When Vidakandan Meets Kodakandan…A Story For Children
March 28, 2017 5 Comments
Kodakandan was known for not giving away while Vidakandan, his perfect foil, for not giving up.
A number of tales hang around the two just as with Akbar and Birbal, Tenali Raman and Krishnadeva Raya….
This one is about one of their earliest encounters before they teamed up in activities that never did their mothers proud:
The annual fair attracted large number of visitors as always, mainly farmers, from neighboring villages.
The business was brisk for the traders in stalls peddling their wares – clothes, toys, utensils, appliances, groceries…And there were other attractions too – fancy photo-shoots, games and rides and eateries.
Like dog attracts fleas, so these fairs pulled both the Kandan’s prospecting for easy meal.
This time, Kodakandan set himself up like a vaidya (medical practitioner) offering rare herbs and medicines to cure a variety of ailments from common cold to terminal cancer. He put up a sign outside that said: “Baba from the Himalaya’s: Get your treatment for Rs 50, and if not cured, get back Rs 100!” The lure was risk-free for him simply because he usually prescribed a treatment that would run for several months to show while the fare wound up within ten days; whence he would ostensibly ‘return’ to his habitat in the Himalaya’s to continue with his research and meditation.
On the second day of the fair, by a quirk of fate, Vidakandan found himself standing in front of Kodakandan’s table and tent, reading the sign. This was god-sent it seemed after an unusually prolonged dry spell of no ‘fish’.
He went in seizing the chance with two hands: ‘Anna, I’ve lost all taste in my mouth. Can you please help me?’
‘Not after you’ve come to me, Thambi (little brother). Kutta, please bring medicine from the green bottle and put three drops in his mouth.’
‘Aaagh!! — This is kerosene!’
‘Congratulations! I told you – you’ve got your taste back. That will be fifty rupees.’
An annoyed Vidakandan went back the next day after a sleepless night figuring to recover his money.
‘I’ve lost my memory, Anna. I can’t remember much.’
‘Kutta, please bring medicine from the blue bottle and put three drops in the patient’s mouth.’
‘Oh, no, you don’t, that’s kerosene!’
‘Congratulations! You’ve got your memory back! That will be fifty rupees.’
Vidakandan left angrily and came back after a couple of days, more determined than ever to settle scores with Kodakandan.
‘Anna, your medicines are a miracle. My eyesight has become weak – I can hardly see anything! I’m sure I can get it back with your help.’
‘As long as you have a fifty on you, Thambi, there isn’t much this Anna cannot handle. Kutta, bring medicine from the red bottle and put three drops in his eyes.’
‘I still can’t see anything, Anna, Please do something.’
‘Just hold. Kutta, bring medicine from the yellow bottle and put three drops into his eyes.’
‘Anna, it’s no better…’
This went on for two more rounds apparently doing little to improve Vidakandan’s eye sight.
A crest fallen Kodakandan finally admitted: ‘Well, I don’t seem to have the right medicine for your eyes presently. As promised, here are your hundred rupees.’
‘But this is only a fiver…’
‘I knew the medicine was right. Only you were getting a little impatient. Congratulations! You can see now. That will be fifty rupees.’
Vidakandan knew he was licked. He would rather wait for his day.
Source: Inspired by Jerry Lambert