April 28, 2002  

Inspiration for the day

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Kunju Kochu Ravunni, Koonammavu, Ernakulam 683518


Kunju Kochu Ravunni  of Koonammavu, Ernakulam is one of the handful of blacksmiths who could make a lock which no thief would waste his time on.  Making ‘Manichitrathazhu’ or the traditional burglarproof lock of Kerala is an age-old secret, which has been almost forgotten by us.

Ravunni’s recent  ‘Manichitrathazhu’ was crafted for a rich NRI client recently.  The owner wanted an aesthetically appealing house, no matter what the expense.  An expert carpenter made the design and measurements for the intricately carved lock.

When the owner turns the key in the lock, the ‘Manichitrathazhu’ will chime out 6 times and open.  If any one else tries to tamper with the lock, it will emit the chimes, which are likely to scare the thief.  The lock is made of brass and is a symbol of handcrafted perfection.

The lock weighs 5 kg and costs Rs. 12000.  It took Ravunni 21/2 months of devoted work to make it. 

“But such orders are rare.  Nobody wants locks like these.  We are losing lot”, laments Ravunni.

He delights in making icons of gods.  “I see the Virgin in my mind when I etch out her form on to my iron”, says the blacksmith.  He does not see much future for his trade.  Yet he is determined to go on.


Courtesy: New Indian Express

Contributed by: Administrator


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