Around A Medicinal Creeper by  Poorna Chandra Tejaswi

About the Author

K.P. Poornachandra Tejaswi is a well-known Kannada writer noted for his distinct writing style. He is the author of several well-known books and short tales. Born in Malnad, he grew up with a natural love of nature and a strong desire to solve its mysteries. He chose to pursue his heart after completing his postgraduate studies. His interests in agriculture, photography, ornithology, wildlife, and writing led him to Mudigere, a Malnad outpost. All of his renown as a writer and supporter of environmental and social concerns stemmed from this region. He distanced himself from his father, Kuvempu’s, influence and carved out his own niche in Kannada literature.

About the story ‘Around A Medicinal Creeper’

Around A Medicinal Creeper is a short story written by Poorna Chandra Tejaswi.  Tejaswi and Mara were creating a bamboo framework one day. Sanna brought some creepers to bind the bamboo structure together. There was a medicinal creeper in the package. They all went to see the creeper, and Mara attached it to a neighbouring plant so that it might be found when needed. Mara stated that every inch of it is useful. Tejaswi learned about the creeper’s uses from Krishna after twenty years. Krishna, a farmhand, was once afflicted with piles. Krishna sought the remedy for piles from a Malayali Godman. Tejaswi and Krishna went in quest of the creeper, dug out its tubor, crushed it, and drank it with milk for five days. He was free of heaps.

Detailed Summary of Around a Medicinal Creeper

Around a Medicinal Creeper‘ is a lighthearted story with serious undertones. It is centred on a medicinal creeper and its unique therapeutic properties. It emphasises the significance of our medical system and the wealth of medicinal plants found in our forests. The storey emphasises the need of learning about these plants. K.P. Poorna Chandra Tejaswi demonstrates how mystification pervades the entire system of Indian medicine. He regrets that those who are aware of the special capabilities of these plants and herbs do not share their knowledge. Through the characters of Mara, Sanna, Appanna, Krishna, and others, he transports us to the mysterious realm of forests and gives us a sense of the true abundance of medicinal plants in the womb of our beautiful forests.

Plot

K.P. Poorna Chandra Tejaswi discusses a medicinal creeper that took him nearly twenty years to study beyond the legends that surrounded it. Mara discovered this while digging through a bundle of creepers that Sanna had brought back from the jungle. This was identified as a medicinal creeper by Mara. Out of curiosity, the writer joined Sanna and Mara in their search for the creeper in the forest. Mara instantly attached one of the creeper’s tendrils to a tree after Sanna showed her the creeper. He claimed that he did it because the creeper had been cursed so that it would not be found when someone needed it.

About The Creeper

This creeper has little leaves that mimic betel leaves and bears grape-like fruits in clusters. This plant sprouts shortly after the rains, bears fruit, and then dies. It will not be visible until the next wet season. According to the author, this is how the plant is tethered to a nearby tree so that it may be seen. According to the author, there are both real and spurious stories about these medicinal creepers. He claims that this type of mystification pervades the entire system of Indian medicine. When he wanted to impart some of the things he had learned from many people, including Mara, his doctor pals were irritated and labelled him an ignoramus. He shares his concern about the trees, which are rapidly disappearing, as well as people who know about the valuable plants and herbs, who are also leaving us one by one. He was overjoyed to hear so many stories from Mara about this medicinal creeper, and each one was fantastic.

No blood, no wound!

This is how the narrative goes. One day, while cutting the bamboo shoot, Mara inadvertently sliced his hand by thrusting his hands into the bamboo cane. When it began to bleed profusely, someone brought a leaf, put it against the wound, and dressed it with a cloth. Mara sought treatment and dressing from a white guy in Hulihindalu. There was no blood or wound when the white man unwrapped the bandage and removed the leaf. The doctor requested that Mara show him the plant with the leaf in the forest. They looked for an entire day but came up empty-handed.

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When the writer declared Mara’s storey false, he offered another about the mongoose and cowcal, both of which are familiar with this plant. As a result, they are bitten by dangerous snakes while hunting them. They instantly devour this leaf and recover.

How Mara’s teeth fell out!

Mara once set a trap in the forest to catch rabbits. He went into the woods before dawn to check. The trap was completely empty. He opted to return home since he was dissatisfied. He afterwards considered brushing his teeth and washing his face in a nearby creek. He broke a little stick from a nearby plant to brush his teeth for the third or fourth time and noticed a sour taste. He flung the stick because he thought there was something wrong with it. He felt the need to rinse his lips. He spat it out after twisting it around in his mouth. All of his teeth that had been touched by the stick fell out of his mouth.

A live wild buck jumps up!

Mara and a buddy set a trap and caught a barking deer a long time ago. They brought it to a nearby brook and divided it amongst themselves. They wrapped their portions of meat in leaves and brought them home after splitting it. As they prepared to cook at Mara’s house, they opened the packet to take out the meat. A live deer leapt up and raced out of his house, surprising them. Mara was attempting to catch it when his wife inadvertently threw the leaves into the fire. This demonstrates how ignorant people are when they are not informed. There is an urgent need to raise public awareness of our natural resources.

What causes milk to become stiff and rubbery!

Appanna once told the author that if the juice of this creeper’s leaves is squeezed into milk, it will harden. He was dissatisfied with such stories and desired to conduct his own experiments. He and his plant pathologist friend Chandru grabbed a litre of milk and combined it with the leaves in a mixer before turning it on. They poured it into a jug after carefully mixing it. Nothing happened for a few minutes. When the writer checked it after a while, it had become solid and rubbery. When they turned the vessel upside down, the entire thing dropped out like a moulded cast. The author was certain that this creeper has some abilities.

Krishna discovers a cure!

Krishna, Tejaswi’s former farmhand, came to see him one day. He appeared pale and out of breath. He had quit working in the estate and was now driving a rickshaw. When he moved jobs, he began passing blood in his faeces. It had become worse, and he was fatigued, out of breath, and gasping. He appeared to have a lot of them. Surgery would be an extremely costly procedure. It was a terrible situation for the man to go through. He was terrified of surgery. Krishna knew a Malyali sadhu who had cured him when he had boils on another occasion. He never experienced a boil again after the procedure. He went to see the godman once more. But the sadhu had grown too old by this point. He lacked the stamina to look for this plant, but he could describe it. Krishna had to find this plant, dig out the tuberous root, mix it with milk, and consume the medicine for five days. He consumed this root with milk after grinding it. His piles improved after a day. In five days, he was entirely cured.

In addition to these anecdotes, the writer personally experienced the miraculous therapeutic abilities of this medicinal creeper when he ate a bit of the plant’s root and his pain in his heel from swelling vanished.

Conclusion

The author concludes that because this medicinal creeper is so unique, no research has been conducted to learn about the plant’s complete range of benefits. It is unimportant to people like Mara, and native doctors like Malayali sadhu do not share information about such therapeutic herbs. They continue to believe that if they notified anyone about their remedies, the potency would be lost. As a result, our indigenous medicinal systems are on the edge of extinction. As a result, he emphasises the importance of conducting thorough research on these unique natural resources in order to develop and disseminate information about our medicinal system.

Textbook Questions and Answers

Comprehension I



1. What did Mara do when they found the creeper?
Ans :- Mara tied the creeper to a nearby tree when they found it.

2. Mention the curse about the medicinal plant.
Ans :- A sage cursed the medicinal plan, saying that when someone needed that plant, they would not be able to find it.

3. What surprised the white man?
Ans :- The white man was taken aback by the leaf, which turned out to be the remedy for the damaged hand. The wound itself had not been visible, and there was no indication of it having existed.

4. How did the mangoose and cowcal cure themselves of snakebite?
Ans :- If the mangoose and the cowcal are bitten by poisonous snakes they immediately chew the medicinal leaf and thus cure themselves.

5. Why had Mara lost his teeth on the right side?
Ans :- Mara lost his teeth on the right side because he had brushed a plant’s stick by which teeth were tumbled out of his mouth.

6.What did Mara’s wife find on opening the packet of meat?
Ans :- When Mara’s wife opened the packet of meat she saw a live wild buck.

7. What happened when the milk was mixed with the juice of the creeper’s leaves?
Ans :- The milk became firm and rubbery.

8. When would the medicines lose their potency according to the belief of native doctors?
Ans:- Native doctors believe that if they tell others about their medicines, the medicines would lose their potency.

Comprehension II

1. How long did it take the narrator to learn the facts about the medicinal creeper? What does it signify?
Ans :- Poornachandra Tejashwi spent nearly two decades researching medicinal creeper. Mara told him several amazing stories. Tejaswi, on the other hand, did not trust him and felt that all of his claims were nonsense. After a long period, he discovered the truth about this medicinal creeper. However, he was made aware of the partial truth by Appanna. Appanna only knew one thing about the medicinal creeper: when the juice of the leaves was pressed, milk hardened. He discovered the truth when Krishna was cured of piles. He ground this root and drank it with milk, as instructed by Malayali Sadhu. In five days, he was entirely cured. He talked and argued the unique features of plants and herbals with doctor friends on numerous occasions, despite their reluctance to speak.

It suggests that the narrator did not believe until comes to his experience.

2. What does the incident of Mara’s wife throwing the leaves into fire tell us about Indians in general?
Ans :- Mara and his friend once set a trap and caught a barking deer. They distributed the meat evenly after skinning and cleaning it in a stream. They transported their portions home covered in leaves. They were already getting ready to cook at Mara’s house. They were startled when they opened the bundle and saw a wild deer instead of raw meat. As soon as it noticed him, it leapt up and rushed out of Mara’s house. When Mara was off chasing the wild buck, his wife inadvertently took the leaves and threw them into the fire.

This occurrence demonstrates that Indians do not take plants and herbs seriously or consider what they can treat. And many believe without testing them. As a result of their ignorance, people react to situations and never use the circumstances against them. This is a major shortcoming of Indians.

3. How was Krishna cured of his illness?
Ans :- Krishna was suffering from piles when he met the storyteller. He could not afford allopathic treatment, which required surgical surgery in a hospital. He was unable to manage due to a shortage of funds. Later, he became interested in ayurvedic treatments. He knew a Malayali Sadhu who had previously treated him. Krishna went back to see that godman. But godman was getting too old, and he could not go looking for the medicinal creeper. As a result, he would describe the plant’s characteristics to him. Krishna later went in quest of the leaves. He now met Tejaswi and told him about the leaves. Those were the leaves tied to the tree by Mara and Appanna. When the narrator heard this, he brought him to the plant and dug a little. Krishna drank this root with milk after grinding it. In the end, he was entirely cured in a matter of days.

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Comprehension III


1. Do you think the author is suggesting that Indian herbal medicine is better /safer than allopathic medicine? Support your view.

Ans :- The author of this short narrative suggests that we learn about the usage of therapeutic plants. The majority of Indians are unaware of how to use medicinal herbs to treat ailments. India is rich in herbal medicine, but the sadness is that modern man is unaware of its benefits. In terms of side effects and cost, Ayurvedic medicines are significantly safer than allopathic treatments. As a result, Tejaswi is reawakening the mystification system through real-world examples. Indians are surrounded by rich herbal plans yet show no interest in them. The author suggests herbal medicine in the novel with a few unbelievable anecdotes given by Mara and others. Nowadays, contemporary man completely disregards the use of trees and plants and disregards ayurvedic treatment, as Tejaswi’s doctor buddies do.

In the storey, we learn how Mara healed his wound using a medical herb and how Krishna cured his ailments. For example, if Krishna had had allopathic treatment, such as surgery, he would have been hospitalised for several days and would have spent more money on the treatment. Allopathic treatment takes a long time to cure ailments as well. However, Krishna’s condition was treated in five days because he received Indian herbal medicine, which is less expensive than allopathic treatment. In reality, ayurveda medicine is more effective, has fewer side effects, and is less expensive than allopathic medicine. Today, it is every Indian’s obligation to preserve all ayurveda herbs and use them in their homes. If it is practised in families, no Indian will contract sickness, and India’s future will be free of disease for all time.

2. What has made the modern man lose the knowledge of traditional medicine? Do you think Ayurveda will make a comeback in a successful way?

Ans: Traditional medicine is being lost to modern man. It is due to several myths and carelessness of the medicinal plant, as well as the competition of allopathic medicine. When the writer told his doctor pals about these herbs, they mocked him and labelled him uneducated and insane.

The herbal therapeutic herbs were likewise kept a secret by the local doctor. They believed that if they told anyone about the herb, it would lose its potency. This misconception also caused individuals to avoid precious plants. Even modern study has revealed a failure to conduct more and more research on these plants, and deforestation contributes to their scarcity. That is why our indigenous medicinal systems are on the edge of extinction.

Through this, the author emphasises the importance of conducting thorough research on these natural resources. And keep it for the future generation to improve our health naturally. Conduct more recent studies on herbal plants. Then only Ayurveda will undoubtedly make a comeback. ‘Herbal Medicine’ is now written on the majority of items. People are also expressing a strong interest in acquiring herbal items.

3. ‘Our natural resources are our vital resources’ . Explian the statement in the light of several ‘developmental’ projects that are being promoted today.

 Ans. India is a diverse country with a variety of natural features such as mountains, seas, rivers, forests, and deserts. Furthermore, human resources are a valuable natural resource in India. India’s location makes it very evident that our natural resources are critical. Because they relied on natural resources for their nourishment, the inhabitants of early India rarely visited hospitals. There was no food crisis. As a result, instead of undertaking industry-oriented research, people should aim to explore natural resources. If we continue in this direction, we will be able to increase the potential of natural resources. Surprisingly, educated people have begun to use herbals these days. Indigenous people who understand the special powers of herbals have been educating others. Many projects are being carried out today in order to make use of plants and herbs. Throughout the country, there have been numerous naturopathy and ayurveda centres. This demonstrates the high demand for natural products.

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