Daily Archives: August 30, 2008

A little bird with large wings


Does it sound odd?

How can a little bird have large wings?

If it has ,then it is a peculiarity, an oddity,and an irregularity.

This caption depicts a community.shelved in far south of South India.

Well, coming to the subject, let me put in black and white the community’s name.

They are called Nagarathars. or rather popularly as Nattukottai chettiars.

They are small in number, but  gigantic in their deeds.

They are less than a hundred thousand.

The chettiars are a composition of tradition and modernity.

Their contribution to religion ,and education is enormous.

Most of the temples in Taminadu had been renovated by them.

They have two universities, Annamalai,and Alagappa.

The other Thiagarajar is in the offing.

The famous Meenakshi amman temple’s North Tower was built by the Vainagaram family.

These are all but  few examples of their munificence.

Coming to the more mundane things,this clan is offbeat.

Their recipies are mouth watery.

The variety in their menu will dwarf  the sophsticated hotels input .

The houses, better palaces ,are simply beautiful.

Beautiful is a very relative word to portray their grandeur.

The doors with innate frescoes are of BurmaTeak.

The mirrors  are from Belgium.

The tiles and fixtures are  from Italy.

The halls are bigger than  a banquet hall.

The raised platforms on either side of the entrance provides a cosy sitting for the guests.

The central part is open to the sky.

On four sides of thecentral portion runs a broad passage along which we find the private rooms .

This is followed by a  massive dining hall.

The rear portion has kitchens and store.

In most houses the first floor is a repetition of the ground floor.

These people were sea faring too.

They had set sail to Burma, Ceylon, Malaysia, Singapore,Saigon and Indo china.

There they had invested in rice fields , plantation real estates and money lending.

Their jewellery is a work of art.

Their collection of diamonds, rubies, emeralds,gold and silver is breathtaking.

Their accounting is extremely nostalgic.

They were faster than modern calculators.

Their memory was awesome. It was like a hard drive that is  found in computers.

Their money transaction were similar to the modern banking system.

They were perhaps more systematic,more genial.

Modern chettiars are replicas of their forefathers.

My metaphor relates to this small community with large  connections.