As a part of the life history series, Vijayan visited MGR's 200-year-old Tharavadu (ancestral house) in Vadavannur, near Palakkad in Kerala. It is called ‘Maruthur House'. A relative now lives in the rebuilt house.
Known as the Suicide Tree, Cebera odollam yields a toxin callled cerberin, which causes potentially fatal disruption of the heartbeat. Difficult to detect in autopsies, it has a long history of being used as a poison, particularly in India and Madagscar. A French study led by Yvan Gaillard documented more than 500 cases of fatal cerbera poisoning between1989 and 1999 in the Indian state of Kerala alone.