Preserving History and Nurturing Tradition: Ayyanar's Legacy of Vessels and Toys
In a small village nestled in Puducherry, a man named Ayyanar has embarked on a remarkable journey to preserve the treasures of the past. Beyond the mere functionality of vessels and the joy of toys, Ayyanar recognizes the cultural significance they hold and the stories they carry. To him, each piece of crockery and cookware carries a rich historical narrative. Among his unique collection is the Rail Aduki, a set of fourteen to eighteen vessels specifically designed for cooking while traveling. Complete with plates and spoons, this set made it convenient to prepare and serve meals for an entire family on the go. According to Ayyanar, each vessel has a scientific purpose behind its creation. For instance, the Kinni, a bowl-like vessel, was used by our ancestors to feed young children. The rhythmic tapping of the spoon against the Kinni helped lull the child to sleep. Unfortunately, these traditions have been forgotten, leading to difficulties in childcare today. In addition to his collection of vessels, Ayyanar also gathers toys from bygone eras. One such toy is the Marapachi Bommai, which prioritized children's well-being without conforming to societal norms. Traditionally given to the groom before marriage, the doll would later become a toy for the couple's child. Crafted from rare wood with medicinal properties, these dolls ensured that biting the toy transferred the essence of the tree to the child's body, posing no risk or harm. Ayyanar's three-storey house stands as a witness to the endurance of time, and the vessels within flutter the hearts of those who witness their legacy. Ayyanar dreams of a future where these vessels are not forgotten, but embraced once again. By using these vessels, we can take a step towards a plastic-free world, where the traditions of the past merge with the sustainability of the future. As Ayyanar's eyes beam with hope, his mission serves as an inspiration for all of us. Let us recognize the value of our heritage, preserve our traditions, and pass them on to future generations. In doing so, we not only honor our ancestors but also create a bridge between the past, present, and future—a bridge built on the foundations of culture, sustainability, and love for our shared history.