Only two of the many questions which Uddanda put to the Kerala prodigy Kakkasseri
Bhaitatiri and his ready answers have come, down to us. Once the veteran Uddanda accosted
the young aspirant with the words Aakaro hrsvah which would mean either the long a is
short, or you are short in stature. At once came the reply: Nahi, Nahi, aakaro dirghah,
akaro hrsvah-No, No, the long a is long, it is the short a that is short.
Another question: Tava mata pativrataa, your mother was a devoted
wife to her wedded Lord. It is obviously impossible to contradict it without impugning the
mother's honor. But Kakkasseri was neither embarrassed nor appalled; he boldly
contradicted it, thus revealing his profound knowledge of Vedic marriage rite. "Nahi,
nahi," he said, "soma was her first husband, Gandharva, the next, Agni, the
third and the one born of man (his father) was the fourth (Rig. Veda Vill, iii, 27.5).
Uddanda was thrilled and hugged the young scholar in joy.