Traditional implements like issurrai, chaata, cheepuru and rolu and rokali sadly have no place in the life of present generation

The terms issurrai, chaata, cheepuru and rolu and rokali bring to mind the objects that were part of our life once and are not anymore.

Issurrai served as mill by powdering pulses whereas chaata cleaned rice. Rolu and rokali were used to pound or trample pulses and vegetables as wet grinder.

The utility of these age-old implements reduced gradually with the advent of electric grinder, mixer and vaccum cleaner. Though change is inevitable, some cannot be replaced completely.

With an aim to preserve our culture, the folk and tribal lore museums of the Telugu University has collected a number of items that were in use till recently.

Speaking to The Hindu, Dean of the Centre, Battu Ramesh said: “The traditional items are manually operated. These implements, besides protecting the nutrients in pulses, provide physical exercise to women,” he explained.

In most of the houses, women in groups crushed paddy and they used to set the pace of the work by singing folk songs that helped them forget the physical strain.

According to Assistant Professor, Department of Folklore, Gaddam Venkanna, the manual work done by the people in the olden days gave them the endurance power. Those who crossed 60 years of age could still work whereas those in 30s now complain of back ache, arthritis etc, he added.

Machines, no doubt, made life easy but have no charm that the traditional implements had. As the way of doing things changed, so did the life. The change was so rapid that the terms issurrai, chaata, cheepuru and so on hardly been heard among youngsters, laments Mr. Battu Ramesh.

On the positive side, the museum, which houses many of these items, is frequented by students from various schools. At least, the efforts of the Telugu University to familiarise people with things past would help them reconstruct the life of their ancestors.