Sunday, December 10, 2006

Kerala’s eating sensation takes his last bow

Kerala’s eating sensation K P Rappai died of obesity-related ailments at a private hospital in the central Thrissur district of Kerala yesterday morning. He was 67. A victim of hypothalamus dysfunction that triggers an insatiate urge for food, the 140kg Rappai, clad in white dhoti and slack kakhi shirt, ambling along roads with a sachet of errand items, was a mobile landmark of Thrissur. Archbishop Mar Jacob Thoonkuzhy offered funeral prayers at the residence of Rappai before a large procession of mourners accompanied the body to the local Lourde’s Church for burial.

Rappai, a bachelor, had been living with his mother, Thandamma, at a small house in Thrissur. He was admitted to hospital about a week back and was shifted to the ICU after his diabetes and blood pressure shot up.

Rappai was hospitalised in July when the doctors warned him that unless he cut down on the food, he would encounter serious health problems. At hospital, his intake had come down from one hundred idlis to a just dozen, from two buckets full of rice to a plateful.

For the past six months, he has been on a normal diet, though frugal by his standards.

Kizhakkumpattukara Painadanveettil Rappai’s first and unbeaten record was 700 idlis at an eating contest in Kasargod in 1997. His exploits on the table are unending. He once inaugurated a bakery at Kochi eating five kilos of ‘halwa’ and 50 idlis besides drinking enormous amount of water.

He had also lunched a club at Palakkad eating 50 baked bananas and 50 laddus. On both the occasions, he was given Rs10,000 in cash as prize.

In December 2001, at Chalakudy in Thrissur, he ate a bunch of bananas, drank 35 glasses of Horlicks and earned Rs15,000 in cash inaugurating a restaurant. With the small sums he got as rewards, he married off three sisters and set off debts. But smalltime hoteliers in Thrissur lived in mortal fear of the monster eater. His debut was at a hotel in Thrissur, some 40 years back, when he took a full meal coupon and downed three basins of rice, three buckets of meat, and one bucket of fish curry. He went on indulging his appetite that the hotel owner had to call in the police.

If the hoteliers suffered from Rappai-phobia, there were many who would sponsor all-you-can-eat buffet contests mainly for the thrill of seeing Rappai in action. He had his friends in the police.

His trademark slack kakhi shirts were used ones gifted to him by police officers.


At 2:18 PM, Blogger b v n said...

theetta rappai padiyirangunnu...kanatha nashtam :)

nice round up :)


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