish is loathing the whole thing, he felt the stink of rape on his self, Basheer the NRIs condescending sermon on the way money is to be mad and priorirties of life. The point was not that he did not like what basher said, its just that he couldn’t take someone telling hi how to live his life. Barely able to keep his food down in his stomach as Basheer’s booze lay on top of it Anish managed to mumble agreements and remain obeisant.

Though he found it hard to accept he knew that the man with money was God when you wanted it from him. He thought of the Krishna of the temple with the beginning of a curse on his lips.

Thinking against her better judgment Vidya tries to wheedle out of Anish a confirmation of her anticipated success of his meeting. Anish blew up, coz he was caught unguarded and also because he was quivering at the edge of a lash out anyway. In no uncertain terms he tells Vidya to get the fuck away from him and leave him in peace to deal with the tatters of his life. The one extra tinge of anger that he had usually kept away from such diatribes delivered before crept into his mouth this time triggered by the un-inhibition granted by the vitriolic booze that Basheer had bought him.

— Dumb bitches like you need dumbfuck husbands with dumbfuck jobs and ass licking heads, just leave me the fuck alone, I can never be that, so I don’t want anybody to wait for me.

So saying Anish storms off leaving Vidya standing there and staring after him. The moment he walked away he bit down the urge to turn back and say sorry, his mind fighting him to a point where he couldn’t figure out who he was. Struggling to keep his face stony, he walked by Anthony his neighbor grazing his cow on the patch of green by road.

— Anil’s coming tomorrow I heard.

— Hunh, he is coming late tonight.

Without breaking his stride Anish walked on.

— Does he have some marriage proposal lined up?

— O, nothing like that, he is just coming on for a few days because he has holidays in Mumbai.

— Tell your mama to talk to me; I have some girls in mind for him.

— Hmmm

Anish’s mind settled a bit in a manner of speaking; he briskly walked home. His mother, Amminiamma, had four boys. Everyone around their house liked them all, they were the sons of the whole area, Anil, Vijayan, Anish and Prakash, born in that order. They were good boys all, and Anil was the pride of the whole panachayat when he topped the matriculation exams. As hoped for soon after Anil finished his M.Tech. in Chemical Engineering he immediately landed a good job and in a years time he rebuild their house bigger. All the other boys got a good education because of him. To Anish, Anil was the closest he came to someone he respected and wanted to please, and the thought of Anil coming in his present mindset was only going to be awkward. Now a days everything seemed to turn out shitty.

In their kitchen Amminiamma and Raji, Vijayan’s wife were busy deep-frying yellow banana slices. The banas bubbled as they turned a deeper yellow as the hardened into warm bana chips. Prakash was picking up chips that were laid out on last weeks Malayala Manorama. Raji drove him away to the living room where Anish was taking off his shoes at the door.

— Hey Anish, did you see Vijayettan in the junction anywhere?

— No but heard he’s gone to Trivandrum to meet someone at the Law office.

Walking back to the kitchen Raji kept speaking.

–Then he will be back late, Anish you will have to drop me off after Valyettan comes, and keep that ghost who eats away from the kitchen he will eat up everything before Valiyettan (big brother) reaches. U will have tea no?

— Yeah, some tea would be great, Prakash’s coming with me to the railway station to pick up Anilettan so your chips are safe, (to Prakash) hey, go get dressed, the train comes in at 7, we leave in half an hour.

Anish sits down at the living room and looks at the TV which Vijayan’s 8 year old is watching absorbed, a news reporter is reporting the story of a baby elephant that has fallen into a well.

At Vidya’s house we see Vidya walking to the front door with the ceremonial Lamp placed at the doorstep with the announcement of “Deepam, Deepam.”

Her dad PWD Chief Engineer Janardhana Nair is watching TV and sees the TV report of the baby elephant in the well. He is with Vidya’s elder brother Vikraman.

— Hey what happen to that proposal from Mundakayam.

— The birth charts don’t match so they called and told me that they would avoid this engagement.

— (sighs) This is the 10th proposal now, anyways I have got Jyotish Ratnam Damodaran Warrier’s date, he said he will come here this Thursday, let him look at Vidya’s birth chart he will find some solution surely.

On TV the elephant issue is Live Exclusive, in the dark rescue workers are working with a searchlight beamed into the well. The digital clock on the corner of the frame says 7:12.

We see the train come into the station. At the door of the first class bogey we see Anil for the first time, a bearded man searching the platform with sad eyes accentuated by his jolly bush of a beard. But for now his eyes light up with joy when he sees Anish and Prakash.

Act 2:

It’s early morning once again on the next Thursday, but it’s too early in the morning today for the sun’s golden blessing to kiss the earth through the trees. There is an ominous calm today. The Krishna in the temple is taking his early morning walk around his compound. All the doors of the temple compound are shut. There is an uneasy breeze blowing, stinging the mild chill of morning into the unexposed bare torsos of the Brahmins still wet from the morning ablutions in the temple pond who carry the idol.

The time of the dark ones who reign in the night is getting over and the pallbearers of the light are waiting their turn at the edge of the horizon. Its always a bit eerie under the foliage at this time, but today the edakka player was feeling nervous. Somewhere else another person nervously enters the kaavu. A sleepless night later aching with anticipation she had arrived fully bathed and glowing too early today, it was almost that time of the month for her when she should stay away from these parts, but she willed her mind into believing otherwise.

And lo! The moment she lit the lamp, in its glow standing atop the little temple there he was in all his naked masculine glory, a statue of youth and gold. The muscles on her face twitched and he smiled devilishly at her. He pounced on her and she fell back onto the undergrowth, without even undressing her he tore away her mundu and entered her unceremoniously. In the pre dawn a strong gust of wind swept around them as he stabbed her vigorously, she winced about but held onto his torso with her feet. His eyes glowed and turned reddish, she closed her eyes and smiled with imminent satisfaction anticipating the starburst that would soon follow.

But unknown to her at this point a drop of blood trickled from between her legs and hung from the tip of a leaf like a scarlet dewdrop. Almost instantly the youthful skin started peeling of his face, revealing 100 years of decay, turning the spirit he was back to the rotting corpse that his materiality was, but she felt nothing.

Suddenly a bolt of silver lightning split a tree in the kaavu in half. Startled like never before in her life she opened her eyes to see the ghoul that till a few moments ago was a delicate young Brahmin boy. Screaming she scramble away from him and tore into the undergrowth. Somehow she escaped his clutch and ignoring her nudity she ran screaming out of the kaavu in a northwesterly direction. In the kaavu frustrated and unable to move quickly outside his realm of the kaavu the brahmarakshass watched her go straining against the force that held him back.

Back in the temple, the earth shook with lightning bolt and the Brahmin carrying Krishna couldn’t contain him in the brass plate he was carried in and Krishna fell onto the ground. Simultaneously the northwestern door to the temple compound burst open and the brahmarakshass felt that force that was stopping him from moving. He submitted because he knew he would only have to wait till that night, he would have his fill of life and his eyes set within his by now gooey face looked yearning in the northwesterly direction.

Amminiamma was startled by the thunder as she milked the cows. She spilt the whole pot of milk onto the floor of the cowshed. White milk dribbled over mounds of glistening cow dung. She felt a unexplained chill down her spine, it was the first inkling she had of impending doom, but as yet there was nothing to validate it. Straightening up the pot she gave up the milking for today and rushed back into the house. Panting she sat at the bench in her kitchen for a few minutes. The crackling far on her heath brought back a sense of calm to her and she started breathing easy.

Anil too had woken up with the thunder. He had sat up and looked out through the window and smoked one of his cigarettes. He looked sad and forlorn sitting like that. He walked into Anish and Prakash’s room and stood at the door feeling them lovingly with his eyes. His eyes glistened with moisture. He turned away abruptly. A while later he was in the kitchen and Amminiamma put a galss of black coffee in front of him.

— What happen amma, why is the coffee black today.

— Did you not hear the thunder, it startled me and I spilt all the milk. There is something wrong with the day today?

— Oh, just because there was thunder in the morning is no reason to worry, you relax amma?

— Ahh, its ok, I have promised a pushpanjali to Krishna today, be sure you go and do that in the evening at the temple.

— Tell Prakash I have to go somewhere urgently today.

— You just came and already you stated running around, I thought you came to spend sometime with your poor mother.

— Just today amma, from tomorrow I will be here with you all the time, ok.

He hugged her to emphasize, blushing slightly she turns away from him.

— Leave leave… I have things to do, all that you say, it has to be seen how much you will keep your promise.

Amminiamma, takes the coffee and goes to Anish’s room, “He likes black coffee in the morning anyway”. Anil steps out the door of the now empty kitchen into the backyard.

Anish is sitting in the living room drinking coffee and reading the newspaper while Amminiamma is shaking Prakash back to the waking world with a gamcha in hand, “Go take a bath and come.”

Anil has taken a bath and is looking clean and fresh; he stops at the living room where Anish is reading the newspaper.

— Hey Anish, I need you to drive me to a meeting in the afternoon, and I need to talk to you about something also, the car is ok no.

–Hanh, the car is fine, day before we had taken amma to guruvayoor, I had checked everything. Don’t worry about it I am free anyway. Brother why don’t you shave off that beard you will look much nicer.

–You don’t understand in this beard is my glamour.

Prakash is walking back from the pond, fresh a woken up after a dip when he hears a wimper in the undergrowth, he moves that way off the pathway formed on the groung by years of walking on. He parts the plants and peers into a cavity in the ground overgrown with moss undergrowth, writhing in it he sees the woman. She is clutching and unclutching everything round her, achingly unfulfilled and under a lot of pain thereby. Her thighs still have dried and fresh blood on them. Prakash comes closer and looks with eyes popping out of his head. He bends down to look at her face, she sees him. “Ahhhh! You have come you have come”, and she clutches him onto her. In a flash he is under her and she is writhing on top of him. He struggles but she is mad and strong with longing and she ravages him, sucking his juice out of him she rides him like a devil thrashing around in the undergrowth.

Meanwhile a white ambassador car, carrying Damodaran Warrier is passing by thekaavu. Inside the car Damodaran Warrier, looking outside clutches the driver’s shoulder. The car stops just beyond the forest grove. Damodaran Warrier walks into the grove. He sees the tall tree torn in two and he is visibly chilly. His eyes fall upon the dried blood on the plants where the brahmarakshass had ravished the girl. A cloud passes over his face as the incidents of the morning reveal their aftermath to him. He asks the driver.

— Further down this road is the entrance to the house of the people we are here to see?

— No sir, the entrance to the house is facing the other way.

— Hmm, this is not good, a terrible thing has happened?

As the two men walk back to the car the driver finds a peacock feather on the ground. Damodaran Warrier takes a note of it and takes the feather from the driver and makes obeisance to it and hands it back to the driver.

— Go give this at the temple immediately and tell them to return it to the Sanctum Sanctorum of the temple, tell them I send you. Go, I will walk the rest of the distance.

— But sir, you know the house…

— Don’t worry, Krishna has guided me to this forsaken place, he will take me further.

At Vidya’s house everyone is bathed dressed and ready for the great man. There is a tall lamp ready to be be lit at the foyer, in anticipation of Damodaran Warrier. As he crosses the gatepost into Janardhanan Nair’s house he comes rushing out,

— If you had told me I would have come with he car, you needn’t have walked.

— Sometimes it is a requisite to walk.

Inside the house with lamp now lit, Damodaran Warrier sets up his apparatus, 108 shells and on a wooden board with a suare further distributed into the boxes for the 9 planets. Sunlight strengthened the golden of the coconut oil lamp.

Damodaran Nair hummed and hawed asked a few questions now and then to Janardhana Nair and largely spent his time there staring at the wooden board making his calculations.

Finally he turns up and looks into the expectant Janardhanan Nair’s eyes.

–How long have you been living in this house?

–About 3 years, now… why do you ask?

— I suggest you plan to move out of here as soon as possible. According to thisprasnam I see dark forebodings either in this house or related places, also I see the glance of a powerful evil spirit lurking nearby. The position of the stars are all in your favor therefore if you change the position of your abode you can get away easy.

— But what about my daughter, we wanted to find out how to get a solution for her marriage… otherwise we don’t have any other problems here, we are very settled and comfortable here why should we shift from here?

–Look Janardhanan Nair, its your sheer luck that I came by and I was able to read these untoward omens, your daughter is young, only 21, her marriage will happen in due course, the real problem is the evil around this house, you better shift. I am going against my better judgment here by saying this, but seeing as you will not gauge the seriousness of this matter otherwise, I will just say that 5 deaths will happen soon, and you are right in the path of the evil, what the prasna reveals to me I have told you, what you want to do with this information is completely up to your judgment. Anyways send someone to my house later I will send some amulets for protection, it won’t be much good but that’s the best I can do for you.

Janardhanan Nair is stunned, he looks on with disbelief.

Later as the car passes by the kaavu we see the brahmarakshass watching the car go by from the kaavu with burning eyes willing evil upon the man whose force was repulsing another one of Krishna’s minions.

Back at Anish’s house Anish is dressed up and sitting at the dining table waiting for Anil. Anil comes to sit at the table at the head and the thre brothers sit to eat.He turns to Amminiamma.

— Vijayan hasn’t come.

— Ohw! forget him! he has not time after dealing with other people’s problems, he called at said to ask you to eat, he will come and meet you before you leave. Here tree this mango pulisherry, these are some mangoes I had kept away just to make curry for you.

— If he were here, it would have been better.

Anish butts in:

–He will be here for dinner; we will all eat together at night ok.

As they are half-way into lunch Anish’s phoine rings. He sees its Basheer, he gets up abruptlky and walks out of the room.

– hello…!

–       Its Anish right.

–       Haanh..tell me Basheerbhai.

–       Hanh, how soon can you come and see me…!

–       Sorry Basheer bhai I am going to Kochi with my brother.

–       Cant someone else go, I want to finalize that deal.

–       What, right now?

–       Why today is not auspicious or something, anyways I just want you to sign documents…

–       What, you are ready to start the business…

–       I told you no, I have shop space lying around simply and I have enough work I can outsource from Dubai, we can easily collaborate these two setups over the net, I am not foolish to let go of something like that, the question was only wether I want to do it with you and I have decided that I like you, really I kept thinking of you  all evening yesterday!

–       But…

–       What don’t tell me after all that conversation that u cant do it!

–       No no it’s not that…

–       Then what I will see you in an hours time?

–       But..!

–       Okay then meet me in 2 hours at the Breeze hotel bar counter, I will wait for you, they say what you need to do tomorrow do today and anyways after tomorrow I wont have the time and day after I am going back. So then I will see you at 3.

As Anish stands with the phone in one hand and rice wet with sambar stuck on his other hand Anil having finished his lunch is walking towards him wiping his face and hands with a towel.

— Who is it so urgently?

— There is a problem brother, this is that guy I was telling you, investor, he wants to sign papers

–That is brilliant (Anil becomes happy) congratulations, so what’s the problem.

— He wants me to go immediately and meet him.

— So go!

— Who is going to come with you?

— I will go with Prakash, I can drive, and it will be fun after so long to drive in Kerala after the traffic in Mumbai.

By this time Vijayan has arrived. Anill calls out to Prakash and asks him to go with him. Prakash is a bit dull in his acquiescence and quietly goes into his room to get dressed. Anil asks Amminiamma what happen to him.

— From morning he’s been slinking around.

— I scolded him for being so late getting back after his bath, last week also he was sick by splashing about in that pond for hours. Don’t mind him, the moment he is out of the house he will be fine, its just to show me.

Anil smiles. Vijayan apologizes for being late and talks about having to settle some boundary dispute in the Village office. Anil asks Vijayan to drop Anish to the city and he and Prakash leave in the car, followed by Vijayan and Anish on the bike. Amminiamma watches them go down the road towards the kaavu. In the kaavu the spirits eyes follow Anish as he sits behind the bike.

At the bar Basheer is standing as promised at the bar counter, he orders one Johnny Walker for Anish which Anish immediately cancels. Basheer is surprised, why what happen?

— I just had lunch, I cant drink.

–Just one, hmm?? No…? OK then lets go to my place, we will do the paperwork there.

In the car Basheer eyes him Aneesh and catches his anxiety, “What you are happy aren’t you?”

— Oh yes, definitely, you wont regret this Basheerbhai, this enterprise will grow more than anything else you have going.

— At one point someone liked me that’s why I came this far, I am only glad to pay it forward.

At the palatial bungalow they sit at a large table with a glass top and garish wooden lions holding it up. They finish signing the last document, two of Basheer’s hangers on are also there, who sign as witnesses.

— Now that’s done, we can get to more fun things?

He pays the hangers on some money and asks them to go get smashed, ‘We need to talk a bit.’

He herds Anish up the stairs to another room on the top floor. Another garish room, designed like a 80s Hindi film don’s room. Red carpet, mirror on the roof, a circular bed with velvety bedcovers and drapes to match the carpet coming together without the insincere tackiness of a film set. Basheer walks straight to the bar counter done up with stainless steel and twinkling crystal glasses. Everything oozes of typically Indian decadence. Walking into the room Anish asks Basheer about his family. Basheer explains:

— They are at my other house, this is my personal space, family get in the way of many things, which a connoisseur like me cannot tolerate, all my tastes need not be known to my wife and kids, if you get what I mean. What’s the point of having all this money if you cant really get some fun into your life?

He offers Anish a whiskey glass on the rocks, when Anish refuses he insists and Anish starts sipping on it. Basheer interjects,

–Take a gulp swirl it in you mouth and swallow, its 21-year-old scotch, the best bottle I have right now. Splendid, right! Get used to it you are with me now.

— A bit hard.

Basheer’s eyes twinkle and he slowly takes his silk kurta off exposing his hairy body,

— Its hot, take off your shirt if you want.

— No I am ok.

Basheer now approaches him and looks into his eyes that have already started turning red. He puts his palms on his shoulder.

— You are a beautiful boy.

Anish smiles weakly.

–That’s some haaarddth likkhor…

His words jumble up.

— I have to take of your clothes myself now. See what all you are making me do.

Its now that the idea dawns into Anish’s subconscious. But by now everything he sees is a blur. Strange things are happening his viewpoint shifts around the brocade red sofa. He feels Basheers prickly moustache all over him, but his senses come back momentarily when he is flipped over and Basheer penetrates him from behind. He gasps and his face screws up as he whimpers. Pressed into the sofa seat Anish in his sideways glance sees the brhmarakshass sucking at his breath, a bluish vapour flows out of him into the ghoul.

Prakash is looking at a football in his hand which a 12 year old runs into the frame and snatches from him, he looks on blankly. In Kochi Anil is with his friend Sushil in the foyer of a big house, in the background we see a Anils kid playing kickball with Prakash. The name board in front of the bungalow says Sushil Rajagopalan, MBBS, MD, Neurosurgery. Sushil has a large manila envelope in his hands which he drops onto the table. Anil says:

— Well, you have to tell them, the tests are conclusive now. By keeping it from anyone this long I am going against the ethics of my profession.

— Sushil just let me break it to them, its not going to be tolerable for me any other way, I will definitely talk to Anish tonight. Just one more day.

Vidya as usual is at the bust stop waiting, when she see Anish get off the bus and turn into the path to their house, she inconspicuously walks after him and catches up with him. She starts with her comments of his disheveled appearance. Today Anish is completely unresponsive. Vidya informs him that the jyotsyan has said about her marriage and asks Anish to forget about everything else.

— Lets runaway and live somewhere I don’t care I cant be with anyone else no matter what.

Anish stops in between and with a dead tone his face betraying no deep emotion tells her:

— You marry someone else Vidya, you don’t deserve me. Just forget all this, its all bullshit.

–Anish!!! You abuse me all you want but after so long I cant just pick someone else to live with, don’t say this…

— No seriously I can’t do it, I have that business deal also but I can’t do it… I don’t even know what I have become… just go and forget about me, have a better life please.

This time Vidya walks away from him briskly. Anish slowly starts walking again. Further down the road, he finds Vidya waiting again for him.

— For me to not marry you either one of us has to die, there is no other way.

This time she walks off without turning back. Anish enters the house and Amminiamma asks him where he has been etc and he just ignores it and enters his room and shuts the door. Bare bodied he hits the bed and smothers his cry into the pillow and cries himself to sleep.

In the cattle shed of the Vidya’s household a cow brays loudly, white foam gurgling out of her mouth her feet get tangled up and she falls sideways with a loud bellowing bray. A faint bluish glow happens around her nose and we see faint ghoulish hed suck at it.

Soon we see Vikraman and his mother rush towards the cow. The mother covers her mouth with her pallu and exclaims “O God.”

— Did you feed her bad tapioca leaves, shit!

Vikraman calls out someone and says:

— Hey someone quickly call the veterinarian and bring him here, take my

bike.

— Krishnaa, is this one of the deaths the jyotsan was talking of.

— Amma you just shut up, now don’t go about saying such things.

The day has turned to night and there is a knocking on the door of Anish’s room. Anish scrambles up and opens the door its Anil. His expression is grave. Seeing Anish’s face he softens.

— What happen, the project happened right?

— Yeah yeah, I just slept off.

Prakash carries a large fish and some other packages into the house.

— Just come out I have to tell you something important.

Anish walks with Anil to the courtyard. They both wait quietly under the big jackfruit tree quietly staring at the darkness. Finally Anil breaks the silence.

— Son, I have a malignant brain tumor. I have at the most a month more to live. I thought I will get it cured, I tried everything and now there is no way out, it was confirmed today, I thought somehow it will go away but it didn’t and theres now ay out anymore.

Anish just stares at Anils face who was avoiding his gaze. Anish breaks out into tears, Anil hugs him and smothers the cries, “Don’t let anyone hear you, I can’t stand the sight of Amma crying, please spare me that for a few more days, let.”

— Brother I cant take it brother, I cant take it, what did we ever do to anyone, why are we fated so much sadness.

Anil squeezes Anish in a bear hug.

After a while, in the same place we see Anil standing with a cigarette trailing smoke by the tree and we see a silhouette of another man sitting on the roots jutting out of the sand. Anil’s dumps his cigarette.

— Come, let’s go and sleep.

Anil says.

— You go, let me just sit here by myself for a while, its nice and quiet here.

The night turns to early morning again. The silhouette is still there just like that. From the top of the tree we see Amminiamma arrive with her stiff broom of coconut leaves. She starts sweeping the courtyard in semi circular action leaving uniform shell like patterns on the gravel in the courtyard. She comes to the jackfruit tree and sees the silhoutte. She reaches out to the shoulder:

–Who is it, you guys don’t sleep also or what?

Before her hands touch that shoulder, the form turns around a ghoulish young boy with one decayed eye looks her in the eye. Amminiamma’s voice gets stuck in her throat and her breath freezes, even the blood in her veins stopped flowing for a moment. She staggers involuntarily forward and clutches her chest and falls on her right shoulders immediately paralyzing her body as she makes contact with the floor cracking her shoulder bone, that’s when she notices what’s above her, Anish hanging from the branch of the tree on the rope that was hung there last onam for a swing for Vijayan’s kid. In the breeze the legs swayed ever so lightly. In the blue morning finally a sound escaped Amminiamma’s throat and woke everyone up.

— My son, o my son…

Vikraman and a bunch of other guys are sitting and smoking a cihgarette in Tulsi  Nair’s tea shop by the bus stop. Anthony comes to the shop and sits down and calls for a tea. One tea he shouts to Tulsi Nait frothing the tea up in the corner where he kept as his tea making apparatus.

— What happen Anthonichaa, fighting with the wife again?

— O so you didn’t hear or what, that Amminiamma’s son Anish just hung himself last night. Thresya went there six in the morning. Damn, yesterday only I saw him walk home, he looked strange but I never thought this far.

— When was the incident?

— Yesterday night I guess, Amminiamma found him  hanging on the jackfruit tree in the morning, she collapsed and they have taken her to the hospital. Vijayan and wife are there but without Amminiamma there Thresya has to be there. I will have lunch also so add one more leaf for me.

We see Vikraman and his friends at Anish’s place standing by the body laid out on the front room. Anil is see sitting quietly in one corner on a chair. Vijayan is giving tea to people waiting outside some sitting on chairs that have been put in the courtyard. Vikraman takes the glasses of tea from him and starts giving in around. Vikraman turns to Vijayan:

— What hapopened anna? We talked a few days back also he didn’t seem at all in any trouble?

—  We have no clue brother, we have no clue…

Vijayan becomes silent, mournful and lost for words. Vikraman gently eases him onto a chair.

— What happened to him, he could talked to us, I had no idea!!!

Vikraman eyes one of the boys whop comes and take sthe tray from Vijayan.

— Anna you just relax I am here, I will send Vidya over, she will help out Thresyachedathi in the kitchen. The community elders are here, you just control yourself, you have to take care of things.

The social worker in Vijayan, familiar with this kind of a situation through other people, wakes up. He throws a glance at Anil sitting like a sphinx on the couch.

— yeah yeah, give me a moment I will be fine.

Later in the evening we see Vidya walking around the body as she goes about doing things in the house helping about. At one point we see her get into Anish’s room and sit on his bed and feel the bedsheet and the pillow where he used to sleep. From where she is sitting she can see the body and Amminiamma in a cast sitting leaned against the wall with her head back up against the wall and her eyes dried out in the background and Anish with his chin tied up and nose shoved with cotton in the forground. She looks at this scene and blinks, the light from the lamp at the head of the body mingling with the yellow bulb light casting a streak of light on her face dividing it into to halves diagonally. There is no tear in her eye, not even a sign of tears to come.

The fire burns brightly that night, silhouetted against it Prakash dipping wet and in just thin gamcha watches coldly. At another place behind a window we see Vidya clutches at her skirt tightly as the flickering flames dance about on her face reflected from a mirror she is standing next to. Amminiamma is sobbing into Vijayan’s shoulder. Anil leans against a tree watching from a distance and slumps to the ground when his legs give way.  He bends his head and sighs. With his sigh a bluish vapor comes out of him blows backwards. Among the foliage in the darkness we see the sparkling clean face of a young Brahmin boy, sucking at the bluish vapor, when the flickering flames castes full light on him, we see that his ghoulish appearance has reduced considerably, though there is still decay yet to heal in different parts of his face and neck in what is visible.

The ambers on the pyre are glowing now as Vijayan watches from a chair put a distance away when he notices a commotion in the darkness a bit away he rushes there and finds Anil slumped on the ground. He parts away the people and takes Anil into his lap and a shakes him, Anil’s fist opens and a bottle of Campose sleeping pills rolls out of his hand and his head falls limply backwards.

Vidya is sitting in her room on her desk staring blankly out the window. Her mother comes into the room.

— You haven’t slept yet, being at that house whole day must have tired you out, switch off the light and go to sleep.

–Hmm.

She switches off the table lamp and lies down on the bed in the light of the moonlight filtering in through the window. From the dark corner of the rooom the Brahmin boy leans ove r her head, she sees his face and jeks to get up, he clamps her mouth and from her whole body we see vapors rise and enter into the boys nostrils.

In the morning the blood and water flowing out of the jug of water kept on the floor she had her hands dipped in had partly dried on the tiled floor of her room. The sun warmed her body and her face had turned a shade greyer when they found her.

Act 3:

In the morning the next day in front of the kaavu Damodaran Nair’s white ambassador stops and he steps out. He tells the driver to keep watch and make sure no one enters the kaavu while he is there. He enters the kaavu with an unlit lamp and a stone in each hand and a bag full of other stuff hanging from his shoulder. He places the stone in front of the little temple inside the kaavu and proceeds to pour a liquid in circle around it from a kindi (a brass kettle). Then he takes out a few bricks from his bag and makes a square with it in front of the stone, he then puts some pieces of wood in this square and sits down. He arranges the things in his bag in front of the brick square and sits in padmasana at the centre of the circle. Having done this he proceeds to chant under his breath and lights a fire with ghee and a match box.  Once the fire is going with his eyes closed he starts ritually putting flowers and rice and other puja material into the fire from a platter he had in front of him.

Outside the kaavu we see the driver smoking  cigareete. HE was huggiung himself because there was a chilly wind blowing around there. The leaves were rustling in the breeze now slowly turning into a strong wind. He atches around nd sees a young boy darting among tye trees and approaching the kaavu. The driver drops the cigarette and runs after the boy, shouting at him to go away. He reaches the boy and grips his arm, in one slap of his other hand the driver flies away and smashes into a tree.

Inside Damodaran Nair has become intense in his chanting, his eyes open to revel only the white of his eyes. Thus eyes turned inward he was in deep concentration. There is whirlwind now around him, in the centre over the temples among the whirling dry leaves and sand we see the Brahmin boy reaching out to Damodaran Warrier’s mouth. The boy is straining with all his might, Damodaran Warrier sprays a handful of water from his kindi onto the boy. When the water hits him on the different parts of his face, the skin burns and the decay reappears and the boy screams as his face turns gooey. He directs a stone in the whirlwind onto the Damodaran Warrier whose eyes roll back to normal with the impact. In a flash the boy is onto Damodaran Warrier, he quickly goes for Damodaran Nair’s throat, but on his neck is a amulet which burns into the boy hands, screaming the boy jumps backwards but is still in the circle, he runs around the circle and when he realizes there is no way out he turns and looks angrily at his tormentor.

Now face to face the boy goes once againt for Damodaran Warrier;s neck, this time with his two hands he tries to rip out his jugular, but Damodaran Warrier adamantly continues offerings into the fire. He pours the final bit of ghee into the fire and the boy gets sucked into the stone but his grip on Damodarana Warrier’s neck has tightened and in the force of the pull from the stone there is a risk of his jugular ripping out. Warrier manages to articulate the sound Krishnaaaa! A blue hand slaps the boys hand and he gets sucked into the stone, Warrier collapses backwards onto the ground.

In the temple the door opens to the first view of Krishna after his bath and the edakkaplayer is playing his instrument and singing an ode to the cowherd. The golden glow from inside the sanctum sanctorum can bee seen in the golden skin of the women leaning to catch a glimpse of their lord. Outside under the folige there is once again the reign of yellow.

In mottled yellow we see the driver lying unconcsious on the floor of the kaavu; inside, his master the Warrier stirs and sits up. He looks around and realizes he is alive, he holds his hands folded and turns towards the temple and calls out

— Krishnaa, you saved my life, please watch out for me my lord.

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