Sitting here drinking a packet of coconut water in a hot summer day reminded me of Strange Tales of Tamil Nadu. It is a cautionary tale of excessively drinking this innocent fruit, it might turn out deadly.
Tamil Nadu – South Indian state secretly practices the ancient custom of thalaikoothal , an involuntary euthanasia of elderly dependents, sick children or the incapacitated who are deemed too troublesome to be taken care of by their family members. This is common in impoverished villages where families can’t afford the cost of caring for their old or the sick. Sometimes as with human greed, thalaikoothal is practised when property or money is coverted.
Thalaikoothal means head pouring, involving slow oil bath.
The old man is presented with a soothing oil bath in the wee hours of the morning, and fed with large amount of young green coconut water. The high potassium content in the coconut causes renal failure in the poor victim and the victim dies slowly while his relatives will decorate his deteriorating body with flowers and dresses him. Sometimes the whole family or the whole village would gather to celebrate his slow death, to mark the occasion to his eternal peace. Death, it seems is a blessing to his sufferings of old age.
So concludes my strange recollection. An cautionary tale of drinking too much of a good thing. Don’t drink copious amount of young coconut water. It is bad for you. But not when you practice Thalaikoothal.