Pat Of Paddy
Exploiting the owners of Kol Paddy
The fisher-folks of coastal area in Thrissur district are very fond of paddy, nay, kol. Kol means paddy fields water-logged during monsoon. Owning kol is considered privilege and prestige by the fisher-folks.
Youngsters of almost all fisher households in the coastal of Thrissur are in Gulf States earning handsome amount. Once a starved region became prosperous overnight and each one wanted to expose their new found wealth. Owning kol was unthinkable till few years back. With the foot in Gulf their first and foremost preference was for owning kol. With bundles of currency notes family elders camped in kol regions and purchased kol outright.
They were foreign to paddy cultivation, especially in kol, which involves many management activities. As a way out, almost all appointed Nottakkarens (those who looks after and do cultivation activities), one for each landlord. Now the Nottakkaren takes the centre stage. His role begins from the de-watering to the harvesting and post-harvest ploughing which is done immediately after harvesting.
Till the stage of application of insecticides things go without damage or casualty to the landlord. Time of insecticides application comes, it is now the turn of Nottakkaren to blackmail the landlord. The landlord turns up with bottles of insecticide in around 8 o’clock when the Nottakkaren is standing in wait with sprayer. The landlord hands-over the bottles to him and stands on the main ridge in the paddy field. Nottakkaren moves away to the distant and interior corner of the field. He places the bottles on the ridges there and lifts the quarter-filled bottle he kept there in advance and raises it while un-corking and fills to the sprayer-tank. The landlord standing at distance is happy he has seen the un-corking of the bottle. Nottakkaren fills the sprayer-tank with water and starts spraying. When the tank is emptied the process is repeated again and again till the spraying is over. Soon after landlord vacates the scene after spraying is finished, the Nottakkaren moves to the field and picks up the insecticide bottles brought by the landlord and takes it to his home. This bottle will be sold to a dealer at a fat discount.
The disease to the paddy persists as the insecticide application made was ineffective for want of required quantum of insecticide. The Nottakkaren jets to the residence of the landlord and says the disease still persists as the quality of the insecticide was utterly poor. The poor landlord believes it and spends again and again.
The local landlords are fully aware of the cheating modalities of Nottakkarens. Unmindful of mud-smearing on the feet and legs they move to the spot where the Nottakkarens mix the insecticides with water. This forestalls the chance of cheating. The landlords of coastal area hate mud-smearing in their feet and legs. The mud hate mental make-up of the kol owners is cleverly exploited by Nottakkarens.
Even after burning the fingers, kol owners of coastal area are still to learn a lesson. They are a laughing stock in the eyes of villagers around kols.
Let wise sense prevail.