In the short story The Snake-Song (a part of the collection titled Malgudi Days), the Talkative Man describes an event in his youth that led to him having to abandon his music: the Talkative Man had to forsake his flute after being compelled to play a certain snake-song over and over until physical exhaustion.
The raga of the snake-song that the Talkative Man had to play is punnaga varali. It is an actual raga in the south Indian classical music tradition (known as Carnatic music). The raga is of folk origin, and has apparently been used traditionally by snake-charmers in the country. In the short story, after the Talkative Man narrates his ordeal to his master, the latter says,
Don’t you know you ought not to play punnaga varali at night?
Questions: Is this restriction on the allowed playing times for this raga a creative choice by R. K. Narayan, or is it an actual restriction found in the Carnatic music tradition? If it is an actual restriction in Carnatic music, what is/are the reason/s behind this?
I am aware that many ragas are meant to be played at certain times of the day or during certain seasons for the greatest effect. However, that seems to me to be different from forbidding a raga from being played at certain times.
Also, punnaga varali may very well have an equivalent raga in the north Indian tradition (known as Hindustani music), but I am not very knowledgeable about it. I do know that the associated times/seasons for ragas are followed more strictly in Hindustani music than in Carnatic music. So, an answer providing information from the Hindustani perspective would also be welcome, though the short story seems to be set in the southern part of India.
Of course, evidence for such a (social?) convention could come from places other than musical texts, so those are also welcome.