“People are always telling us to be kind to animals, but when we are, they scream. ‘Ooh, don’t bring that dirty creature here!’ ” said Ravi. “Do you know how hard it is just to get a little milk from the kitchen? Paati saw me with a glass in my hand just now. I told her I’m very hungry, I want to drink it, but the way she looked at me! I had to drink most of it to throw her off the scent. Then she wanted the tumbler back. ‘Paati, Paati, I’ll wash it myself, why should I put you to trouble’, I told her. I had to run and pour the milk into this coconut shell and then run back and wash the tumbler and put it back before she got really suspicious. Now we have to think of some other way to feed Mahendran.”
“Mahendran? This little kitty’s name is Mahendran?” Mridu was impressed! It was a real name—not just a cute kitty-cat name.
“Actually his full name is Mahendravarma Pallava Poonai. M.P. Poonai for short if you like. He’s a fine breed of cat. Just look at his fur. Like a lion’s mane! And you know what the emblem of the ancient Pallava kings was, don’t you?” he looked expectantly at Mridu.
Ravi vented out that people always advise them to be kind to animals; but when they showed kindness, they screamed, saying not to bring the dirty creature to home! He further explained his difficulty to bring some milk from the kitchen for the poor kitten, without the knowledge of Paati. Paati had seen him in the kitchen with the glass of milk; he had to lie that he was hungry, and he wanted to drink it. Paati had still looked suspicious, and he had to drink most of the milk to prove to Paati that he had no hidden intentions.
Ravi had to drink most of the milk to throw Paati off the scent!
Paati still had not given up, and she wanted the empty tumbler back. Ravi had to convince Paati that he would wash it himself. He ran and poured the remaining milk for the kitten, in the coconut shell and ran back to wash the tumbler and put it back. He added that they had to think of some other ways to feed Mahendran. Mahendran was the cat's name.
Mridu was impressed by the kitten's name because it was a proper name and not a fancy cute kitten name.
Ravi said his full name was Mahendravarma Pallava Poonai or M.P. Poonai in short. (Poonai is a Tamil word for cat.) Ravi said he belonged to a high-quality breed of cat. He was amazed by the kitten's fur, which he thought looked like a lion's mane. He asked if Mridu knew the emblem of the ancient Pallava kings. Mridu laughed.
A lion's mane.
(Note: Pallava dynasty ruled Southern part of India and Mahendravarman was a great ruler of the Pallava dynasty. Their emblem was Simha or lion.)
Meanings of difficult words:
|throw her off the scent||mislead her, so she wont understand the real purpose|
|mane||a growth of long hair on the neck of a horse, lion, or other mammal|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Honeycomb. A Gift of Chappals - Vasantha Surya (pp. 18-32). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.