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K.P. Poornachandra Tejaswi is a well-known Kannada author who is noted for his peculiar writing style. He was born in Malnad and grew up with a natural passion for nature and a desire to understand its mysteries. His interests in agriculture, photography, ornithology, wildlife, and literature led him to Mudigere, a region of Malnad. He distinguished himself from his father, Kuvempu, and carved out his own place in Kannada writing.
‘Around a Medicinal Creeper’ is a whimsical tale that addresses serious elements. It is about a medicinal creeper and its special healing properties. It emphasizes the significance of medicinal plants found in our forests. The story enables us to understand these plants.
K.P. Poornachandra Tejaswi demonstrates how incomprehension affects Indian medicine as a whole. He criticizes the fact that individuals who are aware of the special capabilities of these plants and herbs do not share their knowledge. Through the characters of Mara, Sanna, Appanna, and Krishna, he takes us to the mystical world of woods and gives us a glimpse of the true abundance of medicinal plants that exist in the heart of our beautiful forests.
The Stories Of The Creeper
The creeper has little leaves that are like betel leaves and bears grape-like fruits in a bunch. This plant grows shortly after the rains, bears fruit, and then dies. The plant is tied to a neighbouring tree so that it may be seen easily. According to the author, there are both real and false stories about these medicinal creepers. He claims that this ambiguity affects the entire system of Indian medicine.
When he wanted to impart a few things he’d learned from people, including Mara, his doctor colleagues got irritated. He expresses his grief over the woods that are rapidly disappearing, as well as those who are knowledgeable about the valuable plants that are vanishing. He was ecstatic to hear so many stories from Mara about this medicinal creeper.
The Stories Of Magical Healing
When Mara was cutting bamboo shoots, he accidently injured his hand by thrusting his hands into the bamboo cane. When the wound began to bleed heavily, someone fetched a leaf, put it on the wound, and bandaged it in a cloth. Mara sought treatment and dressing from a white man in Hulihindalu. There was no blood or wound when the white guy unwrapped the cloth and removed the leaf. The doctor requested that Mara show him the leaf plant in the forest. They looked for a whole day but came back empty-handed.
When the writer called Mara’s story fabricated, he presented another story about a mongoose and a cowcal who were both aware of the plant. They get bitten by deadly snakes while hunting them. Hence, they heal themselves by chewing this leaf right away.
Mara had once set a trap for rabbits in the woods. To check, he walked into the woods before dawn. The trap was completely empty. He decided to brush his teeth and wash his face in a nearby stream later. He broke a little stick from a neighbouring plant to clean his teeth for the third or fourth time, and he felt a sour sensation. He threw the stick because he believed there was something wrong with it. He spat it out after twisting the stick around in his mouth. All of the teeth in his mouth that had been touched by the stick fell out.
Mara and a friend once set a trap and caught a barking deer, a long time ago. They divided it amongst them at a nearby stream. They wrapped their parts in leaves and carried them home after dividing the meat. As they prepared to cook at Mara’s place, they opened the packet to remove the meat. A live deer jumped up and raced out of his home, startling them. While Mara was trying to grab it, his wife put the leaves into the fire without thinking. This demonstrates how uneducated individuals are due to lack of knowledge. It is necessary to raise public awareness of our natural resources.
The author had learned from Appanna that squeezing the juice from this creeper’s leaves into milk causes it to harden. He was frustrated with such stories and decided to do his own research. He and his plant pathologist friend, Chandru blended a litre of milk with some leaves in a mixer and turned it on. They poured it into a jug once it was properly blended. Nothing happened for a few minutes. When the writer checked it after a while, it had grown solid and rubbery. The whole thing dropped out like a sculpted cast when they overturned the vessel. The author was convinced that this creeper has some unique qualities.
How Krishna was cured!
Krishna, Tejaswi’s former farmhand, came to see him one day. He appeared pale and out of breath. He had left the estate a long time ago and was now driving a rickshaw. When he switched jobs, he began passing blood in his faeces. It had escalated to the point that he was exhausted, out of breath, and wheezing.
He appeared to have piles. Surgery would be an extremely costly procedure. Krishna was terrified about undergoing surgery. Krishna knew a Malyali sadhu who had previously cured him when he had boils. He never experienced another boil after the procedure. He paid another visit to the Godman.
The Sadhu (Godman), on the other hand, had become too old. He lacked the strength to search for this plant, but he was able to describe it. Krishna had to go in search of this plant, pull up the tuberous root, mix it with milk, and consume it for five days. He crushed the root and mixed it with milk to drink. His piles improved within a day. In just five days, he was entirely cured.
In addition to all these stories, the writer personally experienced the medicinal creeper’s excellent therapeutic properties when he ate a portion of the plant’s root, which alleviated his swelling and discomfort in his heel.
The author concludes that this medicinal creeper is so unusual that no research has been conducted to learn about all of the plant’s benefits. It is of no importance or value to people like Mara, and people like the Malayali Sadhu do not share information about these beneficial plants.
They still believe that if they told people about these, the medicine would lose its effectiveness. Our indigenous medicine systems are on the verge of extinction because of this. As a result, he emphasizes the importance of doing a thorough study on these priceless natural resources in order to improve our medicinal system and spread knowledge about it.