mouicon Poonkudil Mana

The rugged compound of the rambling mansion has always been sprawling, and little Vivek Sankar would spend his evenings playing cricket with peer-group children of the joint family. That is when they would be joined by people with mental ailments. It used to be so till his early teenage because the Namboothiri household in Kerala was also a reputed Ayurveda centre that specialised in treatment of psychological problems. “Those days, we had inpatients sometimes totalling 30 at a time. Some of them would be seen chained,” recalls the scion, now 25 years old. “Those with less serious illness would bat and bowl at the ground — regularly.” Today, the open space doesn’t feature such sights. For, Poonkudil Mana in Malabar has discontinued with the practice of admitting patients — 12 year...

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