A lesson to reform
It was the last Sunday of the month. On Sundays no work will be
offered to the workers on the estate. A holiday for them. On this day
the workers will attend to their domestic chores. The men will work in
their vegetable Gardens. The women will go out to the fields to fetch
firewood. Some go to the town to purchase their home needs.
In the evening of the last Sunday a priest from the town church will
come to the estate to say Mass in the estate chapel. Rev. Sisters will
go to the estate in the morning, teach Catechism to the children and
visit Catholic families and prepare them to attend the evening Mass.
Of the fifty families on the estate only about twenty families were
Catholics. As time passed some Catholic families left the estate and
some were converted to other Christian denominations by the ever
Mass was held only once a month, religious activities of the Catholics
dwindled. This helped the fundamentalists to dupe the Catholics. They
donated sweets, biscuits, clothes and even cash to convert them. Now
only about ten Catholic families were on the estate.
Theresamma realising there is Mass in the evening was busy from the
morning cleaning her 10'x12' line room. Applying cow dung on the floor.
Removing cobwebs and washing the soiled clothes and bathing the
Her husband Vedamuthu was not religious. Although not sceptic, for
some reason he avoided going to church. But he allowed his wife and
children to attend Mass. In fact, Theresamma was originally from a Hindu
family. She became a Catholic to marry Vedamuthu after a love affair.
Today she is more devoted to the religion than some of the traditional
Catholics. She knew all the prayers and taught the children too.
It was 4.00 p.m. Vedamuthu after a bath put on his new dress and was
getting ready to go out. Noticing her husband trying to skip the Mass
Theresamma questioned him as to where he was going when there was Mass?
"Mass is held only once a month. The priest and Sisters come all the way
from the town to say Mass. In fact, the priest wanted to see you", she
Vedamuthu didn't care to listen to her. He always avoided confronting
the priest. He was addicted to liquor. He was also a lazy man. He never
worked regularly on the estate. He left the house immediately. He
accompanied another friend of his and hurried to the village to drink
Appuhamy from the village was a kasippu distiller and seller. He was
distilling kasippu in the jungle to avoid police detection. A rock with
a flat surface was his business spot. Most of his customers were estate
workers. They drank on credit basis. On the pay day Appuhamy would be
present on the spot to collect his dues. Those failed to pay him will be
deprived of their drinks. There were occasions such people were
assaulted by Appuhamy.
One man who failed to pay for his drinks and was chased away by
Appuhamy was waiting to take revenge. On that particular Sunday he
informed the police about Appuhamy's kasippu business and the exact spot
where the business took place.
The police went in mufti and hid close to the rock. The whole place
was overgrown with mana grass. When the customers gathered Appuhamy
appeared with cans of kasippu. The police sprang up and surrounded the
rock pointing their guns. They warned if anybody tried to escape would
be shot. They were all arrested including Vedamuthu. They were taken to
the police station along with the cans of kasippu and other distilling
implements. Theresamma swooned on hearing the news. They were produced
before the magistrate and sentenced to three months imprisonment.
Theresamma went to the prison to see her husband. She told him that
if had he listened to her and went to church this misfortune would not
have occurred. It is nothing but God's punishment. "See the difficulty I
had to undergo due to your drinking habit and you will lose your job as
well. At least now give up drinking the poison and reform yourself for
the same of our children." Saying so she left the prison with tears
running down her cheeks.