Courtesy: Sri.KS.Ramki


What is half of nine?



Periyava camp at Thenambakkam, near Kanchi. Few patasala students including Sri Ganesan (Now, Sri Ganesan Ganapatigal, Bangalore) have come for darshan. Periyava has begun to say a purana story of Lord Shiva. Sri Ganesan Ganapatigal hardly remember the story but do recollect the 'roopa' description by Periyava. Shri Thiruvisampettai Venkatrama Iyer have come there & did namasakaram. Periyava was continuing the story. He did a namaskaram again. Periyava was continuing. Did a namaskaram again. Periyava stopped & told…
Periyava looked at him & told, "ask him what he wants?"
Sri Venkataraman Mama was on some look out but the same time don't want to interrupt Periyava. Now that Periyava has paused, he has asked for 'Utharavu'.
Periyava, "Oh! need to leave right now?"
He said he has to leave to meet a donor who has assured to pay Rs. 20,000/- So he must go.
Periyava thought. for a while said, "Tell him that he doesn't need that!"
Again Sri Venkatarama Mama began to do 'Namaskarams'!
Periyava knew that he is not going to leave so easily. So Periyava has asked him a question that made him wonder 'What!'
Periyava has asked him, "What is half of nine?"
Sri Venkatarama Mama wondered 'What!' & answered "four and a half, Periyava!"
Periyava stared him for a second & said, "why don't you ask all of them?" pointing to the other devotees including Sri Ganesan (Ganapatigal). Most of the said the same. Periyava himself asked him to leave some of the 'Paatimaa' and similarly the Patasala students like Sri Ganesan.
Periyava, What would they know? …Didn't I ask you? Then, you should ask me too!"
"Please tell me, Periyava…"
"Half of nine is four"
Sri Venkatarama Mama thought for a second & said, "No Periyava, It is four!".
Periyava didn't reply. Instead asked him, "Do you know Roman lettars?"
"Yes, Periyava"
"Ok, then write!" The number Nine was written in Roman letters as "IX" on the floor.
Now, Periyava has removed the. Lower half of it leaving behind "IV" & said, "now, do you see how 4 is half of nine?!" Everyone giggled at this 'joke'!
Periyava immediately gave him prasad & gave 'Utharavu'. Sri Venkatarama Mama left immediately but… He rushed back in half-an-hour with huge cry!
What Sri Venkatarama Mama perhaps thought Periyava is wasting time in 'joke' while important fund raising effort is delayed seems actually a different 'leela'! When Sri Venkatarama Mama rushed to the bus stand, it has just left. Sri Mama probably felt even more anxious. Awaited & boarded the next bus only to learn that the previous bus (which Periyava made him to miss) actually met with a major accident in Vandavasi! So Sri Venkatarama Mama couldn't withstand it & rushed back to Periyava…Thought Periyava is wasting the time…Thought Periyava is not just delaying the 'Utharavu'…Thought Periyava is telling some useless joke…
It is actually an effort to save his life. Won't Periyava know what He thinks? Periyava definitely will! Inspite, Periyava saved his life…
He couldn't control… Burst out as a loud cry!
"Periyava…! Periyava…! Periyava…! How you saved me!!!:

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